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Does Fat Transfer to the Face Really Work?

While there are numerous methods for revitalizing the effects of facial aging, fat transfer stands out as a versatile option for many individuals desiring a subtle yet transformative enhancement. The fat transfer process, which has been utilized by plastic surgeons since the 1990’s, turns the patient’s own body into a recycling source of rejuvenation for a natural-looking outcome. Below, you’ll find details about how fat transfer to the face really works, along with the potential benefits of this innovative treatment. 

Fat transfer, also referred to as fat grafting or fat injections, continues to evolve in different ways—from the rear-enhancing Brazilian butt lift (BBL) to the trending “chin BBL” for a more defined jawline. However, one form of fat transfer that remains consistent is its effectiveness to provide fuller and/or more defined facial features. Fat transfer can help combat the effects of aging—such as a decrease in fat under the skin, thinning skin, and loss of muscle tone—that can lead to a loss of facial volume, sagging skin, and fine lines or wrinkles. The fat transfer procedure works by taking unwanted fat from one or multiple parts of the body (hips, abdomen, thighs, arms, back, or virtually anywhere) via liposuction, purifying it, and then reinjecting it into the desired area. Most commonly for facial enhancement, the fat is inserted into the nasolabial folds (smile lines), corners of the mouth, lips, vertical lip lines, chin, temples, and/or under the eyes. Newer surgical techniques and finer instruments have enabled small-particle fat transfer, typically leading to smoother and exceptionally natural-looking results for many patients. Our board-certified plastic surgeon in Houston, James F. Boynton, MD, FACS, utilizes microfat and nanofat techniques. Nanofat in particular may even be helpful for rebuilding structures that support the skin, offering a regenerating effect. These innovative ways of performing fat transfer procedures include a special system to rinse and clean the fat as well as break the particle size down with micronizers or emulsifiers. 

For both women and men, the fat transfer procedure can be beneficial for many reasons, including:

  • Restoring loss of volume or fullness in a variety of areas
  • Reducing excess fat that is resistant to diet and exercise in the donor area of the body 
  • Reducing signs of fine lines, wrinkles, and creases
  • Providing enhanced facial definition
  • Improving the appearance of a chin that is “set back” or small in size
  • Promoting tissue regeneration for the future

Fat transfer can also be used to complement facelift and eyelid lift surgeries, which only lift the tissues, by replenishing volume for a comprehensive enhancement. Additionally, the results of fat transfer are known to last longer than many dermal filler options, with less “touch-ups” necessary over time to maintain the outcome.

Having worked closely with many world-renowned experts in facial rejuvenation, Dr. Boynton is highly experienced in the latest techniques for facial fat transfer procedures. He recommends that individuals are in reasonably good general health and have enough excess fat cells in the area(s) for liposuction to be collected and transferred to the facial site to ensure the most successful outcome.

To learn more about cosmetic facial enhancement via fat transfer, or if you would like to schedule a personal consultation with Dr. Boynton, please contact us today.