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How Does a Facial Fat Transfer Work?

Apr 01, 2023
How Does a Facial Fat Transfer Work?
If you’re ready for plumper lips, fuller cheeks, and smoother skin, a facial fat transfer could be the answer. Learn how this safe, minimally invasive treatment can help you reach your aesthetic goals.

Have you been dreaming of plumper lips, fuller cheeks, and smoother skin? A facial fat transfer offers a safe, minimally invasive way to achieve your aesthetic goals with results that can last for a decade or longer.

At Advanced Specialty Associates in Baxter and St. Paul, Minnesota, our board-certified facial plastic and reconstructive surgeons use facial fat transfers to address many cosmetic concerns, including:

  • Deeper wrinkles and line
  • Shallow facial contours
  • Facial asymmetry
  • Thinning lips
  • Sagging skin and eyelids
  • Dark under-eye circles
  • Sunken cheeks 
  • Poorly defined cheekbones
  • Hollowed areas

If you’re interested in an all-natural approach to enhancing your appearance, a facial fat transfer could be for you. Here’s a closer look at how this minimally invasive therapy works and if the procedure is right for you.

Understanding facial fat transfers

During your fat transfer, your surgeon removes fat from another area on your body using liposuction techniques. Because the cannulas, or thin tubes, are so small, you generally only need local anesthetic. 

The cannula gently pulls fat from the donor area, usually the stomach, buttocks, hips, or thighs. Next, the extracted fat gets processed, which removes excess fluid, dead skin cells, and other biological debris. 

Your Advanced Specialty Associates provider then injects the prepared fat into the areas of your face you want to enhance. This innovative cosmetic technique provides natural-looking results.

Understanding what happens after your facial fat transfer

After your facial fat transfer, you can expect a relatively short recovery period. In the days following your treatment, you’ll have some bruising and swelling in both your face and the area from which the fat was taken. 

You may also have some soreness or mild pain or discomfort. These issues can usually be managed with over-the-counter pain medications, but you can talk to your Advanced Specialty Associates provider if you’re concerned. 

These minor side effects usually resolve within a few weeks of your facial fat transfer surgery. The bruising and swelling will begin to clear, and your results will slowly appear. 

During this time, you should take it easy and avoid strenuous exercise. Keep in mind that it can sometimes take a second fat transfer to achieve your desired results, since your body can absorb some of the fat. 

Once the body adjusts and the results finalize — which usually takes about 6 months — the results usually last at least 5-10 years. Sometimes, the results are permanent.

Candidates for facial fat transfers

Most healthy adults are good candidates for facial fat transfers. However, your Advanced Specialty Associates provider will review your medical history, lifestyle factors, and evaluate your skin and areas of donor fat before recommending treatment. 

Generally, good candidates share these traits:

  • Are in good overall health
  • Aren’t a smoker 
  • Have enough body fat for donation
  • Want subtle, natural-looking results using all-natural materials
  • Have realistic expectations for treatment

To learn more about facial fat transfers and to see if this treatment could help you, book an appointment online or over the phone with Advanced Specialty Associates today.