Fat Grafting

Fat Grafting

If you’ve heard of dermal fillers, you’re familiar with the general idea of fat grafting. Fat is injected beneath the skin to achieve cosmetic or reconstructive goals after being harvested from areas where fat is unwanted or unneeded. On this page, you can learn more about what fat grafting is, how it works, and what to expect from the procedure. If you’re ready to get started, reach out to the knowledgeable team of professionals at Plastic & Reconstructive Surgery – a division of U.S. Dermatology Partners to schedule a consultation visit.

What Is Fat Grafting?

For those who are looking for a minimally invasive way to significantly improve their facial appearance, fat grafting may offer an ideal solution. Unlike other kinds of fillers made from synthetic solutions, fat grafting uses the patient’s own fat stores to achieve the desired results, making it a safer option in many cases. The process is completed in two parts. The first is liposuction, which removes fat stores from an area where there is excess, typically the thigh or hip. Once the fat is removed through liposuction, it is processed and injected into the face where the fat can be shaped beneath the skin to plump up wrinkles, fine lines, and concave scars. Fat grafting may also be used to redefine or reshape certain facial features.

Benefits of Fat Grafting

Fat grafting is a safe and versatile procedure. It uses biocompatible materials harvested from the patient’s body. This means people are less likely to experience adverse reactions following fat grafting, making it one of the safest ways to achieve a smooth, full, plump, youthful appearance. Fat grafting may be recommended to smooth out skin that has lost fullness due to aging, or fat can be injected to reshape facial features. In addition to improving the patient’s appearance, fat grafting can also be used to plump up concave areas of skin that have been damaged and scarred.

Recovery After Fat Grafting

There are only mild side effects during healing from a fat grafting procedure. In most cases, patients return to their regular activities the day after their procedure. After the first few days, swelling, bruising, and other common symptoms of this treatment should be reduced or completely resolved. Once the desired results are achieved, patients typically maintain these results for life. However, it’s important to remember that the natural fatty tissues injected under the skin are still subject to being lost if the patient loses weight. For this reason, it’s often recommended to wait until the patient is at or near their goal weight before pursuing fat grafting. Gaining weight may also impact the results of facial fat grafting as can changes in facial shape related to aging.

Risks Associated with Fat Grafting

One of the many benefits of fat grafting for facial rejuvenation is the safety of this procedure. The few side effects and risks related to this treatment are very mild. The majority of patients will simply experience minor bruising, swelling, and discomfort. Others may experience more advanced symptoms like severe bruising (hematoma) and changes in sensation near the treatment site.

Some patients develop more serious side effects following fat grafting, including:

  • Bacterial infection
  • Fatty cell necrosis
  • Blood clots
  • Fat embolism
  • Deformity

More severe side effects are rare, especially when fat grafting procedures are performed by an experienced and qualified cosmetic surgeon.



Sam DeVictor, MD

Sam DeVictor, MD

Board-Certified Plastic Surgeon
Sam DeVictor, MD Request a Consultation “I believe in symmetry, balance, and aging beautifully; helping you achieve the health, wellness, and aesthetics unique to you.” - Dr. Samuel DeVictor PROCEDURESFeatured Procedures Deep Plane Facelift A deep plane facelift delivers more natural-looking and longer-lasting facelift results through the repositioning of deeper face tissues. Rhinoplasty Rhinoplasty is surgery that changes the appearance…