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The age-related loss of volume and the force of gravity lead to the most prominent signs of aging on your face. As your skin loses its elasticity and collagen, your facial skin droops downwards and appears sunken or hollow. This might make you look old or tired. Dr. Chaowen Wu provides an extremely natural and safe facial fat transfer procedure to enhance your facial contours and reverse the age-related loss of facial volume. Patients traveling or flying to The Woodlands can visit our Out-of-Town page for more information.

What is Facial Fat Transfer?

Facial fat transfer is a relatively new cosmetic procedure wherein fat cells are harvested from a part of your body and injected into targeted areas on your face. The fat tissues are often injected into the cheeks or jawline to help you achieve firm, youthful contours. This procedure is safe and natural because the fat tissues are drawn from your body. Furthermore, besides contouring your facial features, it also contours and tones the donor site, such as the abdomen. Your facial fat grafting can be combined with a facelift for more dramatic results.


  • Soften the deep lines and folds caused by gravity and the loss of fat tissues, such as the nasolabial folds and marionette lines.
  • Add volume to the cheeks and jawline to help restore youthful facial balance.
  • Reverse the most prominent signs of aging, such as hollows in your temples, cheeks, under-eye regions, and nasolabial folds.
  • Natural-looking results inspired by your own body.
  • This procedure also tones the fat donor site, such as the abdomen or flanks.


You may be an ideal candidate for facial fat grafting if you:

  • Are in generally good physical and mental health.
  • Don’t have underlying medical conditions that prevent optimal recovery.
  • Don’t smoke or are willing to stop smoking several months before and after the procedure.
  • Have realistic expectations from the facial fat grafting procedure.
  • Have visible deep folds, hollowing, or gaunt appearance.
  • Have excess fat tissues in the targeted donor site.

What Happens During Facial Fat Transfer Procedure?

Dr. Wu will mark the areas on your face and the donor site to guide the treatment. The surgeon will insert a small tube-like device called a cannula into the targeted donor site, such as the thighs, abdomen, or flanks and a small amount of fat will be drawn from the donor site.

After purifying and isolating the live fat cells, Dr. Wu will carefully inject them into the targeted areas on your face. This should be done with the utmost precision, and the surgeon must ensure the blood supply is available to the fat cells. Otherwise, the fat cells will be absorbed and metabolized by the body. Dr. Wu carefully injects the fat cells into the targeted area while adjusting for the inevitable absorption of a percentage of the fat cells.

During the procedure, Dr. Wu layers microscopically small fat droplets along the contours of your face to ensure soft, gentle, and natural-looking results. Furthermore, spacing out the injections also gives your body enough time to develop a blood supply to the fat cells, thereby increasing their chance of survival. Dr. Wu’s patient and careful approach ensure long-lasting results.

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Recovery After Facial Fat Grafting

After your facial fat transfer procedure, you may experience mild redness, swelling, and bruising, especially around the eyes. The bruising and swelling will gradually dissipate after 1 to 2 weeks, following which you can resume your social activities. This procedure rolls back the clock, giving you more time with voluminous and youthful facial contours, but it doesn’t stop the aging process altogether. However, most fat grafting patients enjoy the results for decades.

What is Nano Fat Grafting?

This is a minimally invasive facial rejuvenation technique where processed fat, rich in stem cells and growth factors but with minimal live fat cells, is injected into targeted areas. This adds volume to sunken cheeks and temples, promotes collagen production for firmer skin, and aims for natural-looking results with potentially longer-lasting effects than fillers due to stem cells’ regenerative power.

Why choose Dr. Wu?

Dr. Chaowen Wu is a fellowship-trained plastic surgeon with a comprehensive facial aesthetics practice in The Woodlands, TX. She completed a competitive dual degree MD-PhD program at Wayne State University School of Medicine, making her one of the country’s leading figures in aesthetic plastic surgery. Dr. Wu always curates personalized treatments that elevate your natural beauty with minimal risks or complications. Please schedule an appointment to discuss your facial fat transfer options at Revel You in The Woodlands, TX.


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What is fat transfer to the face?

Fat transfer to the face, also called facial fat grafting, is a cosmetic surgery that utilizes your own body fat for facial rejuvenation. It involves liposuctioning fat from areas like the abdomen, thighs, or buttocks, purifying it, and then injecting it into targeted areas of the face. This fills in wrinkles, restores lost volume in cheeks and temples, and may even enhance features like the jawline. Since it uses your own tissue, fat transfer offers a natural-looking and potentially long-lasting solution for those seeking a more youthful appearance.

How long does the fat transfer to face procedure take?

The duration of a fat transfer to the face procedure varies depending on the extent of the work, but it typically takes one to three hours. This timeframe accounts for liposuction to harvest the fat, processing it for injection, and meticulously placing the fat grafts into desired facial areas.

Why transfer fat to the face?

Fat transfer to the face offers several benefits: It combats signs of aging by filling wrinkles and restoring lost facial volume in cheeks and temples, plumps the face for a more youthful look, and utilizes your own tissue, minimizing the risk of rejection and achieving a natural-looking result. Plus, the transferred fat may even have regenerative benefits due to stem cells present, potentially enhancing the longevity of the effects.

Where can fat be harvested from for my fat transfer procedure?

The ideal areas for fat harvesting in your face transfer procedure will depend on your body and the surgeon’s assessment. Common donor sites include the abdomen, thighs, flanks, and buttocks. These areas typically have sufficient fat stores that can be liposuctioned, processed, and then transferred to your face for optimal results.

Is liposuction always required before fat transfer to the face?

Liposuction is typically required before fat transfer to the face. Fat transfer relies on using your own healthy fat cells for rejuvenation, and liposuction provides the concentrated amount needed for injection. While some techniques explore using minimal amounts of fat harvested with a syringe, liposuction remains the standard approach to ensure enough viable fat cells for successful transfer and noticeable results.

Are there possible complications?

While fat transfer is generally safe, there are potential complications. These can range from minor swelling and bruising to asymmetry, infection, or fat necrosis (fat cell death). Rarely, serious issues like fat embolism (fat blocking a blood vessel) can occur. Make sure to discuss these risks with Dr. Wu during your facial rejuvenation consultation visit at Revel You Facial Plastic Surgery.

Should I get a fat transfer, a Facetite, or a dermal injectable?

Deciding between fat transfer, facelift, or dermal injectables depends on your goals and the extent of correction desired. Fat transfer and facelifts are surgical procedures for significant volume loss or sagging, while injectables offer a non-surgical option for milder wrinkles or definition. Dr. Wu will help you decide which of these treatments is ideally suited to you.


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