Facial Fat Injections can correct loss of facial volume

Facial fat transfer, also called autologous fat transfer can contour the face and plumps up the cheeks using your own fat

It is a more natural alternative to synthetic dermal fillers and anti-wrinkle injections.

As you age, the fat pockets that give your face volume and perkiness start to regress. The face starts to look deflated, thinner and frail. To make the face perky again, the lost volume needs to be restored.

Fat injections to the face are an excellent way to rejuvenate the face naturally. The fat is collected using liposuction from excessively fatty areas in your body (e.g. the love handles) and treated to create micro fat suitable for facial injections. This means that, in addition to giving your face extra volume, autologous fat grafting can contour and tone other areas of your body.

Specialist Plastic Surgeon Dr Jeremy Hunt offers autologous fat grafting for facial rejuvenation to his patients in Sydney. He uses fat injections to flatten wrinkles and restore volume in different parts of the face – nose, chin, cheekbones, cheeks, jawline, and eye areas.

Facial fat injections Dr Hunt Sydney

What is Facial Fat Grafting?

Facial Fat Grafting is a commonly performed facial rejuvenation technique that contours the face and restores perkiness using your own body fat. The surgeon harvests your body’s own fat using liposuction and then injects it to perk up the cheeks and fill different areas of your face. Fat injected into the face is permanent, and the results tend to be long-lasting.

Other names for facial fat grafting include:

  • Autologous fat transfer
  • Facial fat injections
  • Autologous fat grafting
  • Nanofat injections
  • Microfat injections

Facial fat injections are a more natural way to restore volume to the cheeks and contour your chin and jawline. That’s why it’s a good option for those who want to avoid fillers or Botox.

The procedure is very straightforward, but still requires a lot of surgical experience to get optimal results. Otherwise, the risk of the graft shrinking is increased. Dr Hunt and Dr Maryam use advanced purifying techniques to make sure that most of the fat cells injected into the face are retained.

Who Needs Facial Fat Grafting?

When it comes to facial rejuvenation procedures, there are several options to choose from. Dermal fillers, facial implants, Botox, facial fat transfer, and a facelift surgery are all good options to make your face look youthful again.

A good candidate for autologous fat transfer to the face:

  • Wants to contour her face without foreign materials (i.e. without fillers)
  • Wants have more volume in the cheeks
  • Wants more volume in the temples
  • Is starting to show signs of facial ageing with predominant volume loss (e.g. deflated cheeks that have lost their perkiness)
  • Wants to tone other areas of the body with liposuction (donor areas)
  • Does not have a lot of lax facial skin

You can have a facial fat transfer at any age. Whether you just want to make your face look younger or you want to reverse minor signs of ageing, facial fat grafting is an excellent option.

Benefits of Facial Fat Grafting

There are a few important benefits and advantages that make fat injections a popular option for those seeking facial rejuvenation:

  • Long-lasting results– microfat transfer to the face is more durable, keeping your face perky for years. No need for more facial filler injections every few months
  • Natural – it uses your own fat to perk up the face. No foreign materials are injected
  • Simple and quick – it’s a straightforward procedure that’s not too onerous
  • Easy recovery – recovery after facial fat injections is usually seamless

Although dermal fillers and Muscle relaxants can deliver beautiful results, facial fat grafting has some advantages over them. It’s considered the most natural way to effectively rejuvenate the face with results that last years.

One of the disadvantages of facial fat transfer is that you might need to do it twice before you get the volume you want. Up to 30% or 40% of the fat volume might be lost within a year, however, a second injection can achieve the desired volume and help maintain it for years to come.

Facial fat injections Dr Hunt

How is Facial Fat Grafting Performed

Facial fat grafting is usually done under a local anaesthetic but can be done under general anaesthetic. This means that you will be awake during the procedure. It’s a one-day surgery, so you won’t spend the night at the hospital. It includes 3 main parts:

  • Fat harvesting (liposuction): first, your surgeon will inject saline and local anaesthetic in the target (donor) areas. This numbs the sensation in these areas and loosens the fat from the overlying skin, making it easier to be removed. Then, using a liposuction catheter, the fat cells will be sucked from under the skin. The liposuction catheter is a hollow metallic rod connected to a suction machine. Liposuction is done to tone the donor areas – thighs, abdomen, hips, buttocks, etc. Liposuction does not involve any permanent noticeable scars. It’s done through very small skin incisions that usually heal very well
  • Fat purification: the harvested fat is then purified in a special machine. Debris, blood, and water are removed from the fat samples. The result is pure fat cells that are better able to retain their volume
  • Facial injections: the purified fat is then injected strategically into the areas of the face that need to be contoured using a needle. Dr Hunt or Dr Maryam will target the areas with marked volume loss while being mindful of facial symmetry and proportions.

Although fairly simple, Nanofat transfer cannot be effectively performed by just any surgeon. Many advanced techniques ensure maximal graft survival, perfect proportions, and facial symmetry.


Recovery after Facial Fat Grafting

Recovery after fat injections to the face is not too demanding. The liposuction part of the procedure takes the highest toll on the body, requiring rest and mild pain killers.

You will experience some swelling, bruising, and pain in both the donor and recipient areas. These will peak by 3-4 days and then gradually fade out over the coming 3-4 weeks. By 6 weeks, you should be fully recovered.

When recovering from facial fat injections, you should be careful not to forcefully rub your face or press the treated areas. This can ruin the results. Moreover, make sure you wear a compression garment over the donor areas (the liposuction donor area). Compression garments help reduce swelling and prevent seroma formation.

