Fat Injections

Fat Injections and Fat Transfers

Are fat injections and fat transfer right for you? If you have deep wrinkles on your upper or lower face, sunken cheeks, or lips that are thin or thinning with age, talk to us about how fat injections and fat transfer can fill out your face, lessen wrinkles, and give you a more youthful appearance.

Best Uses

  • Deep facial wrinkles and lines
  • Sunken cheeks
  • Depressed scars
  • Thin or thinning lips
  • Augment facial structure


As we age, we lose fat in our face. Fat transfer is used to recreate the architecture of the face and firm the skin by augmenting structural fat beneath the skin of the face. During the fat transfer procedure, Dr. Farella carefully removes fat from a “donor” site on your body, typically the abdomen, thighs, or buttocks, and injects it into lines and wrinkles on your face. Fat injections are most effective for filling out deep facial lines, wrinkles, and depressed scars, and for volumetric augmentation of sunken cheeks. They also can make lips look plumper. Injectable fat fillers can be combined with laser resurfacing or with facial recontouring procedures.

About the Procedure (Board Certified)

After Dr. Farella injects a local anesthetic into the donor and treatment sites, he withdraws fat from the donor site through a syringe with a large-bore needle or through a wide suction cannula to prevent damage to the fat cells. Dr. Farella carefully processes the fat and then injects it into the treatment site, drop by drop, using a large bore needle. Injections require skill and finesse to deposit drops of fat using a scaffolding technique to ensure a smooth and even appearance. The treatment site may be overfilled to compensate for the fat cells that do not “take.”


Since fat injections transfer a living cell, results can be virtually permanent. