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 very little risk for 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.
"Gene Alford is always honest and trustworthy, which is why I respect his opinion."- Anonymous / Office Visit / Jan 15, 2018
"Dr. Alford had to rebuild my daughter's nose after she fell face forward wearing a 40 lb. backpack. He had to take some cartilage from her ear to create a new septum, and reshaped the exterior to a more pleasing shape. It was a lengthy surgery that was a bit nerve wracking for me. I highly recommend him and would go to no other doctor for ENT issues."- Anonymous / RateMDs / Oct 31, 2019
"Dr. Alford is not only an amazing surgeon but he’s an amazing human who has forever impacted my life and in some ways saved it. I had to have major reconstructive surgery from horrible choices I was making that was killing me and he helped build my face back. He’s was and will always be a strong force in my life to make sure I don’t ever go back to my old life. I’ll FOREVER be grateful for that man."- A.K. / Facebook / Oct 18, 2019
"This Physician is the best in Houston. He really cares about his patients, has a great bedside manner, and has innovative treatments and procedures that he provides for all patients. Dr. Alford is someone I would recommend."- S.S. / Facebook / Oct 18, 2019
"He is an excellent doctor and very nice person :-)"- S.W. / Facebook / Oct 17, 2019
The facial fat transfer procedure is performed in Dr. Gene’s procedure room in conjunction with the needed liposuction under local 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, temples, and eye lids.
You will be able to leave as soon as you feel able after your procedure under the supervision of a responsible friend or family member. A follow-up appointment at Dr. Gene’s office will be scheduled for 5 – 7 days after your procedure. At that time, Dr. Gene will assess your recovery, early results, and give further care instructions. Most patients take less than a week to fully recover from fat injections to the face, but this will vary depending on the individual, how they heal, and the amount of fat transferred.
The longevity of facial fat transfer can vary from patient to patient, depending on their individual healing response, the fat transfer technique used, and the volume of fat placed. 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, will depend on the amount of fat being used and if any other surgeries are combined with the fat transfer.
Plan Your Procedure
- 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.