Fat Grafting


Fat Grafting

Fat Grafting to the Face


What is facial fat grafting? Does it help you look younger?

Facial fat grafting is a procedure whereby your own fat cells, stem cells and nutrients are extracted and injected to the face to help replenish volume, change structure and/or reverse ageing and scarring. It can be used as a main modality through structural fat grafting to beautify the face and/or replenish volume that ageing removes, such as with sunken cheeks or hollowed eyes. It can also be used as an adjunct for other procedures such as facelift, blepharoplasty, or rhinoplasty .


The advantage of fat grafts are numerous. It is a natural, long-lasting volumizing material which is your own, thus there is no risk of rejection.

There is also a lower risk of infection compared with artificial filler materials.The stem cells and growth factors contained in the aspirate have beneficial effects that help the fat cells to survive while also regenerating tissue and skin damage, reversing the appearance and effects of ageing.


How effective is fat transfer?

The fat and components are aspirated using liposuction techniques from areas of your body where there is excess, usually the abdomen and thighs, and are processed using a centrifuge to remove unwanted oil and blood (the Coleman technique). The purified extract is then injected carefully into predetermined areas and planes of the face in small parcels, also known as microfat and nanofat, which helps to maximize the survivability of these grafts.

The procedure can be done under general anaesthesia or local anaesthesia with sedation. The former is usually chosen when small volume fat grafting is done, while the latter is the anaesthesia of choice when larger volume fat grafting is necessary.

Ultimately, your preferences, the amount required and methods used can be discussed with your plastic surgeon, who will utilize his artistic eye to recommend the procedure most suited to your desires.

What are the side effects?

Complications with fat grafting, though uncommon, can happen. As the procedure involves liposuction, complications of liposuction including pain, infection, contour irregularities and damage to the deeper tissues can occur, though this is exceedingly uncommon. For the areas where fat is grafted to, though rare, there may be infection, irregularities, asymmetry and graft loss. These are usually easily corrected by a second minor procedure.

What can I expect after the procedure?

Fat Grafting to the Face

Post-procedurally, there may be mild pain and bruising at the fat graft harvest sites, which are usually well controlled with oral medication. The small puncture marks used to inject the fat usually heal very well by 1 week. There will be mild swelling at the sites where the fat has been transferred to, which usually settles after 2 weeks.

How long does the transferred fat last?

If injected well, you should expect about 70% of the fat volume transferred to remain, with the final result seen at 2-3 months after the procedure. This may mean your surgeon may recommend injecting slightly more fat at the initial sitting to help you achieve a long-lasting result and avoid the need for repeat procedures.

(See also fat grafting to breast)

Why choose Illumia Medical?

Our plastic surgeon has a special interest in facial and nasal anatomy and aesthetics, having taught at and attended numerous facial anatomy and rhinoplasty courses locally and overseas. He completed his aesthetic fellowship with prominent facial aesthetic and rhinoplasty surgeons in the UK, while observing extensively with aesthetic surgeons in Korea.


Our plastic surgeon believes in blending the best of the East and West to tailor make the exact procedure to meet your needs and desires.


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