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Facial Fat Transfer 

As we age, we lose volume. Imagine a baby, brimming with youth, and the full features and soft transitions of the face. As time and gravity exert their effects, these transitions become more pronounced as soft tissue volume slowly dissipates. The transition from face to lip (the nasolabial fold or melolabial fold), the junction of the lower eyelid and cheek (the nasojugal fold, or “tear trough”), and the progression of the jowl to the chin (the marionette line), all tend to become accentuated by shadow as we age. Elsewhere on the face, full cheeks may lose their prominence, and lips may seem to thin and wrinkle. Restoring volume to smooth these transition zones and to refill areas where fullness has been lost is a wonderful solution that minimizes the effects of age, and restores youth and beauty. There are a variety of “fillers” that can be used to replenish lost facial volume: injectable fillers, such as Restylane and Juvederm and Belotero, and your own tissue filler, fat. Fat cells can be harvested as fat grafts from your own body and injected to smooth wrinkles and other areas in need of volume.

Need more information? 

If you would like to learn more about having a facial fat transfer technique that will suit you best, we invite you to meet with Dr. Nabil Fakih for a private consultation at our office.


Please contact us to schedule an initial consultation with Dr. Nabil Fakih to make an appointment. You may also fill out our contact form to make an appointment.

What is Fat Transfer from your Abdomen to your Face? 

Fat Transfer has added a whole new dimension to cosmetic surgery. By using your own undesired fat from your abdomen or undesired fat zones in your body to fill in areas on the face. With this fat transfer, we can plump up the cheek bones, define a jaw line, improve the hollow look underneath the eyes and more. As a conclusion, it is a liposuction from another area and lipofill it in your face.


• Wrinkles and folds

• Areas of volume loss of the face


• Restores volume with your own natural filler

• Fat takes as a graft

• Long lasting


• Fat Grafts to Nasolabial Folds and lips

• Fat Grafts to Glabellar Lines

• Fat Grafts to Eyelids, Tear Troughs

• Fat Grafts to Cheeks


• Length: 30 minutes to 2 hours

• Back to Work:

1 to 3 days (isolated fat grafts, mild)

7 to 14 days (moderate or substantial fat grafts)

• Return to Exercise:

4 to 7 days (light cardio)

2 to 3 weeks (more strenuous exercise)

Who is a candidate for Facial Fat Transfer? 

Every patient could be candidate for fat transfer. All patient with body excess fat in another areas could be liposuctioned and injected in another areas in the face. It is used for deep wrinkles and folds and in areas of volume loss of the face.


What should I expect from my consultation? 

During your consultation, you will learn about the surgery, its limitations and risks, and discuss your needs and concerns. This will help Dr. Nabil Fakih understand your expectations and determine whether they realistically can be achieved. Dr. Nabil Fakih will carefully examine your face to assess the shape and detect asymmetries and determine what type of procedure would best maximize your result. You and Dr. Nabil Fakih will discuss your goals for surgery using state of the art 3D Imaging which allows patients to see how they would look like.

After your consultation we will take photographs for your medical record and we will discuss the surgery fees and scheduling dates. You should come to the consultation prepared to discuss your medical history. Also provide information about any medical conditions, drug allergies, medical treatments you have received, previous surgeries and medications that you currently take. It is important for you to provide complete information.


Fat Transfer Technique 

Known as autologous fat transplantation, fat transfer, autologous fat grafts, or micro-lipo injection, fat cells are gently removed from the abdomen, thighs, or buttocks, prepared as fat grafts, and transferred to problem areas of the face or elsewhere. Fat transfer or autologous fat grafts can be used to rejuvenate the face by softly filling folds and wrinkles, to restore volume to your lips, to highlight cheek areas that have become less pronounced, and to fill areas in need virtually anywhere on the body. Fat grafts can be used to refresh tired, aged hands, and can also be used to replenish or add volume to arms, buttocks, and elsewhere. As fat grafts are fat cells from your own body, it is the most natural filler choice. Fat grafts are often performed in conjunction with other procedures, such as liposuction, facelift, blepharoplasty (eyelid lift), and other facial and body plastic surgery procedures.

