Fat Transfer to Face: A Way to Fight Back Against Age

As time goes by, signs of age creep in. Wrinkles deepen; lips lose their fullness; the cheeks hollow out. Looking into the mirror, you may discover that the face looking back doesn’t reflect the age you feel. With progress in today’s medical realm, temporary fillers are slowly being replaced by fat transfers to the face, giving you a permanent solution to the fight against aging.

What are the advantages of fat transfers to the face?

For years, temporary corrections to facial aging have been available in trusted derma fillers. For more permanent changes, face-lifts have been the standard. Now, fat transfers are bringing some unique advantages to the table.

Because doctors transfer your own fat from one area of your body to the face, you get an all-natural appearance. A full face-lift is surgery with all the risks that go with it. Fat transfers to the face is minimally invasive, requiring an incision at the donor site only. Unlike derma fillers, fat transfers, once they take, last a lifetime.

Are fat transfers to the face for everyone?

Not every person needs fat transfers or derma fillers or even a face-lift. As a person ages, the face often shows the signs first. For some, the wrinkles are distinguishing marks that really don’t need to be addressed. For others, the signs of aging can affect their self-confidence. You may want to consider a fat transfer if you suffer from

  • Sunken cheeks.
  • Deep grooves from your nose to the corner of your mouth.
  • Deep lines from the corner of the lower eyelids to the cheek.

What can a fat transfer to the face do for me?

In the hands of a skilled cosmetic surgeon, fat transfers to the face can rejuvenate your appearance, erasing the ever-present signs of time. It can

  • Plump your lips.
  • Add youthful volume to your face.
  • Enhance your natural features.
  • Soften creases and wrinkles.
  • Plump your cheeks.
  • Smooth out bags under your eyes.

Going beyond how fat transfer affects your appearance, it has additional advantages over derma fillers.

  • No rejection. Because your body’s own fat is used, you don’t run the risk of rejection like you do with synthetic fillers. With the newer procedures, fat transfer “take” rates have increased to 60 percent, meaning less overfill has to be done.
  • No allergic reaction. Using your own fat removes the risk of allergic reaction.
  • Lasts indefinitely. Choosing a surgeon who is a member of the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery is critical if you want your benefits to last a lifetime. When done correctly, the fat will reestablish its blood supply to the body and thrive where it has been placed. Dr. Tolson is an ASAPS member with 30 years of experience doing the procedure.
  • Ages naturally. As your body continues to age, the fat transfers will age along with it, giving your face a natural aging look.
  • Combines easily. If you’re having a face-lift done, you can easily combine a fat transfer to the face with the face-lift, addressing everything at once.
  • Feels natural. Because fat is what gives the natural fullness to a person’s face, fat transfers not only look natural, they feel natural to the touch.

What goes into a fat transfer to the face?

If you believe a fat transfer to the face may benefit you, the first thing you need to do is locate a cosmetic surgeon. Choosing the right surgeon is critical. One that doesn’t have the right training or experience can leave you with a lumpy, irregular finished product. Dr. Tolson is certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgeons and a member of the American Society for Plastic Surgeons and the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery. He understands how to combine fat transfer with other fillers to give you the best possible results.


At your initial consultation with Dr. Tolson, you will need to be prepared to discuss the following:

  • Your medical history.
  • Current medical conditions.
  • Medications, vitamins, and supplements you are currently taking.
  • Your history with noninvasive cosmetic surgery, if you have one.
  • Your expectations and goals for this procedure.
  • Your overall cosmetic goals.

In addition, Dr. Tolson will evaluate you as a candidate for fat transfer, which includes considering whether have fat on your body that can be used for the transfer.


Your fat transfer to the face will be performed in Dr. Tolson’s state-of-the-art AAAASF-certified operating room in Cumming, Georgia. You will need to have someone with you to drive you home after the surgery and remain with you the first night. Generally, the procedure is done under general anesthesia.

A 3 to 5 mm incision is made at the donor site, usually the abdomen or inner thigh. Liposuction is done to remove the donor fat. It is then purified through centrifuge, filtering, or rinsing until it is in a liquid state. The liquid fat is then injected evenly to the target areas in minute amounts. Best results are seen when the fat is used in deep tissue, not superficially. The procedure generally takes about 1.5 hours. You will then be taken to recovery where his staff will observe you to make sure you are doing fine. Upon discharge, you will need to have someone there to drive you home and stay with you the first night.

You will need to schedule a checkup within 1 to 2 days after the initial procedure, and a second follow-up appointment at one weeks out from the surgery.

Side Effects

The side effects are more severe with fat transfers to the face than with dermal fillers, but the long-term effects are also greater, lasting a lifetime. You can expect

  • Swelling, bruising, and tenderness at the donor site. You may be sent home wearing a compression garment to help your skin shrink correctly where the liposuction was done.
  • Swelling, bruising, and tenderness at the treated area. Using cold packs and cold compresses will help reduce the swelling. Expect the swelling to increase for the first three days, and then begin to taper off.
  • 25 to 30 percent of fat won’t take. Knowing this, Dr. Tolson will do some overfill. If necessary, a second session will be scheduled to fill in any areas that need it.

You should expect to need 7 to 10 days off before resuming normal activities or going out. At that time, you should be able to cover any residual bruises with makeup. Your final results will be seen in three months.

Time does not have to etched in the creases and hollows of your face. You can continue to look healthy and rejuvenated safely through fat transfer. Contact Dr. Tolson’s office today and begin the journey to conquer time.

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    Board Certified Plastic Surgeon

    Dr. Michael Tolson is board certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery and a member of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons. Put Dr. Tolson’s years of cosmetic plastic surgery experience to work for you.

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