Fat Transfer to Face
in Chicago

What is a fat transfer to face?

A beautiful brunette woman with a nice facial structure to symbolize what a fat transfer to face can achieve.

Facial fat grafting is the process of injecting fat into the face for facial rejuvenation and volume restoration. It can address the loss of volume which occurs with age, as well as improves lines and wrinkles of the face.

Candidates for fat grafting

You may be a candidate for facial fat grafting if you feel a loss of volume or increased wrinkling in your face over time, including the temples, tear troughs, cheeks, nasolabial folds, marionette lines, chin, or eye area. Fat can usually be used in any area where you may consider filler as an option.

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What Areas of the Body Can Fat Be Taken From to Complete a Facial Fat Transfer Procedure?

Fat can be harvested from many different areas depending on the individual. The most common places to harvest fat from are the abdomen, flanks (sides), or thigh area. This fat is then processed and injected into the face for volume restoration.

What Areas of the Face Can Be Treated with a Fat Transfer?

Fat is used to restore volume and improve lines and wrinkles associated with aging. Fat can be used to treat the following areas:

  • Temples
  • Tear Troughs
  • Cheeks
  • Nasolabial folds or smile lines
  • Marionette lines
  • Chin area
  • Eye area

Benefits of Fat Grafting

Fat grafting is a natural approach to restoring volume in the face. Using your own fat can be a more desirable approach, as some patients prefer to use a natural product rather than filler. Fat is unpredictable, meaning that some may be reabsorbed by the body, but what does remain after a few months’ time should last forever.


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Fat Grafting vs. Dermal Fillers

A blonde woman getting a dermal filler injection by a doctor in her cheek.

Fat grafting and dermal fillers can both help with facial rejuvenation. Fat is a great option the provides natural results. Fat can be less predictable than filler, meaning that some can be reabsorbed by the body. However, whatever is not absorbed will remain and should last a lifetime. This is an attractive quality, as fillers are temporary and will go away with time. Filler can be a nice option for patients who don’t need much volume or patients who would like less downtime as fat grafting is a small surgical procedure. Although there is a little more involved with the fat grafting procedure, it is still a procedure that can take place in the office under local anesthesia with relatively little downtime.

How is a Facial Fat Transfer Procedure Performed?

The fat is harvested via a handheld liposuction approach. The fat can be taken from any part of the body where excess fat is stored. Usually, the abdomen, flanks, or thighs are a good area for harvesting. The fat is processed and injected into the face.

Does a Facial Fat Transfer Require Anesthesia?

The fat grafting treatment can take place in the office under local anesthesia. It is also possible to go to the operating room for this procedure, but not necessary. The first step is to numb the areas, which is the only part of the treatment that can be a bit uncomfortable.

Recovery after fat transfer

Recovery from this procedure is minimal. You may feel some discomfort from the area where liposuction was performed, as well as some soreness of the face. It is always possible to have some bruising and swelling, but possible to cover this up quickly after the procedure.

Possible side effects of fat transfer

Fat grafting is very safe. There is a very small risk of infection or fat necrosis, but this is unlikely. You can have some bruising and swelling, but this should also be minimal. Fat can be reabsorbed by the body, so it is possible that you may require a touch-up procedure or additional filler for smaller areas that have not been completely corrected with fat.

Facial Fat Grafting FAQ

What is facial fat grafting?

Facial fat grafting is a process for restoring volume to the face that can also create a smoothing and lifting effect. This is an easy procedure that can be done under local anesthesia in the office. It can be a great alternative to facial fillers, as it is more permanent.

What is the difference between facial fat grafting and facial fillers?

Facial fat grafting is a procedure where we remove fat from areas of the body where it is unwanted, most commonly the abdomen and flank and transfer it to the face. The fat is injected into the desired areas of the face. The results tend to last much longer than the standard 1 year with fillers, but can fluctuate with excessive weight loss or gain. While fillers utilize a temporary Hyaluronic Acid dermal filler, fat grafting utilizes your own fat. With fat grafting, about 50-60% of the fat cells will remain and 40-50% of the fat can be reabsorbed by the body. Final results are typically noted about 6-8 weeks after the procedure.

Schedule A Consultation

If you are interested in restoring volume to your face with fat grafting, contact Northwestern Specialists in Plastic Surgery. Call us at 312.266.6240 to schedule a consultation with Dr. Schierle or Dr. Fine. Our practice serves Chicago, IL and surrounding areas