Fat transfer for the face, also known as fat transplantation or fat grafting, is a minimally invasive procedure that utilizes the patient’s own fat to reduce wrinkles and fill recessed areas. Sadly, the inevitable aging process, sun damage, and genetics can negatively impact our facial volume. As the years pass, collagen and elasticity production declines, existing fat in the face atrophies and descends, and signs of aging creep up. However, a fat transfer for the face is a great way to reverse this. Strategically placed injections of fat allow patients to combat signs of facial aging naturally. Fat transfer involves extracting healthy fat cells from designated areas, purifying them, and injecting them into areas requiring additional volume.
Patients ready to gain noticeable, natural results can turn to Tehrani Plastic Surgery. For years, Dr. Tehrani and his staff have helped patients across Southern California and beyond accomplish an ideal aesthetic. Book your initial consultation to see how you can benefit from a beneficial procedure. Call our La Jolla or Apple Valley surgical offices at (760) 240-2444.
- 1 About Fat Transfer
- 2 What Can Be Treated with a Fat Transfer for Face?
- 3 Benefits
- 4 Candidates
- 5 Personal Consultation with Dr. Tehrani
- 6 Preparation
- 7 Procedure
- 8 Recovery
- 9 Results
- 10 Corresponding & Complementary Procedures
- 11 Cost of Fat Transfer for the Face in Southern California
- 12 FAQ
- 13 References
About Fat Transfer
Doctors have been taking fat from one area to another to correct congenital deficiencies and wounds since 1893. Numerous advancements have made the process easier to perform by doctors and more effective for patients. However, in 1987, Dr. Sydney Coleman developed a new way to conduct the procedure that offered more convincing, longer-lasting outcomes.  His ingenious solution for processing the donor fat allowed more fat cells to survive the transfer following a simple three-step process:
Remove fat: Use a thin cannula or specialized hypodermic needle to remove fat cells from area(s) with sufficient excess fat.
Purify fat: Process the newly extracted fat to isolate living, healthy, fat cells.
Reinject fat: Inject the fat in desired areas to volumize recessed facial features and smooth wrinkles.
Autologous fat is considered the golden-standard filler as it is all-natural, and has no risk of allergic reactions. Dr. Tehrani and the team at Tehrani Plastic Surgery have extensive knowledge and experience in creating only the best results for patients.
What Can Be Treated with a Fat Transfer for Face?
Patients experiencing uneven facial contours in these areas can choose a facial fat transfer treatment to emphasize their facial features, improve gaunt-looking areas, and smooth wrinkles.
- Under-eye area
- Neck and decolletage
A facial fat transfer allows patients subtle, natural-looking improvements to their appearance. This effective treatment harvests unwanted fat from the body to erase wrinkles, grooves, and volumize hollow areas. This anti-aging treatment can also:
- Contour the cheeks, lips, and other recessed areas of the face
- Eliminate wrinkles and fine lines
- Remove small amounts of fat from areas prone to storing stubborn fat deposits
- A quick treatment that can be done in less than an hour
- Provide longer-lasting results than injectables or cosmetics
- Little to no scarring
Those looking to eliminate any vestige of facial aging with a fast and effective treatment are excellent candidates. First, however, a preliminary meeting with Dr. Tehrani is necessary to determine if the treatment will benefit you.
Eligible Fat Transfer for Face in Southern California
- Healthy individuals without concerning health issues
- At or near an ideal weight
- Have sufficient fat in the donor area
- Seeking a natural, minimally invasive treatment
Personal Consultation with Dr. Tehrani
Dr. Tehrani is a board-certified plastic and reconstructive surgeon who takes pride in meeting patients’ expectations. Our Southern California surgical offices have state-of-the-art equipment and friendly staff ready to make a positive difference.
Your consultation with Dr. Tehrani is your chance to learn more about this simple treatment, and what kind of improvements to expect. First, he’ll gather information about your health, including surgical history. He’ll then want to learn about your aesthetic intentions, so please be open and honest about the results you wish to see. This information will help Dr. Tehrani evaluate your skin and identify areas to extract unwanted fat. After assessing each detail, he will give you his medical advice on how to quell wrinkles and plump sunken skin. If that includes a fat transfer for the face, he will explain the process step by step.
Inquire with Tehrani Plastic Surgery and schedule an informative consultation. Call
(760) 240-2444 to speak to one of our patient coordinators in La Jolla or Apple Valley.
