Facial Fat Grafting

Two very common concerns that many women and men struggle with as they get older are a loss of facial volume resulting in an aged appearance, and small problem areas of unwanted fat. But what if you could take some of this stubborn fat and use it to enhance and refine the contours of your face? That is exactly the goal of facial fat grafting with Dr. Sethna.

What is Facial Fat Grafting?

Fat grafting is a minimally invasive surgery that takes fat cells from an area of the body with excess fat – for example, the abdomen, buttocks, or hips – and then uses the donor fat cells to increase fullness in another area. Dr. Sethna performs facial fat grafting, using your body’s natural fat cells to replenish facial volume that is commonly lost with age. It is important to note that approximately ⅓ of the fat that is injected will not survive the transfer process. This is why many patients will require at least two fat grafting procedures to get them to their final results.

Facial fat grafting works very similarly to fillers by increasing facial fullness, refining contours, and filling in facial folds or wrinkles to achieve a naturally younger appearance. Many patients love the idea of using their body’s own fat cells rather than fillers.

Dr. Sethna recommends facial fat grafting for women and men looking to…

  • Restore lost facial volume or increase fullness
  • Refine facial contours
  • Fill in moderate to severe facial folds and wrinkles, including:
    • Nasolabial folds (the “parentheses” at the corners of the nose and mouth)
    • Marionette lines (the vertical lines traveling downward from corners of the mouth)

What is the Fat Grafting Procedure Like?

You will have a private consultation with Dr. Sethna to discuss your specific concerns as well as your goal outcome. Based on your unique circumstances, Dr. Sethna will customize a procedure plan designed to provide you with your optimal and most natural-looking outcome. She will also provide you with detailed instructions for both before and after your surgery.

Your fat grafting procedure will be performed by Dr. Sethna, board certified facial plastic and reconstructive surgeon. This is a minimally invasive surgery that typically does not require sedation. Local anesthesia will most often be used to numb the treatment areas.

Facial fat grafting consists of two main steps.

  1. Collecting the Donor Fat. The first step is collecting the donor fat cells via small amounts of liposuction, a fat reduction procedure that removes unwanted fat cells through a cannula (a thin tube) attached to a surgical vacuum. Depending on your specific procedure, the donor area may be your abdomen, buttocks, back, or wherever you have a bit of excess fat to be used for your fat grafting. Dr. Sethna will carefully perform liposuction of this area to collect enough fat cells needed for your desired outcome. Once the fat is collected, it is then thoroughly cleansed and prepped for injection.
  2. Injecting the Fat Cells. Much like with fillers, a syringe is then used to reinject the fat cells beneath the skin. This will be done at specific injection sites that Dr. Sethna will mark depending on your goals and where you’re looking to increase fullness around your face (such as the cheeks, around the nose or mouth, etc.).

What’s Recovery Like After Facial Fat Grafting?

After your facial fat grafting procedure, you will be able to return home without any overnight stay at a hospital. Although general anesthesia may not be used in most cases, we recommend having a friend or loved one drive you home from your procedure.

Some bruising and swelling of the injection locations is to be expected. Bandages will be placed where liposuction was performed, and you may experience some soreness and discomfort of the area.

In most cases, patients should expect to take up to a week off work recovering from their fat grafting procedure. This will of course depend on where liposuction was performed, as well as the amount of fat that was taken.

Dr. Sethna will provide you with detailed care instructions and schedule any needed follow up visits in order to monitor your progress and ensure optimal results.

If you experience any unexpected side effects after treatment, please contact our office immediately.

What Can I Expect for my Fat Grafting Results?

  • Initial Results at… 3 weeks
  • Final Results at… 3 months
  • Results last… Permanent

Initially after your fat grafting procedure, you will immediately notice the change in fullness of the treated areas.

At first, your face will appear fuller than you may have anticipated. This is because your body will naturally absorb a portion of the injected fat during the first 3 months. Dr. Sethna is careful to inject just the right amount in order to achieve your desired outcome once the fat is absorbed. The remaining fat is relatively permanent, leaving you with very long-lasting results.

Schedule Your Consultation Today

Anita Sethna, MD, FACS is double board-certified in Head and Neck surgery and Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, with a passion for helping her patients to achieve their most confident, empowered, and youthful selves. To schedule your private consultation, please give our Atlanta office a call at 404-778-6880 or fill out our online contact form and we will get in touch with you right away.