Patient Education: Fat Transfer

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What is Fat Transfer?

Fat transfer, also known as fat grafting or fat injection, is a cosmetic procedure that involves harvesting fat from one area of the body (in this case, the thigh, flank, or abdomen) and transferring it to another area (the face) to restore volume, improve contours, and address signs of aging.

Procedure Overview:

During the fat transfer procedure from your thigh, flank, or abdomen to your face:

  1. Harvesting: Fat is harvested from the chosen donor area using a minimally invasive liposuction technique. Small incisions are made in the donor area, and a thin cannula is inserted to suction out excess fat.
  2. Purification: The harvested fat is processed to remove impurities, excess fluids, and damaged cells. This purified fat is then prepared for injection into the face.
  3. Injection: The purified fat is carefully injected into specific areas of the face to restore volume, fill in wrinkles or hollows, and enhance facial contours. Your cosmetic surgeon will strategically place the fat injections to achieve natural-looking results and address your unique aesthetic goals.


Fat transfer from the thigh, flank, or abdomen to the face offers several benefits, including:

  • Natural results: Using your body's own fat tissue minimizes the risk of allergic reactions and produces long-lasting, natural-looking results.
  • Dual benefits: In addition to improving facial aesthetics, liposuction of the donor area can help contour and sculpt the thigh, flank, or abdomen, providing a comprehensive cosmetic enhancement.
  • Customizable outcomes: Your cosmetic surgeon can tailor the fat transfer procedure to address your specific concerns and achieve the desired facial rejuvenation effects.


After the fat transfer procedure:

  • You may experience swelling, bruising, and mild discomfort at both the donor site and recipient site (face).
  • It's essential to follow your surgeon's postoperative instructions carefully, including wearing compression garments, avoiding strenuous activities, and taking prescribed medications to manage pain and reduce the risk of infection.
  • Most patients can resume normal activities within a week or two, although full recovery may take several weeks to months as swelling subsides and the final results become apparent.

Risks and Considerations:

While fat transfer from the thigh, flank, or abdomen to the face is generally safe, it's essential to be aware of potential risks and considerations, including:

  • Risks associated with liposuction, such as bleeding, infection, contour irregularities, and anesthesia risks.
  • Possibility of fat resorption: Not all transferred fat may survive, and some degree of volume loss may occur over time, necessitating additional touch-up procedures.
  • Unrealistic expectations: While fat transfer can enhance facial volume and contours, it may not achieve the same level of improvement as surgical procedures like facelifts or implants.


Fat transfer from areas such as the thigh, flank, or abdomen to the face is an effective and minimally invasive option for facial rejuvenation, offering natural-looking results and dual benefits for both the face and donor areas. By undergoing this procedure with a board-certified cosmetic surgeon experienced in fat transfer techniques, you can achieve the youthful, refreshed appearance you desire.

If you have any questions or would like to schedule a consultation to discuss fat transfer in more detail, please don't hesitate to contact our office. We're here to support you every step of the way on your cosmetic enhancement journey.