Facial Fat Grafting

We all lose facial volume due to age and our genetics. One of the most common concerns related to volume loss that we address is under-eye bags, which can make you appear more tired than you are. While fillers can camouflage transitions between areas of fat loss, facial fat grafting allows for total restoration of the lost fat.

Facial fat transfer is a minimally invasive cosmetic procedure that takes fat from different parts of the body to add volume to the temples, cheeks and lines around the mouth. Dr. Rankin can transfer fat from anywhere that you don’t want it, including the hips, thighs, and stomach. 

While facial fat grafting many times is limited only to the cheeks, at NorCal Plastic Surgery, we take a more holistic approach to restore all areas of volume loss including the temples, tear troughs, cheeks, and more. Many areas of the face are aesthetically linked. For example, when we restore the cheeks, we are also restoring volume in that area and it will improve the appearance of the tear trough. 

While dermal fillers can be a good temporary solution for filling in lost facial volume, facial fat grafting is a permanent solution that does not require consistent maintenance treatments. Dermal fillers need to be redone every three to twelve months and can be more costly over time than the one-time facial fat grafting procedure. Many seek dermal fillers because receiving them is less invasive compared to facial fat grafting, but fillers are a less sustainable option when you want long-lasting results. Facial fat grafting does not stop the aging process but you can expect to get results that last for 10-15 years.

Facial fat grafting is a three-step process. First, Dr. Rankin will use liposuction to harvest the fat cells from other parts of the body. This step of the process is minimally invasive and similar to any other liposuction procedure. Next, the fat cells will be placed in a centrifuge to be cleansed and processed. 

The third step is the injection process. Dr. Rankin will use a small cannula to transfer the fat cells into the cheeks and face. The fat cells will be strategically placed into areas of the face that lack volume until the desired effect is achieved. The desired effect is of course to look like a younger version of yourself and not someone else. 

At NorCal Plastic Surgery, we prefer to approach every one of our patients holistically. We review photos from when patients were ten to twenty years younger to best identify areas that require rejuvenation. We believe the point of fat facial grafting is not to augment but rather to restore the volume that was there formerly.

Recovery after facial fat grafting takes about one to two weeks. During your recovery, you should avoid strenuous exercise and putting pressure on your areas that were grafted – doing so can slow the healing process or damage the new fat. Many patients take a week off of work due to the swelling, redness, and soreness; however, some patients have been able to go back to work within three days after facial fat grafting. 

Bruising from the liposuction and injection sites should subside at around the two-week mark. You should not use ice during your recovery in order for fat cells to “take.”

A good candidate for facial fat grafting has significant volume loss or sagging in their cheeks. Some patients find that the permanence of facial fat grafting helps them more than fillers can. Ideal candidates should: 

  • Be overall healthy mentally and physically
  • Have realistic goals and expectations for facial fat grafting 
  • Be a non-smoker

The cost of facial fat grafting depends on how many treatment areas there are, the liposuction process, your location, and your provider’s experience. The average cost of facial fat grafting is $5,150. We will narrow down the price of your facial fat grafting procedure during your complimentary consultation.

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Before & After Gallery

You can view NorCal Plastic Surgery’s before and after photo gallery to see the remarkable results achieved by Dr. Rankin and our team of skin care experts and aestheticians. Click to see more real patient photos.

*Individual results may vary

Take the Next Step

Want to learn more about how Facial Fat Grafting can help you gain more confidence in your appearance? Schedule your consultation with a NorCal Plastic Surgery provider by calling (925) 856-4800 or filling out the consultation request form below. We look forward to helping you achieve your aesthetic goals.