Facial Fat Transfer

Latest update: June 09, 2024
Medically reviewed by: Jordan Frey, MD


Facial fat transfer is a minimally invasive process. It transfers body fat from the thighs, hips, and abdomen to the face to add fullness. The treatment boosts volume to hollow cheeks and sunken under eyes. It can also make lips fuller and smooth out creases or indented scars.

To perform the treatment, surgeons first obtain fat from an area of the body via liposuction. Once extracted, the fat is purified and then injected into the targeted areas. The treatment has an anti-aging effect. It lifts and smooths the skin and encourages collagen production. Besides adding volume to the face, facial fat transfer can give a youthful glow to the complexion.

Patients can have allergic reactions sometimes with fillers and implants. This treatment reduces this possibility as the fat injected into the skin is the patient's own body fat. It provides long-term results that look natural.

A licensed plastic surgeon performs the procedure. It takes less than a day, depending on how much fat is obtained.

During the first stage, surgeons will harvest the fat from the chosen area using local anesthetic and oral sedation. They will use a liposuction cannula to extract the fat to bring it to the second stage of purification. In this stage, professionals will add the collected fats to a centrifuge to filter out the impurities. The purified fat will then be transferred into syringes. The third and final stage is when the purified fats get injected into the desired areas of the face after local anesthetic.

After the procedure, there will be swelling and bruising, which can take ten days to heal. Patients can return to strenuous activities after 3-5 days. The results of the treatment will adjust over a few months before final results are visible. In the first 2-4 months after the treatment, the face may appear a bit puffy.

Most surgeons like to add extra fat as not all the injected cells will survive. In the 3-4 months stage, the volume of the face will be at its minimum. After 4-9 months, the remaining fat cells will plump up the skin for permanent results. 
local with oral
Operation Time
Inpatient Period
Number of Appointments
Recovery Period
1-2 weeks

Fat transfer Vs Fillers

Dr. Gavin Chan compares fat transfer to the face with fillers. He describes both procedures and talks about the pros and cons of each. He asks whether there is an advantage to using fat and tries to help people that are considering these procedures to make the decision that is best for them.

How Facial Fat Transfer Can Give You a Permanently Younger Appearance!

Dr. Amir Karam, a Facial Plastic and Reconstructive surgeon, talks about Facial Fat Transfer. He explains the reasons why this procedure is considered a major part of his practice's facial rejuvenation process. Dr. Karam talks through the steps of the procedure. He explains what patients can expect during and after the procedure with regard to results and shows before and after pictures.