HomeProceduresSkin TreatmentsFat Transfer

Fat Transfer

Table of Contents

Skin Treatments

Fat Transfer

facial fat transfer la jolla

Fat transfer is an innovative, safe way to use your body’s own cells to add volume to deflated facial features. Thinning tissue along the face is a telltale sign of aging. As we get older, our faces lose fat volume. Facial deflation can lead to a tired, worn out, and sunken look, especially in our cheeks. The skin hangs looser on the face in our advancing years, and sharper, severe features begin to emerge. One of the best methods for restoring your face back to its youthful, glory days is through a facial fat transfer procedure. The facial fat transfer gives natural-looking, long-lasting, anti-aging results. 

Dr. Daniel Brown and his staff have performed countless facial fat transfers and have the experience needed to help you achieve your most beautiful self. To learn how facial fat transfer can replenish your look, contact our offices. We have four convenient locations in Carmel Valley, La Jolla, Coronado, and Del Mar. Speaking of convenience: we now offer virtual consultations to best serve the greater San Diego region. No matter where you log on, Dr. Brown wants to connect with you. 

Call (619) 461-1500 to start a conversation about your best self.

What Is Facial Fat Transfer?

A facial fat transfer is a facial augmentation and rejuvenation treatment. It specifically addresses facial aging symptoms such as sunken cheeks, nasolabial folds, tear troughs, and sunken temples.[1] Facial rejuvenation with a fat transfer requires a specialized artistic eye and mastery of injection methods to achieve natural results.


Although fat is often seen as the enemy to our cosmetic goals, it can be quite a powerful anti-aging tool. A facial fat transfer, or facial fat grafting, is unlike most cosmetic procedures because it takes advantage of fat deposits already in your body and repurposes them for facial rejuvenation.[2] This procedure involves removing fat cells from the body via liposuction and purifying them for re-insertion. The repurposed fat cells are carefully injected into precise areas of the skin where they can restore volume and provide a perkier appearance. Fat transfer is most helpful for clients who have lost collagen in their faces. As collagen levels decrease, it results in a hollow or sunken look. 

The fat grafting procedure is a win-win because it removes unwanted bulk from one part of the body (most commonly from the abdomen, thighs, and upper arms), and adds it to areas of the face where volume is needed. This results in a safe, natural, and effective procedure that can make all the difference in your appearance.


Facial fat transfers can effectively turn back the clock on the aging process. Since the substance used to achieve volume is your own fat, the results look all-natural because they are, in fact, all-natural. There is less chance of infection or rejection than if you were to employ synthetic solutions.

In regards to facial aging, facial fat transfers can treat multiple symptoms such as: 

  • Furrowed brows
  • Sunken upper and lower eyelids
  • Scleral show causing exposure of the whites of the eyes[3]
  • Fat herniation of the lower eyelids
  • Deep grooves on the cheekbones
  • Sagging and drooping of the cheeks
  • Lower eyelid depressions called nasojugal grooves
  • Nasolabial folds, aka “parentheses” lines flanking the nose and mouth
  • Vertical lines along the corners of the mouth (marionette lines)
  • Jowling (the sagging skin along the edges of the jawline)
  • Chin creases
  • Thinness of the lips

Essentially, facial fat transfers recycle your own extracted fat and put it to great use. Recipients are satisfied with the volume and youthfulness of their faces. Fat transfer slims down the areas where the fat was removed and adds volume where it is most desired. Facial fat grafts are revolutionizing anti-aging and rejuvenation treatments, giving patients long-term, natural-looking results. To explore the benefits of fat transfer for your face, contact our San Diego offices.

Eligible Candidates

Adult men and women who have lost their youthful, perky appearance due to lost facial volume are ideal candidates for fat transfer. Fat injections for lip augmentation can be performed for patients after the age of 20. Most patients seeking facial rejuvenation are over 35, but improvement knows no age limits. 

facial fat transfer la jolla

Clients should have realistic expectations and goals regarding the fat transfer procedure, choosing to undergo treatment to fit their personal goals rather than someone else’s. Patients may also be ideal candidates for facial fat transfer if they maintain a healthy lifestyle filled with exercise and a balanced diet. Patients should have sufficient excess fat in at least one area of the body to serve as their donor site.

Dr. Brown will be able to determine your eligibility for facial fat transfer during your comprehensive consultation. At that time, he can estimate the amount of fat necessary to bring your enhancement to life.

Private Consultation in San Diego

During your private consultation, you will be invited to point out particular “problem” areas and explain your goals for a facial fat transfer. Once Dr. Brown knows a bit more about your individual scenario, he will perform a physical evaluation, review your medical history, and inquire about any pre-existing conditions you may have. The purpose of a consultation is to ensure you are confident and informed about the treatment. After all, an informed patient is a healthy patient

Dr. Brown is a board-certified plastic surgeon with a passion for helping you regain your self-confidence. With a keen eye for achieving results that are in line with your body’s best features and natural anatomy, Dr. Brown can help you reverse the clock on facial aging.

