Can fat transfer replace the facial fullness I lost after weight loss? (Photo)

After losing weight, I find my face is lacking the plump, juicy look it used to have. Would fat transfer to my face be effective, or do I require facial implants (cheek implants?). Where on my face do I need the volume to restore youth? I'm thinking periorbitally, in nasolabial folds, and cheeks. Thank you.

Doctor Answers 9

Fat Grafting

Fat grafting, when performed by a plastic surgeon with extensive experience and expertise can provide a beautiful, natural looking and lasting result.

In the photos you are providing, I do not see hollow areas. However, in many  of the attached photos, you are smiling and turned to the side. This may distort your actual appearance. In fact, a smile is almost like an instant facelift, so be aware of before images when a person is not smiling and and after with a smile.

I ask prospective patients from out of the area, interested in a phone consultation to send photos from the front, the side and oblique perspectives, both smiling and not smiling.  I also ask patients to send a photo, or photos from their youth, if there was a time when they were pleased with their facial contours. In some caes, the photos may be from high school or college. The goal is not to turn back the clock that significantly, but it helps to see the changes one has experienced over the years.

It is true that very small changes, like perhaps fat grafting to temples or a small amount under eyes or in upper ye hollows can make a tremendous difference that people cannot put their finger on. In fact, high profile people who are often photographed often choose small changes to maintain a youthful look without waiting for time when they might benefit from a more significant makeover.

However, it is critically important not to have too much volume added to the face, or to fat fat placed incorrectly. That can make the face look distorted, unnatural, less attractive and "done"  which is what most people want to avoid.  The goal is to be conservative. Sometimes, that means a person is not yet a candidate for surgery. In evaluating the attached photos, I believe you look your looking and not in need of more facial fullness. If the time comes when you are ready, please view many, many before and after images to be sure you have found a plastic surgeon who is conservative with fat grafting and leaves patients with a natural looking result.

Do not be offended if a plastic surgeon turns you away from surgery. Instead, be grateful. If you knock on enough doors, someone will surely be happy to take your money, even if a procedure is not in your best interest at this time. 

Raleigh-Durham Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 118 reviews

Facial fat loss

I do not think you need fat grafting. Your face looks very nice in the photos. But yes, fat grafting or filler material can be used to "plump" the face/

Steven Wallach, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon
4.1 out of 5 stars 28 reviews

Fat transfer

Thank you for your pictures.  First off, I think you look fine and don't really need the fat to volumize your face; but I realize this is a very personal decision.  Having said that, volumizing your face, with your own fat is a nice treatment.  I believe the areas you are suggesting, periorbital, nasolabial folds, and cheeks are reasonable areas to treat.  A word of caution to you is if you gain the weight back, your fat cells would refill with cholesterol so you may get more fullness in your face then you ultimately desired.  Just something to consider.  Best of luck!

Elbert T. Cheng, MD
San Jose Facial Plastic Surgeon

Fat transfer to face

After losing weight, many patients have concerns about loss of fullness to areas of their face that were once fuller before. In order to achieve this rejuvenated look, we harvest fat from the abdomen or lower extremities and spin down the fat in a centrifuge. This healthy fat is then carefully injected to the sites of your face that might be lacking fullness. This is a great procedure to achieve that younger appearance that does not involve fillers or implants, only your own healthy fat. A portion of this fat may be reabsorbed by your body that varies between patients.

Brett E. Stompro, MD
Bay Area Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 13 reviews

Weight Loss

Thank you for posting your question. Fat transfer can indeed increase your facial volume. On average, half of the transferred fat will be reabsorbed. The fat cells that survive will behave just as any other fat cells in your body, meaning they will have the same response to the aging process and additional weight loss. Hyaluronic fillers such as Juvederm and Restylane can also increase facial volume, and their effects are reversible. I would recommend starting with this type of fillers to make sure you are satisfied with the effect. Best of luck.

Jan Zemplenyi, MD
Bellevue Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 16 reviews

Facial fat grafting.

Great procedure/wrong patient!  I would not suggest fat grafting for you.  Minor touch ups with juvederm to select areas such as your nasolabials or conservatively to your lips would be all that I'd consider.  Best wishes,

Jon A Perlman MD FACS 

Certified, American Board of Plastic Surgery 

Extreme Makeover Surgeon ABC TV

Best of Los Angeles Award 2015, 2016 

Beverly Hills, Ca

Jon A. Perlman, MD
Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 30 reviews

Replacing facial fat loss

The simple answer to your question is yes.

There are many alternatives for a facial volume restoration.

 the easiest and most precise is the use of fillers.

Fat is not as accurate and should be used very carefully Buy those who have expertise.

Fat it's good for giving diffuse overall volume but not as good for very precise treatments.

First and foremost is to get evaluated by one or more board-certified plastic surgeon who have expertise in facial fat transfer if that's something you're interested in.

Trying out facial volume  restoration with temporary filler's before committing to fat transfer it's often a good idea.


Mats Hagstrom M.D.

Mats Hagstrom, MD
San Francisco Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 18 reviews

Fat Transfer and the Face

Fat transfer is an excellent way to restore volume to your face.  It can be a long term permanent replacement if performed correctly.  I have been doing the procedure for a long time with long lasting results.  I do not use any implants in the face at all.  Rather, I utilize fat and shape the face accordingly.  The results are natural and long lasting.  Implants are not used and therefore, no foreign objects are placed in the patient's face.

Thank you very much for your question.  Good luck with your decision.

Warmest regards,

Dr. Montegut

Walton Montegut, MD
Newport Beach Physician
5.0 out of 5 stars 31 reviews

Facial Fullness with Fillers (Voluma, Radiesse, Restylane Lyft), Sculptra, Implants, fat

It will depend on the final results you want. I recommend getting a formal evaluation with a facial contouring expert. Facial fullness and symmetry can be improved with well-placed fillers (Voluma, Radiesse, Restylane Lyft, Bellafill), sculptra, implants or fat. See an expert. Best, Dr. Emer

Jason Emer, MD
Los Angeles Dermatologic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 190 reviews

These answers are for educational purposes and should not be relied upon as a substitute for medical advice you may receive from your physician. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911. These answers do not constitute or initiate a patient/doctor relationship.