Fat transfer, in general, it is the harvest of fat more often done around the lower abdomen, upper abdomen, maybe the thighs or saddlebags; and used as grafting material in the face, to rejuvenate the face, put volume back in there, make you look more youthful in the breasts, in the buttocks. I myself don't really do fat transfer to the body but to the face, I do very frequently; and patients really enjoy it, puts back the volume they once had, tends to make the skin look a little better, glows a little bit. There's just a better quality to the appearance of the surface of their skin, in addition to redefining their cheeks, filling in tear troughs, redefining the jawline, replacing lost volume in the temples, the forehead, the chin.

Patients are fearful that they will be lumpy or that it all goes away. Those are issues and risks; lumpiness does happen. I mean, fortunately it doesn't really happen in my practice much, but I'm sure it will one day. To be honest, it has to, but the most likely areas that that would happen in the face would maybe be the tear troughs, and even when it does occur, it goes away, usually on it's own.

What happens with the mid-face, in this area here, is you lose volume here, the tissues become tautic [SP] or drop, and the tear trough itself actually gets a little deeper, the eye bags kind of herniate forward, accentuating that tear trough. So in a situation where somebody thinks they need their eye bags removed with surgery, a lot of times replacing the fat in the tear trough and in the mid-face will lift that area up essentially non-surgically, although you should still think of fat transfer as a surgery because it has risks and benefits associated with it. It definitely has downtime. In my own practice when I do fat transfer to the face, I try and do it in one take, and the healing time can be anywhere from seven to fourteen days, so it can be significant. There can be considerable swelling and bruising associated with it.

Facial Fat Injections: Benefits, Misconceptions, and More Common Questions

Dr. Chase Lay delves deep into the topic of fat transfer, clearing up misconceptions and answering common questions about the popular procedure.