Fat Transfer to Achieve Prominent Cheeks?

I am 30 yrs. old and have very small cheekbones and would like the appearance of more fullness. I considered both Cheek Implants and Sculptra, but have ruled both out due to risks.

Can Fat Transfer give me the appearance of more prominent cheekbones or is this procedure only for older patients that have lost the fat around their natural cheeks?

Doctor Answers 7

Fat grafting vs implants for augmenting cheeks!

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Facial fat grafting or micro-fat grafting to the cheek areas can augment and enhance the shape, size, and appearance of the cheeks. Prior to the advent of facial fat grafting the only available option for cheek augmentation was only use of cheek implants. In my personal experience fat grafting can give a very natural and beautiful result, and therefore, if my patient has enough fat for harvesting and donation, then I would rather use fat grafting for cheek augmentation. I have also used a combination of cheek implants and fat grafting. the fat grafting was used as an adjunct to further enhance and naturalize the results of the cheek implants.

Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon
4.4 out of 5 stars 51 reviews

Fat grafting for cheekbones and all ages

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Fat grafting adds volume and it appears as if that is what you seek. It is natural, permanent and ages with you. I perform fat graft of patients of all ages.

Fat transfer for prominent cheeks

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Yes, I think that Fat Transfer can be used to augment your cheeks to give you rounder and fuller and more youthful appearance.  But do keep in mind that this is a surgical procedure and that there are potential complications to everything.  You might also consider Radiesse or other fillers as a less expensive alternative.

Lawrence Kass, MD
Saint Petersburg Oculoplastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 140 reviews

Fat Transfer to Achieve prominent cheeks

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A wide variety of facial implants are currently available for the enhancement of the skeletal elements of facial aesthetics. The most commonly used facial implants are used to enhance the profile of the chin and the cheeks. Facial implants very widely not only in shape and style, but also in terms of the materials from which they are fabricated.

My preference is to use structural fat grafting, as much as possible, to enhance facial features. In many cases, the need for a solid implant can be eliminated by the careful and meticulous grafting of a patient's own fat. While the incidence of complications with facial implants is not high, certain problems may develop which require implant removal including infection and implant migration. Bone resorption (bone loss) has also been reported below solid facial implants. Neither of these problems are an issue with structural fat grafting.

The only setting in which I currently use a solid facial implant is for chin implant augmentation. Some patients with a 'weak' chin profile can be adequately improved by structural fat grafting alone. However, when the chin protrusion needs to be enhanced by a half centimeter or more, a chin implant is absolutely required. I prefer to use a soft, flexible, anatomic chin implant that conservatively enhances the anterior projection of the chin in profile. The chin implant is placed through an incision hidden underneath the chin, an area where many people already have a scar from a fall in childhood.

Moderate enhancement of chin projection in appropriate patients can dramatically enhance the profile, in a manner that is completely natural-appearing. It is remarkable how increasing chin prominence in some patients will reduce the apparent prominence of the nose, and restore an overall sense of harmony and balance to facial features.

For enhancement of the cheek bone area, I rely exclusively on structural fat grafting. Careful and meticulous fat grafting not only avoids some of the potential complications of solid cheek implants, but it also allows more precise 'customization' of the aesthetic improvement that can be obtained for each individual patient. It is also my opinion that structural fat grafting produces a more natural-appearing enhancement of the cheek area than what is generally achieved through the placement of solid implants over the cheekbone.

Be sure to view many before and after photographs and speak to previous patients before selecting a surgeon for fat grafting

Michael Law, MD
Raleigh-Durham Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 123 reviews

Fat transfer is great for adding volume to cheeks

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Fat transfer is one way to add volume to cheeks. Since it is taken from another area on your body there are no allergic reactions to worry about and it is a smaller procedure than a cheeks implant. It usually is done in 2 to 3 sessions to achieve desired results and if patients do not like the results it can be removed by liposuction.

Lenore Sikorski, MD
Orange County Dermatologist
4.4 out of 5 stars 25 reviews

Fat injections for a thirty-year old male

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You certainly can have fat injections to build up your cheekbones, but fat injections are not predictable and if you like the results it may not last long, but if you don't like the appearance, if it looks unnatural for you, it might last long. You could consider a temporary filler such as Radiesse and see how you like the result prior to inejcting you own fat.

Ronald Shelton, MD
Manhattan Dermatologic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 39 reviews

Cheek Implants vs.s Fat Transfer

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If you are a 30 year old male with weak cheek bones, I would recommend cheek implants because fat transfer is more ideal for someone older looking to restore their lost volume. Whenever I deal with a younger patient I also worry about long-term metabolism changes, i.e., weight gain. More importantly, younger men tend to look better a bit gaunt and cheek implants may be a good idea. This is coming from someone who loves fat transfer and does it all the time. However, also, when you get older a fat transfer would probably be indicated for you after 40 years old or older for rejuvenation. Here is a video more focused on fat transfer but how I start to see cheek augmentation.

Sam Lam, MD, FACS
Dallas Facial Plastic Surgeon

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.