Facial Fat Grafting

Facial fat grafting is a common cosmetic procedure that helps patients reduce signs of aging, augment their cheek contours, or fill in areas in the face that look sunken or creased. This form of permanent filler often yields long-lasting and natural-looking results.

Our highly experienced, board-certified plastic surgeons have performed thousands of cosmetic and reconstructive procedures. We invite you to book a consultation to discuss your goals and treatment options.

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Fat Grafting Can Correct:

  • Volume depletion in the cheeks and under the eyes

  • Facial asymmetry

  • Depressions in the nasolabial folds

  • Forehead grooves or depressions

  • Vertical wrinkles above the upper lip
  • Marionette lines

  • Small lips or lips lacking a defined cupid’s bow or white roll

It’s common to undergo volume loss in the face as we age. This particularly occurs in the temples, cheeks, and lower face. Tissue that remains tends to drift lower on the face due to gravity, skin laxity, and ligament stretching, creating droopy folds and sagging. While dermal fillers are a popular way to restore volume, fat transfer can also be used to restore facial volume.

What to Expect

Before your facial fat grafting procedure, we will meet to talk about your desired goals, medical history, and procedural techniques. We’ll also measure your face, take photographs, and will recommend a personalized treatment based on your desired outcomes and anatomy. During this consultation, we’ll also answer any questions you may have and will discuss potential risks or complications, sedation options, recovery time, and aftercare instructions.

In many cases, facial fat grafting can be performed under local anesthetic to numb the area. During the procedure, we’ll use a small tube to remove fat cells from the abdomen, hips, stomach, or thighs. Next, we’ll process the adipose tissue in a special centrifuge and extract only the healthiest and most viable fat cells. These fat cells with be carefully deposited using a small needle into facial areas and tissue planes where they will receive an adequate supply of blood and nutrients.

We perform facial fat grafting as an outpatient procedure at our accredited Northern Arizona SurgiCenter in Flagstaff.

Medical Review: This procedural information has been medically reviewed by plastic and reconstructive surgeon, Brian A. Cripe, M.D.

Facial Fat Grafting Recovery and Aftercare

To optimize healing, we ask our patients to follow these recovery guidelines after their procedure. If you notice increased redness, discharge, or pain near your incision, please give us a call right away.

Facial fat grafting patients usually feel ready to return to work and social activities within a week of the procedure. The procedure doesn’t require any incisions or sutures to take care of, because the fat is grafted through a tiny needle.

Light swelling and/or bruising are common and should completely subside within a few weeks. Please take it easy while you recover, and rest. Everyone heals at their own pace, and it’s important not to strain or participate in strenuous activities for four weeks after the surgery. Be gentle with the donor and graft locations, and avoid applying direct pressure to the grafted area in particular. Sleep on your back. If you notice increased redness, discharge, or pain near your incision, please give us a call right away.

Please note that fat volume loss is expected after fat grafting. Typically patients retain about 70% of the fat cells we graft, and subsequent fat grafting procedures may be necessary to meet your goals.

Facial Fat Grafting FAQs

Dermal fillers offer the advantage of being quick to administer in the office and require no recovery downtime. Whereas dermal fillers may need to be administered over time in repeat visits, facial fat grafting is a permanent cosmetic solution that will restore volume in the face for years to come. Fat is also softer, more natural, and doesn’t exert the same level of force on the skin as fillers. Patients who want to fill in undereye bags may be advised to receive lower eyelid surgery treatment instead of facial fat grafting based on their anatomy and goals.

Another key difference between facial fat grafting and dermal filler procedures is sedation. Dermal fillers require no anesthetic, whereas facial fat grafting may be performed under local anesthetic, or in some cases IV sedation or general anesthesia, particularly when combined with a full facelift procedure.

Facial fat grafting costs can vary greatly based on the procedure and practice. The national average procedural cost of facial fat grafting is around $3,500, plus charges for surgical facilities, anesthesia, and medications. Please set up a consultation with one of our surgeons to learn more about the procedure and to receive a personalized quote.

We generally like to perform facial fat grafting procedures on patients who are healthy, nonsmokers, and who don’t have medical conditions that impede wound healing. BMI is also a consideration. When you meet with one of our surgeons for your facial fat grafting consultation, we will discuss your goals and anatomy to determine which cosmetic procedures would be best suited to meet your unique needs.

At our practice, we offer interest-free financing options through Care Credit and PatientFi.

Facial fat grafting is often combined with a full facelift or mini facelift procedure. In these cases, the facelift tightens and lifts the skin, while fat grafting restores youthful volume in the face.

At our practice, we offer numerous non-surgical treatments that can help tighten skin, restore volume, sculpt the jawline, and reduce signs of aging in the face and neck. Popular non-surgical facial procedures include Botox and dermal fillers. Our highly trained and experienced aestheticians also offer laser skin resurfacing, microneedling, chemical peels, dermaplaning, facials, and hydrafacials.

You May Also Be Interested In:

  • Botox

  • Chemical Peels

  • Eyelid Surgery

  • Hydrafacial

  • Laser Skin Resurfacing

  • Mini Facelift

Book Your Fat Grafting Appointment

Our experienced, board-certified plastic surgeons have performed thousands of cosmetic procedures. We would love to bring you in for a consultation to discuss your desired outcomes and treatment options. Fill out this form to receive a call-back shortly, or give us a call at 928-774-2300.