The process of using fat from one part of the body to fill or add volume to another part of the body dates back to the 1980s. Over the past three decades, the process has been refined to be safer and more efficient. Fat transfers are now one of the hottest anti-aging cosmetic procedures, and they’re especially popular as a way to enhance a facelift. Our Nashville, TN, practice we are excited to offer patients the option of restoring fullness to the face and combatting the signs of aging.
What causes facial sagging?
As we age, we naturally start to lose fat and bone volume in our faces. This causes the cheeks to flatten, the nasolabial folds to deepen, and marionette lines to appear between the corner of the mouth and the chin. The loss of fat volume also allows the skin of the mid-face to droop. This can cause us to look tired and years older than our actual age.
Is fat transfer worth it?
Yes, many patients are very satisfied with their facial fat transfer results, giving it an 82% “worth it” rating on the RealSelf website. You can see some of our own patients’ results in our fat transfer before and after photos and in the Instagram post below:
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What is fat transfer?
With fat grafting, also known as autologous fat transfer, we use liposuction to harvest fat cells from the abdomen or thighs and then inject them into the face. The process adds volume to the cheeks and reduces the appearance of nasolabial folds and marionette lines. The result is a more youthful appearance; results last longer than other absorbable fillers.
Who is a candidate for a fat transfer?
Most patients choosing to undergo a fat transfer have some of the following issues that add years to their appearance:
- Facial creases
- Laugh lines
- Smile lines
- Crow’s feet
The process can also be used to fill in sunken areas, improve the contour of the face, or reduce the appearance of certain types of scars. Many men and women also choose fat transfer to enhance their facelift results. You can learn more about fat transfer with facelift surgery in our related blog post.
It is important that you be otherwise healthy and free of any circulatory problems. You must also have sufficient fat in other areas of the body where the cells can be harvested.
How long does the fat transfer procedure take?
The grafting process itself is performed using local anesthesia and takes approximately 1 hour to complete. Most patients are able to return to normal activities within a week. The visible swelling and bruising should resolve in about one to two weeks.
Important Considerations for Fat Transfers
The following are a few things to keep in mind when deciding if this procedure is right for you:
- Less chance of an allergic reaction
- Natural and long-lasting results
- Minimally invasive
- Little downtime
- Longer procedure than using pre-packaged dermal fillers
- Longer-lasting results than dermal fillers
- Costs more than dermal fillers
If you’d like to talk about your facial rejuvenation and fat transfer options with an experienced facial plastic surgeon in Nashville, use our online contact form to request a consultation. Or call us today at (615) 942-8016 for more information and to schedule a consultation.
Originally published June 2016; Updated October 2021.