Schedule your consultation online or call (619) 461-1500.


Between the time of the consultation and the date of the procedure, it is advised that the patient do the following: 

  • Maintain a healthy diet and lifestyle
  • Patients who are smokers should stop smoking 3 weeks before the procedure to ensure a speedy and optimal recovery 
  • Maintain your exercise schedule and regimen 
  • Be sure to coordinate prescription pickups before the procedure
  • Arrange for transportation after the procedure
  • Request time off from work to ensure that you are given the time and freedom to recover

If you have any questions or concerns about your preparation, feel free to contact our office. We are always eager to help!

Fat Transfer Procedure

A facial fat transfer actually begins on the body. Unwanted fat from the thighs, buttocks, abdomen or arms is selectively removed and purified. Dr. Brown then uses the extracted fat cells to add volume to deflated facial features.

facial fat transfer la jolla

The doctor begins by marking both the area of the body where the fat will be removed and marking the area of the face where the fat will be transferred to. The initial fat removal phase is performed using tumescent liposuction and local anesthesia, meaning you will be awake and comfortable during the entire process. Local anesthesia and tumescent liposuction are ideal because they provide increased safety when compared to general anesthesia, which carries certain risks. 

Once we collect an adequate amount of donor fat, we then purify and clean it in a specialized centrifuge, which will improve fat re-uptake rates. Once the fat is cleaned, Dr. Brown will then inject the fat into the marked areas of the face with a smaller needle using the micro-droplet method. As the name suggests, micro-droplets are tiny amounts of purified fat that are able to adhere to the substructures of the face for smooth, natural, long-lasting results.

Healthy Recovery

After the fat transfer procedure, you will be wrapped in a compression garment around the donor area to reduce swelling and aid healing. A trained medical professional will then usher you to our state-of-the-art recovery room to rest and review all recovery instructions before you leave our office.

We recommend that you enjoy a light walk the night of the procedure to assist with blood flow and circulation. We will provide you with prescription medication to aid in any discomfort that is to be expected in the first couple of weeks. Swelling and bruising are common, but should disappear within 3 weeks. After the bruising and swelling fade, the optimal results will emerge.

Remarkable Results

Some of the fat cells transferred to your face may be absorbed and flushed from your system naturally, but many will stay in place for a lifetime. The results of a facial fat transfer give our patients a newfound sense of confidence, rejuvenation, and inspiration to continue leading a healthy lifestyle.

To get a preview of how happy you will be after the fat transfer process, take a look at our stellar reviews.

Facial Fat Transfer vs. Dermal Fillers 

You can explore the benefits of facial enhancement with the help of dermal fillers. Fillers literally fill the gaps beneath the skin caused by collagen depletion. Dr. Brown offers the Juvéderm family of products, which are formulated using hyaluronic acid (HA). HA naturally occurs in the human body and cradles moisture to promote enduring hydration.

While our dermal fillers are safe and effective, they can’t possibly match the natural splendor of your own cells. That’s why some patients consider a fat transfer to be their most ideal option. Facial fat transfers are a natural approach to combat signs of aging and provide potentially longer-lasting results in comparison to synthetic injectable fillers. With a facial fat transfer, fat tissue poses no risks of allergic reaction and rejection from the body. Dr. Brown and his staff can further advise you on the benefits of a facial fat transfer.

Under the expertise of Dr. Brown, patients will truly look and feel younger after they undergo a facial fat transfer. If you or someone you know is interested in a facial fat transfer, then please don’t hesitate to contact our office. Let us help you achieve the best, most vibrant, youthful you!


How much does a facial fat transfer cost in San Diego?

Since fat transfer is a two-tiered process, there are several variables that factor into its cost. First: how much fat do you want Dr. Brown to extract from your donor site(s)? Next: where along the face do you wish to add more volume? Dr. Brown will assess your needs and provide transparent pricing throughout the fat transfer process, from consultation to aftercare. To learn about our credit options, please visit our financing page or call (619) 461-1500 with questions.


  1. Kaufman, M. R., Bradley, J. P., Dickinson, B., Heller, J. B., Wasson, K., O’Hara, C., … & Miller, T. A. (2007). Autologous fat transfer national consensus survey: trends in techniques for harvest, preparation, and application, and perception of short-and long-term results. Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery. 119 (1) 323-331. DOI: 10.1097/01.prs.0000244903.51440.8c
  2. Coleman, S. R. (2006). Facial augmentation with structural fat grafting. Clinics in Plastic Surgery. 33 (4) 567-577. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.cps.2006.09.002
  3. Bravo, B., Totti, J., Gelpi, B., Bianco de Souza, S., & Bravo, L. G. (2018). Use of Hyaluronic Acid Fillers to Correct Scleral Show: A Review of Technique. The Journal of Clinical and Aesthetic Dermatology. 11 (6) 38–40. PMID: 29942423

Contact Us Today to Get Started

Please Call us, Schedule a Consultation,
or Visit us at our locations to get started.