Where Can and Can't You Inject Fat on the Face?

Where can and can't you inject fat on the face? The doctor I recently consulted with told me that fat cannot be injected into the nose tip and chin because fat doesn't exist there.

Doctor Answers 11

Perhaps the most unreliable technique in plastic surgery is fat grafting

Rather than where is should be injected, the question is should it be injected at all?

Many experienced plastic surgeons have arrived at the conclusion that fat grafting is one of the least predictable operations in cosmetic surgery. 

Seldom do you see the date of followup  given with pictures or the number of injections. You also do not see the extent of swelling early after the technique or how long the result takes to settle in.

There also as of now are absolutely no double blind studies that show that any of the so called enhancements actually make any difference long term.

Our policy has arrived where we only do fat grafting as a portion of another reliable technique and we give it away free with the understanding that if it works that will be great, but otherwise the patient will be at no loss.

Dr. Mayl

Fort Lauderdale

Fort Lauderdale Plastic Surgeon
4.3 out of 5 stars 7 reviews

Where can I inject fat in the face

I find fat to be a wonderful facial voumizing option. I think the best results are obtained when fat is injected in the mid-face region. I like to add fat from the zygoma (the upper side of the cheek) along the infraorbital rim (just below the lower eyelid), to the tear trough region. I also like fat in the nasolabial fold region. Fat adds a third dimension that is not attainable doing a facelift. It creates a very natural, youthful appearance and avoids the "pulled and hollow" look that occurs when the mid-face is stretched.

I would avoid putting fat in the nasal tip or the chin. There is a very high risk of contour irregularity and patient dissatisfaction.

It is important to keep in mind that only about 50% of the volume that is initially injected will survive long term and multiple sittings may be required to get the results you are looking for. There is also a lot more swelling and down time required when compared with other volumizing agents such as Radiesse, Juvederm, Restylane etc.

Todd C. Miller, MD
Newport Beach Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 34 reviews

Facial fat injection

Fat can be injected just about anywhere unless the area is too tight to allow for space for the fat.  The nasal tip comes to mind.  Some areas of the face are more forgiving than other.  Cheeks, chin, jawline, forehead, and temple region usually do well.  The area around the eyes and the lips can be tricky but in experienced hands, very nice results can be acheived. 

Lisa Lynn Sowder, MD
Seattle Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 73 reviews

Fat Grafting Can be Completed in Any Area of the Face.

Because we have fatty subcutaneous tissue throughout the face, all areas are really amenable to this therapy.  I agree with previous posts that there are definitely some more complicated areas to treat, such as under the eyes.  However, the experienced surgeon will be able to navigate that with you.

Remember that we are aiming for three natural youthful highlights in the face: the lateral brow, the cheek, and the chin.  These should frame the natural and unique characteristics of a patient's eyes and mouths for expression.  It is all about working toward the natural, youthful heart-shaped face.

The larger question about fat grafting still continues in the community: does this persist?  Many, like myself, have seen results that persist for years, but overcorrection is necessary initially to achieve these goals, in my opinion.  When we allow for settling to occur over the first 2 months, results can be amazing for years.

Todd Christopher Hobgood, MD
Phoenix Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 53 reviews

Where can and can't you inject fat grafts?

Fat can be injected in most areas of the face, but I would strongly caution against having it placed in the nasal tip. It can be placed in the chin, though it isn't as reliable a way to augment the area compared with a chin implant.

Thomas A. Lamperti, MD
Seattle Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 21 reviews

Fat injections for the nose and the chin.

Having used fat injections for 35 years,  Ido not use it on the nose or chin. The nose is better treated with cartilage or Radiesse. Chins are better treated with implants of silicone.

Toby Mayer, MD
Beverly Hills Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 34 reviews

Fat Grafting

Fat grafting or transfer is a great way to improve the harsh facial contours that develop as one ages.  In my hands, I do not inject fat in the lips (it absorbs too fast because of all of the motion) and I do not inject specific fine wrinkles. I use other injectables for those problems. Other than that I feel that I can really improve the global changes in the face with fat.  The results are soft and natural appearing.  It can be a stand alone procedure in younger patients or combined with other procedures in older patients.  Good luck!

Hannah Vargas, MD
Kansas City Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 46 reviews

Facial Fat Transfer, where not to inject

There are many differing opinions on the longevity of fat that is transfered, and where to place it as well as not to place it.  The fat (adipose cells) that are transferred to the face need to be cautiously placed in the lips.  The lips have a robust blood supply and it is easy to overinject these areas and cause an unfavorable result. 

Michael A. Fallucco, MD, FACS
Jacksonville Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 8 reviews

Where Can and Can't You Inject Fat on the Face?

  The thin skin over the nasal tip would be an awful place to put fat which is lumpy and thick by the nature of the tissue itself.  Fat would be OK to inject into the chin if it weren't for the unreliable nature of fat transfer in general. fat injections can't and don't, despte claims to the contrary, approach the reliablity rate of off the shelf stable fillers like Radiesse and Perlane and certainly can't coompare to the shaping and contouring that's achieved using Cheek or Chin Implants.  

  For the nose, Rhinoplasty is the gold starndard for reshaping.  For the Chin, fillers like Perlane or Radiesse or a Chin Implant would seem more reasonable than fat IMHO.  Just because you could put fat somewhere, doesn't mean you should.  Be sure the MD you select understands and follows the proper aesthetics of facial beauty for the creation of a naturally, more attractive gace.  

Francis R. Palmer, III, MD
Beverly Hills Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 25 reviews

Facial fat grafting

Structural fat grafts can be applied any where the subcutaneous tissues have been thinned and lost trhough facial aging. the most common areas of fat loss are around the eyes, and in folds around the mouth and lips. Temporal hollows also do well. The chin is an area that can be improved by fill, though the tip of the nose is not.

Best of luck, peterejohnsonmd.com

Peter E. Johnson, MD
Chicago Plastic Surgeon
4.0 out of 5 stars 43 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.