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Face Fat Injections

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Fat injections, also commonly referred to as fat grafting is an alternative to synthetic dermal fillers (facial fillers) like Juvederm, Restylane, Perlane, Radiesse, and Sculptra. Fat is extracted through liposuction from any part of your body that has excess fat. That fat is then injected into your face to add volume that has been lost during the aging process. These two processes are done on the same day as one procedure.

before and after patient photos

Candidates for Fat Injections

  • Individuals with dark circles under their eyes due to loss of subcutaneous fat
  • Individuals with sagging cheeks
  • Individuals with bags under the lower eyelids
  • Individuals who desire augmentation of their lips, cheeks, and/or other parts of the face

The Goals of Structural Fat Grafting

  • Improved facial contours
  • A more youthful appearance
  • Plumper, more youthful lips

Initial Consultation for Fat Injections

Drs. Perrotta and Pellegrino have developed a sensitive and friendly process for preparing you for fat injections. Your consultation is important because you and your plastic surgeon must be “on the same page” regarding the results you want. This is why Dr. Perrotta or Dr. Pellegrino will devote as much time as necessary to discuss your individual goals and needs with you.

Dr. Pellegrino or Dr. Perrotta will perform a focused physical examination to provide preliminary recommendations. Once he determines his surgical plan, our aesthetic coordinator will produce a written quote which lists all costs of your proposed surgery so that there are no surprises. At that time, an appointment is set for your pre-op visit. Juvederm, Radiesse, or Sculptra injections are an alternative to fat injections that use a synthetic material. They do not require extraction of fat from other parts of the body. If you are not receiving liposuction for another reason, Drs. Perrotta and Pellegrino may recommend one of these injectables instead of fat grafting.

Pre-op Visit

Much is covered during your pre-op visit. First, one of our highly trained medical assistants will take pre-op photos. Next, your surgeon will explain the surgical technique to you and thoroughly inform you as to what you can expect, including any potential complications. Note that all procedures involve some risk, but major complications from fat injections are rare.

Dr. Perrotta or Dr. Pellegrino will then obtain a more complete medical history from you and perform a final pre-op physical examination, including a check of your vital functions to ensure that you are physically fit for liposuction and fat injections. Prior to releasing you from your pre-op visit, your doctor and our staff will give you detailed instructions for the time leading up to your surgery, as well as for the time immediately following it.

The Fat Injection Procedure

Dr. Pellegrino and Dr. Perrotta usually perform this procedure on an outpatient basis. They prefer general anesthesia, heavy IV sedation, or regional blocks. The problem with local injections of anesthesia alone is that directly injecting the anesthetic into the tissues numbs that specific area and distorts the tissue. This renders it difficult to make judgments about the amount of fat to inject. First, the fat is extracted through liposuction from the belly, thigh, or any part of the body with excess fat and easy access. Next, the fat is processed in order to maximize the amount that “takes” when injected. Lastly, the fat is injected into the desired facial areas through tiny cannulas (hollow metal tubes).

Post-Op Recovery

You can go home the same day wearing a compression garment or ace bandage(s) over the fat donor site(s). The injection site usually remains uncovered. Any initial discomfort is easily controlled with oral pain medication. Bruising and swelling usually subside in 2-4 weeks.

After your procedure, you will follow up with us several times so that we can monitor your healing. Over the long term, at least 25% of the injected fat is believed to be reabsorbed by your body. For this reason, you may need to return for periodic refresher treatments.


Contact us today to schedule a consultation for Fat Injections.