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How does facial fat grafting work?

In facial fat grafting (a.k.a. facial fat transfer), Dr. Maercks uses a patient’s own fatty tissue to remove folds and wrinkles, and provide youthful volume. Fat is taken from an area of the body where there’s enough of it to spare. 

It’s then purified, and then it’s injected into areas of the face. The skin’s outer appearance is further rejuvenated due to natural growth factors and stem cells. The face is re-shaped to your ideal appearance without altering your natural beauty. You will look like yourself — only better. 

Advantages from facial fat grafting

  • Lines and wrinkles are decreased
  • Youthful volume is restored
  • Beautiful, natural-looking results
  • No risk of allergic reaction
  • Removes fat from unwanted area
  • Improved skin texture and tone
  • Long-lasting results

The fat transfer procedure

There are three basic steps to the fat transfer procedure: Liposuction removal of fat; fat preparation, and injection. During treatment, both the donor area (the place where the fat is to be removed) and the face will be numbed with local anesthesia. 

After these areas have been cleansed, prepped, and numbed, the fat will be removed via liposuction with a cannula. Once it has been removed, the fat is purified and injected into targeted areas of the face with a fine needle. Tiny blood vessels are formed by the stem and fat cells, making a fat graft a more permanent option for a changed appearance. Fat transfer can put off the need for more complex cosmetic surgery for years, or even decades. A typical facial fat grafting treatment takes 1 to 2 hours. 

Survival rate of transplanted fat cells

Something that is important for anyone considering facial fat grafting to be aware of is that not all of the fat that’s injected into the face will “take”. This is because when the fat is removed from the body, it loses its blood supply. Typically, about 40% to 50% will survive.

Downtime and results 

Stitches are not typically needed after facial fat grafting, and the procedure requires minimal post-treatment care. Patients often experience minor bruising, swelling, or changes in sensation in the treatment area for several weeks. After the side effects completely subside, patients start to really notice their results. Don’t be alarmed if you appear “over-filled” at first. Because not all of the fat will survive, surgeons often inject extra fat to achieve the desired outcome. Dr. Maercks recommends that you wait at least several weeks to determine if your procedure achieved the results you wanted. Final results are apparent in 3 to 4 months. 

Your consultation

Before your fat transfer, you will meet Dr. Maercks in a consultation. During this initial meeting, he will talk to you about your medical history and your desired goals. He will explain what can realistically be accomplished with the procedure, the risks, and the cost. He will examine your face, and photos of you may also be taken during this time. He may also suggest alternative or additional procedures that may be better for your specific needs. Your consultation is the perfect time to bring up any questions or concerns you may have about facial fat grafting. 

Why choose The Maercks Institute for facial fat grafting in Miami?

If you’re interested in undergoing fat transfer at our Miami office, we welcome you to contact us to schedule a consultation. The Maercks Institute is a high-profile surgical center that offers a variety of advanced techniques in laser resurfacing, injectables, and surgical procedures that deliver bespoke results that appear as if they’re made by nature. President and medical director Dr. Rian Maercks is a board-certified cosmetic, plastic, and reconstructive surgery specialist who elevates the standard of patient care and safety. His approach to both surgical and non-surgical procedures has garnered him international recognition by surgeons and patients alike. With his attention to detail, artistic vision, and experienced judgement, he is the expert who will formulate the right treatment for your goals.

The Maercks Institute


How much does facial fat grafting in Miami cost?

The average cost of facial fat grafting at The Maercks Institute is from $12,700.

What can transferred fat do?

The purified and injected fat can be used to fill in hollow cheeks and skin depressions, minimize forehead wrinkles, enhance the lips, or improve nasolabial folds.

Who is a good candidate for facial fat grafting?

Fat grafting is ideal for providing deep volume enhancement in the face tissue. Good candidates are those with depressed scars, deep skin folds, or hollowness in the face. This treatment is not for treating fine lines. Candidates must have enough extra fat elsewhere on the body to use for the fat transfer, and are typically in their 30s and 40s.

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