What's the Most Effective Method of Facial Fat Transfer?

I hear there are several different methods of doing a face fat transfer, what are the different methods available and which is the most effective porcedure? Are these procedures a one time visit? or multiple?

Doctor Answers 3

No standardized methods for fat transfer.

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Every physician has their own technique and many will claim that their's is the best. However, everyday new methods of how to harvest, process, supplement and transfer the fat are described. In my estimate there are no less than 40 different combinations of techniques. If there were one best method, most likely it would be the most popular.

Chicago Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 86 reviews

Fat grafts or fat injections

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Fat injections are done differently. Some place the fat within the muscle and others place it in the subcutaneous fatty plane. When injected in the muscle, it does create a significant amount of swelling normally for a few weeks.  When placed in the fatty layer beneath the dermis, there is less swelling. Both procedures may cause significant brusing. The fat is often reinserted a few more times when injected into the fatty plane, but often fat injections are only done once, maybe repeated one time, if injected into mulitple planes including the muscle.  The fat is harvested with syringe or possibly with liposuction and processed and reinjected into the desired areas. Some use the fat once immediately harvested, and repeat this process each time, while others bank the fat in a freezer so that repeat treatments do not require reharvesting.  There is controversey as to which type of fat (frozen or fresh) provides the best long term results.

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

Most Effective Method of Facial Fat Transfer

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Fat transfer results do vary depending upon the technique, skill, and experience of the physician.  Sydney Coleman, MD in NYC is considered a pioneer in fat grafting.  His techniques of handling fat and processing it have proven to be very effective in my practice.  Most fat transfer procedures are performed once.  Patients may have a second treatment after about 6 months when the fat that is still there is considered permanent.  Some physicians will use freshly harvested fat, while others use frozen fat from the first procedure.  There is a relatively new procedure called Water-Jet Assisted Liposuction where fat is harvested during body lipo and then immediately injected into the volume deficient areas of the face.  I have not seen long term results to be able to comment on the longevity of the treatment at this time.

Do choose your fat transfer physician most carefully.

Good luck and be well.

Dr. P

Michael A. Persky, MD
Encino Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 39 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.