What Is Facial Fat Grafting?
While dermal fillers have become a popular cosmetic procedure, once you decide the look you want, a longer lasting solution can save you time and money. An alternative to injectable dermal fillers used by double board-certified facial plastic surgeon Dr. Eugene "Gene" Alford to add volume to the face is a fat transfer (also known as fat grafting, fat transplantation, or fat injection). Facial fat injections involve performing liposuction to suction out small amounts of excess fat from the body, usually from the abdomen or flanks. The fat is then processed in a centrifuge to separate the actual fat from any other substances for purity, and then injected into the chosen areas of the face for the desired volume increase. Since this type of filler comes directly from your own body (autologous fat), there is no chance of rejection, which happens in a small percentage of patients who use synthetic wrinkle fillers and relaxers (Juvéderm®, Restylane®, BOTOX®, and others). Schedule your consultation at Alford Facial Plastic Surgery in Houston, TX to learn more about the benefits of fat injections for the face.
"Dr. Alford is my favorite doctor of all time, and I've had a LOT of doctors. When others docs told me there was nothing they could do to repair my nose after cancer resection caused it to deviate and sit beneath my eye, he scoffed and said he could help. His life experiences have made him a doctor with rare insight into what his patients are experiencing ... losing the life we once had, handling depression, and trying to make the most of what we have. He is a kind and gentle man but tells the truth about expectations. I cannot say enough good things about him. If you have found him and decide to be one of his patients, you are a lucky person indeed."- S.H. / Google / Apr 06, 2018
"Gene Alford is always honest and trustworthy, which is why I respect his opinion."- Anonymous / Office Visit / Jan 15, 2018
"Facial and Nose Reconstruction - Dr. Alford is my favorite doctor of all time, and I've had a LOT of doctors. When others docs told me there was nothing they could do to repair my nose after cancer resection caused it to deviate and sit beneath my eye, he scoffed and said he could help. He has been involved in four reconstructive surgeries (so far) to piece my face back together, the last of which (Phase 3 of a forehead..."- S. / RealSelf / Apr 06, 2018
"Dr Alford has been my ENT for almost 20 years. I would not ever see anyone else! He is very high skill, highly compassionate and great bedside manner."- T.F. / Google / Mar 30, 2018
"Dr Alford did an amazing job with my recent neck and face lift. I am 57 yo and wanted to have the surgery done before it was so evident I needed it. I had very slight bruising after 3 days, i am so happy and my face looks 20 years younger, without looking like I had anything done. He has skill in determining how to make the face and neck look more youthful by adding back fat to areas which have recessed due to age. My profile looks like my photos from age 35."- D.F. / Healthgrades / Mar 29, 2018
The facial fat transfer procedure is performed in Dr. Gene’s office operating room in conjunction with the needed liposuction under anesthesia. Most fat transfers take about 2 – 4 hours, including the liposuction, fat purification, and fat injections. With a very careful technique, Dr. Gene produces beautiful results restoring the needed areas of the face, including filling in laugh lines, smile lines, crow’s feet, acne scars, pits, plus adding volume to the lips, cheeks, and temples.
Facial fat injections are usually performed as an outpatient service, so you will be able to leave as soon as you feel able after your surgery under the supervision of a responsible friend or family member. You should schedule a follow-up appointment at Dr. Gene’s office for 7 days after your surgery to have any stitches or bandages removed. Dr. Gene will also assess your recovery, results, and give further care instructions. Most patients take about 7 days to recover from fat injections to the face, but this will vary depending on the amount of fat involved.
The longevity of this option varies from several months to forever, depending on the surgeon’s skill, the location of the injections, and your body’s unique response. A small amount of fat will be re-absorbed by the body after the injection, so Dr. Gene typically adds more fat to get your best final results. A skilled facial plastic surgeon like Dr. Gene will very carefully inject the fat so it can establish a connection to the blood supply, which will make the results last longer. If you notice your volume decreasing over the years, you may schedule a touch-up treatment at Alford Facial Plastic Surgery.
What Do Fat Injections Cost?
The cost of facial fat injections includes liposuction and the fat transfer, which usually costs around $2,000 - $5,000. The price will depend on the amount of fat being used and if any other surgeries are combined with the fat transfer.
Plan Your Procedure
- Average Cost
- $2,000 - $5,000
- Recovery Time
- 1 Week
- Average Procedure Time
- 2 - 4 Hours
- Post-op Follow-up
- 1 Week
- Procedure Recovery Location
Facial Fat Injections FAQs
- Acne scars
- Crow’s feet
- Decreased lip volume
- Decreased mid-face volume
- Facial asymmetry
- Facial hollows
- Laugh lines
- Moderate to severe facial creases
- Moderate to severe lines
- Moderate to severe wrinkles
- Smile lines
Facial fat grafting is best for patients who have excess fat on their body that they would like removed plus areas of their face that need volume. If you do not have enough fat for your goals, fillers and facial implants can be considered.
Incisions and Scars?
Any incisions made for liposuction will be small, and Dr. Gene makes them in areas that are less visible or easily concealed. The fat injections to the face should not leave any permanent marks, although patients may have some redness, swelling, and bruising for a few days after the procedure.
Facial fat injections may be enhanced with fillers like Juvéderm®, Restylane®, Sculptra®, and Voluma® and/or BOTOX® wrinkle relaxer treatments. A fat transfer also matches well with face and neck liposuction, cheek implants, and a chin implant.