Fat transfer to the face, also known as facial fat grafting, and lipofilling, can add volume and rejuvenate the face.  

What is Fat Transfer to Face Surgery?

As you get older, it’s natural to lose volume in the face. Fat transfer to the face works by taking fat from one area of the body, like your stomach or thighs, and transferring it to the face using fat grafting techniques. 

Fat transfer to the face is used to reverse the normal effects of ageing that can often result in a sunken and hollow appearance. By re-injecting fat into the face, it can significantly improve the appearance of the face by adding volume to sunken and hollow areas. 

Fat Transfer to Face: Quick Overview

What Happens During Fat Transfer to Face Surgery?

During the procedure, your surgeon will remove fat from the body using liposuction. This is usually from your thighs or stomach. Fat cells are then cleaned and processed. Next, the fat cells are injected into the selected facial area. The surgery takes between 30-45 minutes, using local anaesthetic. The results are long-lasting and natural. 

Facial fat transfer is a fantastic way to add volume to the face and tackle a stubborn area of the body at the same time. If you have ever considered dermal facial fillers, fat transfer to the face is another alternative that can add volume to the face without putting a foreign material into the body. 

Which Areas of the Face Can You Perform Fat Grafting?

You can perform facial fat grafting on several areas, including: 

  • Restore volume in the cheeks and chin 
  • Plump up the lips
  • Treat dark circles under the eyes 

Fat transfer is the only way to treat dark circles. If you use hyaluronic acid, it doesn’t reabsorb in the under-eye area quickly enough. Over time, you can see the product, and it can sometimes change the colour of the eyelid. 

Dark, hollow circles can appear due to the ageing of the face, but sometimes it’s just an unfortunate hereditary characteristic visible from a young age. To treat dark circles, your surgeon uses fat transfer techniques to the face. Using fat transfer, you can extract fat from one part of the body and fill in the problem area under the eyes. 

Before and after fat transfer to the face at The Harley Clinic, London

What are the Benefits of Fat Transfer to Face Surgery?

As no foreign substance is used during fat transfer surgery, the chances of an allergic response are much lower. Facial fat transfer surgery can offer several benefits, including: 

  • Rejuvenate facial appearance
  • Natural-looking results 
  • No chemicals or implants used 
  • Combat wrinkles and fine lines 
  • Add volume and contour the face 
  • Improve overall skin quality 

What Happens During Your Consultation?

If you think that fat transfer to the face is the right treatment for you, you will need to book a consultation to discuss your concerns, needs, and suitability for the procedure. During the consultation, your surgeon will talk you through the procedure, your goals, medical history, and what you hope to achieve. Your surgeon will then determine if you are a suitable candidate for the procedure.  

How Long Does it Take to Recover from Fat Transfer to Face Surgery?

Following your surgery, it’s normal to experience some swelling and bruising. After a few days, the swelling and bruising should subside. Most patients return to work 1-2 days after the surgery. You should avoid any strenuous activities for at least 2 weeks. It may take up to 3 months to see the final result as a percentage of the fat is likely to be reabsorbed by the face.  

Who is the Ideal Candidate for Fat Transfer to the Face?

You should be in good physical health with realistic expectations of the outcome. If you have any of the following, you may be a suitable candidate for fat transfer to the face:

  • Thin lips 
  • Dark circles under the eyes 
  • Laugh and smile lines 
  • Crow’s feet
  • Sunken cheeks 
  • Hollow or sunken facial appearance 

Before and After Fat Transfer to the Face

Before and after buccal fat removal and fat transfer to the tear trough/lower eyelids at the Harley Clinic

What is the Difference Between Facial Fillers and Fat Transfer?

If your main concern is a lack of volume in the face, then facial fat grafting may be a better solution. However, if you’re more worried about deep wrinkles and lines, then dermal facial fillers could be a better option. This is something you will discuss with your surgeon during your consultation. 

The main objective of dermal facial fillers and facial fat transfer is similar. They aim to add volume and rejuvenate the appearance. The difference between the two is that facial fat grafting is a more natural approach as you don’t use anything foreign in the body. It also lasts longer than dermal fillers. If your main issue is to do with fullness in the face, then facial fat transfer may be a better option. 

What to Expect After Fat Transfer to the Face?

After your procedure, you may experience some swelling. It’s common to feel some discomfort after the treatment, but this should wear off. You should expect to have a follow-up appointment with your surgeon 1-2 weeks after your procedure. 

Is Fat Transfer to the Face Painful?

Your surgeon will use an anaesthetic during the procedure, making it painless. You may have some mild discomfort after the anaesthetic wears off but this will subside. 

When Will You See the Final Result?

In general, you can start to see the final results after a few weeks. You will continue to heal over 2-3 months as the fat continues to distribute and settle in place. 

How Long Do the Results Last?

Between 50%-70% of the newly injected fat cells will settle in place. The results are long-lasting and will last for years. The newly placed fat will act like normal fat and will grow with weight gain. 

Is There Any Scarring?

The procedure is minimally invasive and uses very small incisions. Usually, no stitches are required and the procedure doesn’t result in any significant scarring. 

Why Choose the Harley Clinic on Harley Street in London?

What are the Possible Side Effects and Risks?

There are potential side effects and risks with any procedure. Possible side effects of facial fat grafting include:

  • Swelling 
  • Bruising
  • Infection 
  • Numbness
  • Initial fat injected may be reabsorbed by the body 

 To book a consultation today, please call 0203 582 4947 or email [email protected].