Dr. Tehrani will give patients a detailed list of items to ensure an anxiety-free experience. Below are a few general instructions to complete before treatment. They include:
- Take a break from smoking: Smoking constricts blood vessels and inhibits your healing ability.
- Stop taking other medications: Dr. Tehrani may tell you to adjust your intake of NSAIDs, blood thinners, and vitamins because they can cause bleeding.
- Arrive at the office with a clean face: Refrain from using cosmetics, or moisturizers on the day of treatment.
Once settled in your treatment room, we’ll administer a local anesthetic in the donor area to ensure your comfort. Once the area is numb, Dr. Tehrani will remove the fat from the donor area. A thin cannula or needle is placed under the skin to remove a small amount of fat. 
Once the required amount of fat is removed, the donor area is wrapped in a compression garment to aid with healing, and the collected fat will then be sent through a centrifugation process, where it will be spun at a high rate of speed.  This helps separate healthy fat cells from unnecessary body fluids and other debris. The purified fat cells are then prepared in a syringe and injected into the targeted areas of the face.  Because not all of the fat cells injected will survive the transfer process, Dr. Tehrani is careful to inject an adequate amount of fat to ensure ideal results.
The minimally invasive nature of the treatment allows patients to enjoy a fast recovery. Discomfort is minimal, and most patients only require a day or two off to heal. Most patients are able to return to their social calendar in 1-2 weeks, at which point any swelling will have subsided. You’ll be able to manage any discomfort by taking the prescribed medications as directed. As the transferred fat settles into its new home, you should make sure not to place any pressure on your face, which may disrupt the fat cells. Patients can resume wearing makeup after 24 hours.
You can expect long-lasting, natural-looking results and a more youthful countenance. Once any mild symptoms are gone, you can look forward to more voluminous cheeks and lips, and smoother skin with diminished lines and wrinkles. Your new excellent results are yours to keep for years. In fact, studies have shown that more than 50% of the transferred fat survives for over 3 years. (3)
Corresponding & Complementary Procedures
Tehrani Plastic Surgery is pleased to offer patients various surgical and non-surgical transformations, and we may discuss a few of them at your consultation. They include:
Facelift treatments yield long-term rewards of a younger, refreshed appearance. It involves strengthening and adjusting the underlying layers of facial tissue and eliminating sagging, excess skin to improve signs of aging. Dr. Tehrani uses a range of surgical techniques to tailor every facelift to the patient’s unique anatomy and desires.
Patients who aren’t ready for surgery and want a temporary way to add volume to their face often select dermal fillers. These safe injectable cosmetics can be performed in just minutes, and offer significant benefits, including a way to combat pesky lines and wrinkles. Injectable treatments such as Juvederm XC and Restylane are made from a hyaluronic acid (HA) gel. HA occurs naturally in our bodies, where it works to retain moisture in the joints, the deep layers of our dermis, and other places that require moisture. When injected, patients see an immediate improvement from the addition of the gel. Within a few days, the HA attracts and binds to water molecules in the skin. This boost of moisture supports the underlying extracellular matrix, and allows for the production of new stores of collagen. Dermal fillers offer an exciting way to enjoy immediate results and gradual improvement. Plus, patients can return for touch-ups as needed to prolong their results.
Cost of Fat Transfer for the Face in Southern California
The final price will be reflected by the unique details surrounding your treatment. We’ll give you an estimated quote when you meet us for a consultation. Patients will also be directed to two financial resources to make treatment easier to fund. You can also call us ahead for a price range.
Should I get a fat transfer or dermal filler injectable?
Both treatments can improve the signs of aging. The one you choose depends on several factors. Patients with long-term goals of keeping a youthful countenance should select a fat transfer. However, those looking to achieve similar results with a faster, more convenient procedure select dermal fillers, which can also be more cost-effective. Scheduling a consultation with a plastic surgeon will determine which one is for you.
- Simonacci F, Bertozzi N, Grieco MP, Grignaffini E, Raposio E. Procedure, applications, and outcomes of autologous fat grafting. Ann Med Surg (Lond). 2017;20:49-60. Published 2017 Jun 27. doi:10.1016/j.amsu.2017.06.059
- Buckingham, E. (2015). Fat Transfer Techniques: General Concepts. Facial Plastic Surgery, 31(01), 022–028. https://doi.org/10.1055/s-0035-1544249
- SCARBOROUGH, D. A., SCHUEN, W., & BISACCIA, E. (1990). Fat Transfer for Aging Skin: Technique for Rhytids. The Journal of Dermatologic Surgery and Oncology, 16(7), 651–655. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1524-4725.1990.tb00095.x