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If you’re interested in enhancing facial fullness, building up shallow contours, or filling deep facial creases and wrinkles, you may want to consider fat transfer (also referred to as fat grafting). This procedure harvests fat from the patient’s own body and re-injects it into desired areas of the face. These injections can smooth out facial irregularities, including those resulting from injury, previous surgery, or natural age-related changes.

What is facial fat transfer?

Facial fat transfer is among the most exciting developments in aesthetics. Healthy fat cells are harvested from the waist, abdomen, buttocks, or hips, and sometimes even parts of the face. The fat cells are purified and prepared for injection. They are then injected to add volume to lips, cheeks, or other facial areas. 

This process ensures the transplanted fat is supplied with oxygen and nutrients from the surrounding tissues and can become viable in the new location. The grafted fat redevelops its own blood supply to survive. Research has shown that approximately 70 percent of transferred fat cells survive – for this reason, our facial plastic surgeon will inject an appropriate amount to compensate for the expected loss. Facial fat transfer is typically performed under local anesthesia and can take approximately one hour. The length of the procedure can vary depending on the size and volume of fat transferred. Some patients may require multiple fat transfers to achieve the desired enhancement.

What does facial fat transfer treat?

Many facial issues can be corrected or enhanced with a facial fat transfer. This modern approach to facial rejuvenation and restoration can achieve excellent outcomes for the following:

  • Correction of skin irregularities
  • Acne scars, facial divots, or dents
  • Deep folds and wrinkles
  • Augmentation of cheeks or cheekbones 
  • Chin augmentation 
  • Cheek augmentation
  • Lip augmentation
  • Restore lost volume in the temple areas

How is facial fat transfer performed?

Natural fat cells are harvested with a cannula (thin hollow needle), and a syringe. The fat is then purified to remove any blood or damaged fat cells. It is then delicately injected into various facial areas with a fine needle or cannula, with great precision.

  • Anesthesia: Only local anesthesia is needed
  • There are no incisions. A needle is used to create a pinpoint area to insert the microcannula for fat transfer

Recovery after facial fat grafting

You may experience tenderness, bruising, or swelling in the donor area and injection sites for up to 24 hours. Swelling, bruising, and redness can be expected, which fades over the next 48 hours. Use an ice compress to reduce swelling. Pain is minimal, but to ensure your comfort, you will have prescription pain medication for the early stages of healing. Swelling and bruising typically disappear within seven to ten days. You will have a compression garment to protect the donor area, which you will wear until temporarily after the procedure.

Fat cells typically take a few months to grow their own blood supply and settle down. For this reason, we will assess the results of the fat transfer in about three months. Once the body absorbs a portion of the fat (typically 20 to 50 percent) the remaining fat cells will be part of your face and will last a lifetime.

Facial fat transfer at-a-glance

  • Procedure time: one to four hours
  • Anesthesia: Local anesthesia and a numbing solution with epinephrine
  • Typical recovery time: 7 to 10 days
  • Can it be performed with another surgery? Yes. SculptLift, Facelift, neck lift, eyelid lift, BOTOX
Rousso Adams Facial Plastic Surgery Rousso Adams Facial Plastic Surgery

I had an awesome experience with Dr. Adams, his bedside manner is extraordinary. To me that is important, for a doctor to be dedicated to making sure you are 100% satisfied and that you don't feel like you're imposing by asking too many questions. He makes you feel as if you have known each other your whole lives. Dr. Adams is the best doctor I have ever dealt with. I am 1000% happy with my results and with Dr. Adams

Realself Review: Cheek Augmentation

Why choose Rousso Adams Facial Plastic Surgery in Birmingham?

As a world-renowned plastic surgeon specializing in the face and neck, Dr. Rousso has more than 30 years of experience and has gained worldwide recognition for his contributions to the fields of plastic surgery and hair restoration. Dr. Adams is double board-certified in facial plastic surgery and otolaryngology-head and neck surgery, making him an expert in facial anatomy. Dr. Rousso and Dr. Adams will never give you a result that looks artificial; your results will always look subtle, natural, and inherent. 

Our facility uses state-of-the-art medical equipment and many of our staff have been with Dr. Rousso for more than 20 years. We offer a patient experience above and beyond what you will find elsewhere, including concierge services on par with the best five-star hotels. Our friendly staff can help you arrange travel and hotel accommodations, lab appointments, sitters, aftercare, and many other services from start to finish. If you are considering a facial fat transfer in Birmingham AL, contact us today.


Where will the fat be taken from on my body?

The fat cells will be harvested from a body area with an abundance, such as thighs, abdomen, buttocks, or love handles, and sometimes even the face. There is often an added slimming effect in areas where the fat is removed.

How much fat will survive the transfer?

Our advanced process was developed to preserve the maximum number of viable cells, typically about 70 to 80 percent, with patient-to-patient variation.

Is facial fat transfer painful?

At Rousso Adams Facial Plastic Surgery, we ensure you are comfortable and free from pain throughout your treatment.

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