Facial Rejuvenation

Fat Grafting

Refining the overall balance of the face and improving facial asymmetries is the goal. Fat transfer helps us to achieve that.

The Procedure In


Most patients undergo volume loss in certain areas of their face as they age, most commonly in the temples, cheeks, and low face. The loss of volume in the cheek is perhaps the most significant, leading to a noticeable demarcation between the lower eyelid and the cheek. This area is called the “lid-cheek junction,” which in youth has a smooth transition from the lower eyelid to the cheek.

In addition to losing volume, the volume that remains often drifts lower on the face creating folds.

There are different ways to correct loss of facial volume, through both surgical and non-surgical treatments. There are benefits and trade-offs to each. Non-surgical treatments usually involve injection of fillers. Many different fillers are on the market today, each designed to achieve a certain goal of volume restoration.

An alternative to filler injections is fat transfer. The process of fat transfer involves liposuctioning fat from one area and transferring the fat to a different location. In the case of facial volume restoration, Dr. Lee usually harvests a small amount of fat from the abdomen or thigh and then grafts that fat to areas needing volume. Fat transfer has the advantage of using the patient’s own tissue to restore their lost facial volume. Not only does fat transfer help restore volume but fat also possess additional rejuvenation properties because of stem cells.

Surgical Notes



Length of Surgery

1 hour

Outpatient / Inpatient


Adjunct Procedures



2 weeks

Dr. Lee's Priorities &


Dr. Lee’s comprehensive level of facial knowledge and expertise place him among the elite in the specialty. His approach to fat transfer is the use of time-tested techniques complimented by the most recent innovative advances. Because the primary challenge with fat grafting is getting the fat to live, it must be handled delicately.

That is why technique is so important—not only how the fat is harvested but how and where it is placed. Every aspect of fat transfer is vital to the overall aesthetic outcome. It requires extraordinary finesse. There are subtleties understood by only experienced, skilled surgeons. Volume should restore fullness without overcompensating. Fat must be used cautiously and meticulously. This “handle with care” approach is reflected in Dr. Lee’s special technique.


How do you know how much fat to use and where to put it, so I don’t look “puffy”?

In the Deep Plane High SMAS Composite facelift, the facial fat is shifted to its original position, so adding additional fat may not be necessary. If, however there is still deficiency, I take a “less is more” conservative approach when adding back volume.

What are some of the disadvantages of fillers vs. fat?

Fillers are a great way to restore lost volume but there are tradeoffs. Fillers are synthetic materials, most are temporary, and over time can be both ineffective and cost prohibitive. As patients age fillers can be less appropriate if they are used to compensate for sagging, causing the dreaded distortion most people seek to avoid. Although the initial cost may be less than fat grafting, fillers require multiple treatments to maintain the volume, so you have to consider cost over time.

What parts of the face benefit from fat grafting?

Fat grafting to the face is typically done as a complementary procedure to a facelift—never as a substitute for a facelift. The treatment for each patient is highly individualized. Common areas include the temples, eyelid/cheek junction, and chin/jawline.

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