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What is Fat Transfer To The Face?

In the aging face, there are contour irregularities between the subunits of the face with convexities leading to concavities which gather shadows and unmask the underlying facial skeleton. Facial fat transfer, or fat grafting, creates a more youthful contour, adding precise amounts of volume in depths and locations to smooth these transitions.

Fat transfer involves harvesting autologous (from your own body) donor fat, usually from the abdomen, purifying this donor fat, and then meticulously re-injecting this fat into the face to restore volume loss to give the patient a more youthful appearance. Fat can be processed in different sizes and textures to treat different issues, such as volume loss, wrinkles, acne scarring, and skin texture. 

Unlike with fillers or other volume-enhancing treatments, because the fat is taken from the patient’s own body, there is no risk of allergic reaction or rejection. 

What to Expect During Your Facial Fat Transfer Consultation

During the consultation, Dr. Lipin considers your unique facial structure, skin quality, and aesthetic goals. She provides personalized recommendations and discusses the potential benefits and expected results of facial fat transfer.

Dr. Lipin’s meticulous approach and attention to detail enable her to achieve beautiful, long-lasting outcomes, helping you achieve a more youthful and refreshed appearance. Dr. Lipin will commonly refer to photographs of the patient when they were younger to assess their volume status and review these images to ensure that she and the patient are aesthetically aligned.

Dr. Lipin specializes in advanced fat grafting procedures for the face. She utilizes her extensive knowledge and training to perform sophisticated and modern facial fat transfer techniques. By carefully harvesting and purifying your own natural fat, she can strategically inject it into targeted areas of your face to restore volume, enhance contours, and rejuvenate your appearance. Dr. Lipin will utilize microfat grafting or nanofat grafting depending on the patient’s anatomy and goals. Dr. Lipin’s artistic eye and meticulous technique ensure a youthful, natural-looking outcome that is never over-filled and is in balance and proportion with your facial features.

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Who is a Good Candidate for Facial Fat Transfer?

Good candidates for facial fat transfer are those who have facial volume loss and adequate amounts of fat in the abdomen, flanks, or thighs in order to harvest fat to utilize in this procedure. Additionally, fat transfer to the face always works best in a field of tight facial tissue—if there is drooping or laxity of the facial tissue, fat grafting should be performed with a tightening procedure, such as a facelift- as adding volume to an otherwise ptotic face will not lift the face and can actually weigh the face down.

A good candidate for facial fat transfer either has isolated facial volume loss with good elasticity of the tissue, or is undergoing additional procedures, such as a facelift. 

Taking fat from one area of the body and injecting it into the face, requires a healthy microenvironment at the recipient site to allow for new vessels to establish blood flow and oxygenation for this grafted tissue. Patients may have limited fat graft survival due to compromised facial microcirculation, which includes smokers, diabetics, and those who have had prior facial surgeries and some nonsurgical facial procedures, so it is important to be as forthcoming with Dr. Lipin as possible about all prior injectables and or skin tightening devices. 

Additionally, patients must be in good physical and emotional health, not smoke or use any form of nicotine-containing products, have realistic expectations about the healing process and outcome of surgery, and will work with Dr. Lipin and her team’s pre-operative and post-operative treatment regimen to ensure optimal healing and recovery. 

Facial Fat Transfer Frequently Asked Questions

Yes, the procedure is performed in a Northside Hospital operating room under either deep sedation or general anesthesia, monitored by a board-certified anesthesiologist. 

Dr. Lipin performs her surgeries at Northside Hospital Midtown, a state-of-the-art surgical facility.

Recovery from facial fat transfer will vary from patient to patient and depends on what other procedures were done concurrently. Typically, there will be some redness and possible bruising at injection sites, and the face will be puffy and swollen. Dr. Lipin often recommends taking 10-14 days off from work and other social activities as time is required for swelling to go down. Healing will continue over the next few months.