Results after Facial Fat Grafting

The results after a facial fat transfer take several months to settle. Although the harvested fat is purified to maximise its potential, it will still retain some fluids. After fat injections, the body will resorb these fluids, and the graft will shrink.

Some studies report that up to 30% or 40% of the graft volume is lost by the end of one year. This is why many patients often need a second or third fat transfer treatment to get the exact volume they want.

After the second or third fat grafting treatment, you should reach the desired perkiness and facial volume you were aiming for. After that, the results should last years!

Facial Fat Injection Cost Sydney - How much does facial fat injections cost in Sydney NSW? Prices & Fees

The fee you’ll pay for your facial fat injections can vary. After your first consultation, Your surgeon will give you a clear estimate on the costs involved.

Are facial fat injections covered by Medicare or private health insurance?

The facial fat injections are an aesthetic treatment and therefore NOT covered by medicare or health insurance. (unless for craniofacial asymmetry concerns or burn scars – there is a new Medicare Code 45589)

You can also learn more about possible a Facial Fat Injections Payment Plan, or the costs for facial fat injections on our Surgical Costs page.

Are Facial Fat Injections Worth It?

Realself patient surveys show Over 80% of women and men who get facial fat transfer say that it’s worth it. Any time, effort, or money invested into facial fat injections is compensated with improved facial aesthetics. Those who are not fully satisfied with their results usually report volume loss over time. This, however, is part of fat grafting – more than one treatment might be needed.

Take the next step today

With over 20 years of experience as a facial plastic surgeon, Dr Jeremy Hunt has built a reputation in Sydney for his ability to get the best results using the most innovative surgical techniques. Join the thousands of happy past patients today by booking a consultation with Dr Hunt at your earliest convenience. Dr. Jeremy Hunt prides himself on providing some of the best Face Surgery Sydney has to offer.

Next Step – Fill in the Enquiry form or call the Team on 1300 157 200.

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FAQs about Facial Fat Injections

How long does fat grafting to the face last?


Different studies report different rates of facial graft survival. A 30% or 40% volume loss by one year is a safe estimate. This might be more or less depending on many factors (your surgeon, technique, skin quality, your unique physiology). The final volume you desire can be, however, achieved with a second session.

Do fat injections in the face work?


Yes. Facial fat transfer is one of the best ways to rejuvenate the face, contour it, and give the cheeks perkiness and volume. The injected fat settles in the face permanently, leading to long-lasting results. Keep in mind, however, that sometimes a second fat injection treatment might be needed to achieve the final desired volume.

Is facial fat grafting permanent?


Yes. The grafted fat cells are regarded as permanent. They won’t go anywhere with time. However, as explained above, they might lose some volume during the first few months of recovery. Some patients might need a second session to solidify the results and reach the target volume and perkiness. Moreover, volume is not the only factor that contributes to facial ageing. A fat graft will not stop your skin from becoming lax or wrinkles from forming over time.

How long does swelling last after fat grafting?


The initial post-op swelling of fat grafting lasts a few weeks. By 6 weeks, most of the acute swelling will be gone. However, some swelling will persist for a few more months and will be resorbed slowly by the body. After 2-3 months, almost all the swelling will be gone. For some people, it might take longer.

Is facial fat grafting safe?


Yes. Facial fat grafting is regarded as safe. The procedure itself involves very minimal risks of injury or complications. The injected material is your own body fat. Your body considers it part of it, and hence typically integrates it wherever it is injected.

Can fat be injected under the eyes?


Yes. Fat injections are an excellent way to restore volume under the eyes and on the upper cheeks. It’s one of the best options if the areas there appear deflated and sullen.

Can fat injections in the face be removed?


Yes. Facial liposuction is a simple procedure that can remove fat from the face, whether grafted or native. It’s done using a small liposuction catheter that is used to contour the face.

Are fat injections painful?


No. The fat injections themselves are relatively pain-free. You might feel a little uncomfortable when fat is being injected into different areas of the face. However, it’s not considered a particularly painful procedure.

How do you keep fat after fat transfer?


You should avoid putting any pressure on the face where the injections were done. Don’t touch your face or press on your cheeks. Moreover, you should naturally avoid smoking and maintain a healthy high calorie diet during the recovery period to retain as much from the fat graft as possible.

How much fat is needed for facial fat transfer?


Around 30-50 millilitres are usually needed to contour the face using fat injections. That’s as little as two teaspoons.

Typically 100ml is harvested to get 50ml to inject.

What are the risks and complications of facial fat injections?


All surgery has risks and some complications can occur. These also include the risks of liposuction:

  • Seroma – Fluid collection in the liposuction wounds
  • Haematoma – Blood collection in the liposuction wounds
  • Internal organ injury – Trauma to internal organs during liposuction
  • Persistent bleeding
  • Wound infection
  • Facial asymmetry – Uneven facial proportions after fat transfer injections
  • Loss of volume again – The fat graft is not well retained

There may be complications related to the fat injections – like cysts formation, oil or fat necrosis.

Although it’s not a very complicated procedure, facial fat grafting needs exquisite skills. If done by a non-experienced surgeon, it can lead to less-than-ideal results. That’s why it’s important to choose a plastic surgeon who has mastered the art of facial contouring with fat.

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About Dr Jeremy Hunt

Dr Hunt has worked with thousands of patients across his 20-year career. He is widely regarded as a top plastic surgeon in Australia. This is reflected in his role as Spokesperson for the ASPS – Australian Society of Plastic Surgery. Dr Hunt is also a Fellow of the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons (FRACS) and Supervisor of Plastic Surgery Training at Sydney Children’s Hospital.