The fat cells are removed using a very small cannula, or tube, and are then carefully prepared as fat grafts. The fat grafts are then transferred to into an area of wrinkling or hollowness using a small needle. Because these fat graft cells are your own, they will not be rejected. Although some resorption is possible, fat grafts last considerably longer than most fillers. As the fat grafts will be “accepted” by the tissue to which they are introduced by the local blood supply, the fat grafts are ultimately incorporated as soft, natural tissue that is indistinguishable from the native soft tissue in the area. Depending upon your needs, the fat graft procedure takes between 30 minutes (for very mild corrections) and 3 hours (for more substantial volume restorations). When performed as an isolated procedure, fat grafts can be performed under local anesthesia or general anesthesia. More often, the fat transfer or autologous fat graft process is combined with another cosmetic surgery procedure.

What May be Achieved With Fat Transfer? 

A multitude of areas can be enhanced. Lips can be augmented, the nasolabial folds can be filled, hollows under the eyes can be filled, and cheekbones and jaw lines can be made more prominent. It has also been used effectively to improve atrophic aging of the hands, and post-surgical and post-trauma defects.

The net effect of Fat Transfer is a more natural rejuvenation without any hint of a “stretched” look. By using one’s own tissues, allergic reactions and side effects that can be seen with other filling materials are minimized. Improved contour of the donor area is an added benefit. Some patients choose to proceed with contour liposuction on various areas as well.

Fat transfer is long lasting but results vary for each individual patient. People metabolize the transferred fat at different rates. Different recipient areas respond differently to injected fat. For example, cheeks ten to hold onto fat better than the mouth area. Fat transfer can last from 4 months to years on many patients. Fat transfer can be repeated if necessary and results can be further enhanced with other injectable fillers. 


Types of Fat Grafting 

We have 4 Types of Fat Grafting, and they depend on the processing method after harvesting. Microfat (small parts of fat injected with cannula) that act as volumization fillers to fill and give volume to areas with volume loss. SNIF (small parts of fat injected with needle) that acts as a small filler to improve areas with deep creases. SNIE (small micro-emulsified fat injected with needle) that acts as a extra-small filler to improve areas with superficial creases. Nanofat (Adipose derived Stem Cells) that acts to rejuvenate the skin, enhance dark circles around eyes, and improve scars. 


What to avoid before surgery? 

It is vitally important to avoid all blood thinning medications/supplements for 2 weeks prior to surgery. This includes any aspirin or aspirin-containing products as well as any anti-inflammatories such as ibuprofen or naproxen (including Motrin, Aleve and Advil). It is generally fine to be take Tylenol (Acetaminophen). Avoid supplements such as Vitamin E including multi vitamins, omega 3 fatty acids such as fish oil and flax seed oil. You will be given a complete list of medications/supplements to avoid at your pre op. All these medications can contribute to bleeding problems following surgery and can increase the amount of bruising.



All our patient are prepared by Dr. Paula Martin-Marfil with the Pre / Post surgical preparation program to enhance a quick recovery. Following fat graft procedures, you will go home on the same day. If the fat grafts are performed as an isolated procedure, Dr. Nabil Fakih suggests taking two or three days before returning to work, however many are able to return to work the following day. When the fat graft procedure is used to correct moderate or substantial lines, folds, or areas of deficiency, or in conjunction with other facial or body contouring procedures, the return to work may range from seven to fourteen days. Swelling is very common after fat transfer or autologous fat grafts, and often resolves after two weeks, however it may take up to 12 weeks for the final results of the fat graft procedure to be evident. Light aerobic activity (elliptical, walking, bicycle) may be resumed as early as four to five days following fat grafts, and more strenuous activity is begun at two to three weeks.

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