What Is Autologous Fat Transfer?
Facial aging can commonly lead to loss of volume in various parts of the face. This can be especially noticeable around the cheeks and the lower eyelids, giving the appearance of sunken cheeks, lower eyelid bags as well as wrinkles and folds. Autologous fat transfer is a surgical procedure that elegantly uses a patient’s own fat to volumize and rejuvenate the face. Autologous fat transfer tends to be longer lasting than dermal filler injections.
Liposuction is first performed to harvest fat from the patient’s own body (most commonly abdomen or thighs). The fat is then processed and purified and then carefully injected into the face using minimally invasive cannulas. This allows for improvement of facial volume and smoothening of facial contours. The results of fat transfer are not permanent since facial aging continues over time and some of the fat may be absorbed by the body. However, subsequent treatments can be performed to provide maintenance of facial rejuvenation.
Fat transfer to the lower eyelids and midface is usually performed in patients already undergoing a lower blepharoplasty to provide a harmonious rejuvenation of the upper face. Patients may also elect to combine these procedures with upper blepharoplasty, brow of forehead lift, and skin resurfacing. At your one-on-one consultation with Dr. Shannon S. Joseph, she will work with you to build a personalized treatment plan tailored to your needs.
Surgical recovery varies from person to person, but most patients can return to work within a week after surgery. Most patients experience only mild discomfort and do not need strong pain medications. Following surgery, most patients will be seen in the office approximately 5-10 days later to evaluate healing. Because ~30% of the fat will be resorbed by the body over the first ~ 3 months, the goal is usually to overcorrect initially slightly, so the face will look full immediately after the procedure and will settle down as the swelling and fat become absorbed.
Please refer to our additional resources for general pre-operative and post-operative instructions.
Autologous fat grafting is considered cosmetic in most cases and not covered by medical insurance.
Schedule a Consultation
If you are interested in this procedure, please contact us to schedule a personal consultation with Dr. Joseph. She will listen to your concerns, perform a comprehensive assessment, and discuss with you a management plan tailored to your needs. We take care of patients from Troy, Birmingham, Bloomfield Hills, West Bloomfield, Rochester Hills, Rochester, and the rest of Metro Detroit and Southeastern Michigan.