Why is Fat Grafting Becoming A Part of Facelift Surgery

Full facial rejuvenation means so much more than just tightening the skin. As we age our skin loses elasticity, our facial muscles begin to drop, and we lose volume. Fat grafting is being added to facelift procedures more and more because it provides overall incredible results and complete facial rejuvenation.

What is fat grafting?

Fat grafting is commonly referred to as fat injections or fat transfer, it is a surgical procedure that involves removing fat (liposuction) from the patient’s abdomen, thighs, or back. Over the years, we have found that aging does not just impact the skin. Volume loss in the face also happens naturally over time and is a common complaint patients have when interested in facial rejuvenation. When volume loss occurs in the face, it causes the face to appear sunken or gaunt, both a common sign of age.  By using fat grafting to restore facial volume, it leaves the individual looking more youthful while maintaining natural, longer lasting results.

What to Expect with a Fat Transfer?

When fat grafting is added onto a facelift surgery, our surgeons are able to do so much more than just lift sagging skin. Our expert facial plastic surgeons perform a deep plane facelift that involves lifting the facial muscles as well as removing any excess skin on the face and neck. The fat that is taken from the patient is remixed for optimal use. The fat is then transferred to the areas of the face that are lacking volume.

Common areas for fat grafting include:

Sunken cheeks

Hollow temples

Tear troughs

Nasolabial folds

Marionette lines


Like any plastic surgery procedure, fat grafting can easily be overdone if you don’t go to a well-trained surgeon. An overdone procedure would result in an overfilled appearance which can make the face appear too full or round. Choosing a facial plastic surgeon who has extensive training in this procedure will prevent unnatural results from occurring.

What to expect with recovery?

When this procedure is added onto a facelift, fat grafting may increase swelling and bruising. There are no added incisions and overall, it will not increase the amount of downtime associated with a facelift. If adding volume is a consideration, it is best to do at the same time as a facelift for one full recovery.

When fat injections are done alone, the patient can expect about 1-2 weeks of recovery with some bruising and swelling. They can also expect a small incision on the donor area where the fat was taken with about 1-2 sutures that is required to close this incision.

Fat transfers are becoming a common “add on” because it is a more natural way of adding volume and lasts much longer than injectable fillers.

To learn more about total facial rejuvenation, facelift surgery, and fat grafting please contact Utah Facial Plastics Draper or Layton, Utah offices at 801-776-2220.

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