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Fat Grafting

What is fat grafting (facial fat transfer)?

Fat grafting, also known as fat transfer,  is a procedure that uses your body’s own excess fatty deposits to fill depressions in the skin or hollow areas on your face that make you look older or make your skin appear unhealthy.

The benefits of fat grafting

Patients often turn to fat grafting as a more long-lasting alternative to popular injectable fillers. While these injectable fillers work very well, the idea of using excess material (fat) from your own body is appealing to some patients. Those who desire fat grafting often do so to correct lines and wrinkles, deep groves, hollowing of the cheek or temples, or alongside blepharoplasty surgery.

Fat grafting candidates

To undergo fat grafting, you must have an adequate surplus of fatty tissue at the donor site—often the hips, thighs, midsection. You should also have realistic expectations for the result of the procedure. Though the correction does not always last a lifetime, it can have long-term benefits for the appearance of your skin.

Commonly asked questions

How does Dr. Liu perform fat grafting?

Fat is harvested with a cannula by Dr. Liu. This fat is then processed to distill it and maintain its viability so that it can be placed back into your face. The processed fat is then injected by Dr. Liu into the face to restore facial volume. Dr. Liu’s technique for facial fat does not require any large incisions.

What kind of anesthesia is used during fat grafting?

The surgery is performed at an off-site surgery center where IV (intravenous) sedation or general anesthesia is available.

How much does fat grafting cost?

It is difficult to provide pricing before a patient has had a consultation with Dr. Liu. The cost of a procedure can vary depending on what a patient needs and what the surgery will entail. More importantly, many patients come to Dr. Liu believing that they need a certain procedure, only to find out during the consultation that a different procedure will provide a better outcome.

How long does the procedure take?

Fat grafting typically takes about 1 – 2 hours from start to finish.

Are there any risks to fat grafting?

Side effects are usually minor. Some bruising and swelling may appear at the areas of fat harvesting and placement but should be gone within a week or two.

As with all medical procedures, there are some possible complications. While rare, you should call your doctor if you experience:

  • Excessive bleeding

  • Severe pain

  • Changes in vision

  • Difficulty swallowing, speaking, or breathing

  • Allergic reaction (itching, hives, chest tightness, severe swelling)

What should I expect after fat grafting?

Surgery should be scheduled for a time when you can relax for at least 1-2 weeks. It is important to avoid any strenuous activity, heavy lifting, or bending down during this time to avoid complications and to promote the best healing. 

It is also important to avoid taking any blood thinning medications for at least two weeks prior to surgery. If you are on a blood thinning medication due to a specific medical condition, you will need to discuss this with oculoplastic surgeon Dr. Liu and your primary care physician prior to stopping any medication. Dr. Liu’s staff will review a list of common medications, supplements and vitamins that can cause your blood to be thinner.

Please note that Dr. Liu expects to see patients back in the office a few days after a procedure to ensure that the healing process is going as expected and that you are on track for a good result. Do not plan any travel immediately after your procedure.

Dr Liu is an amazing surgeon and also skilled in cosmetic procedures. I felt very comfortable and my results were outstanding. I highly recommend her. The office staff also are very warm.

Garden Grove

Dr. Liu is the top rated oculoplastic surgeon in Orange County.

Click here to read more patient testimonials.

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