Facial Fat Grafting

fat-transfer2Replacing volume is integral to restoring a youthful look to the face. Volume replacement has been around for years with temporary fillers and volumizers such as Juvederm, Restylane, Perlane, Radiesse, Artefill, and Sculptra.

Autologous (from your own body) fat transfer is another effective technique for restoring a more youthful, 3-dimensional look to the face. Fat transplantation has developed into what many consider the ideal soft tissue filler.

As the face ages, the natural fat pads begin to sag and shrink. This often results in a hollow, sunken appearance. Fat loss is mostly noticed around the eyes and within the cheeks. Patients often notice deep circles and bags under their eyes as the natural cheek fat shrinks and sags. By replacing the fat, these processes can be reversed.


* Results may vary

One of the most frequently asked questions is how to determine which part of the body to harvest the fat from. Dr. Miller performs a thorough evaluation before determining where to harvest fat. Some of the factors he takes into consideration include:

  • which region of your body has the most healthy looking fat
  • where are the tiny incision sites going to be best concealed
  • have you had any previous liposuction procedures
  • what areas are you most comfortable with

Typically, the abdomen and thigh are the most common donor areas.


The typical candidate for fat transplantation includes:

  • A patient undergoing a facelift who needs volume replenishment in order to restore a more 3-dimensional appearance.
  • Patients who are not quite ready for a facelift but shows signs of volume depletion around their eyes, cheeks, chin, jaw-line and temples.
  • Patients with signs of aging in the face who is having liposuction performed and would like to use the healthy fat cells to improve the look of their face.

Physical attributes that benefit from fat grafting:

  • Circles under the eyes
  • Sunken appearance of the eyes
  • Small Cheeks
  • Hollow, sagging, or sunken cheeks
  • Deep tear trough crease underneath the eyes
  • Deep tear trough crease underneath the eyes
  • Deep creases above the lips
  • Small lips
  • Underprojected chin



Fat grafting is a minimally invasive procedure which is performed without incisions and leaves no post-surgical scars. It requires much less downtime than traditional surgical procedures. Fat transfer entails harvesting fat from a region of the body such as the abdomen, lateral thighs, inner thighs, love-handles, or arms. Harvesting fat involves injection of numbing fluid into the donor site and removal of fat with a cannula. The fat is then carefully processed to preserve healthy fat cells. It is then transferred to the face in tiny syringes through very small incisions.


The procedure can be performed under local anesthesia or with oral or IV sedation to increase patient comfort. http://toddmillermd.com/anesthesia-options.html


Swelling and bruising usually resolve within a week. Most patients are advised that they can return to work within a few days. Oral narcotic pain medication is very effective. An elastic compression garment is worn around the donor site for several days.

Additional Procedures

Fat transfer is often done in combination with other procedures including…

Neck lift
Laser skin resurfacing
Botox & Injectable fillers

Meet Dr. Miller

Meet Our Surgeon - Dr. Todd Miller

What draws Dr. Miller specifically to Facial Plastic Surgery is being able to provide patients with a unique skill set involving the head and neck. He has performed a vast number of facial cosmetic procedures. He has authored articles for national publications and made numerous presentations at national and regional meetings. He is a board certified member of the American Academy of Otolaryngology/Head and Neck Surgery. More...

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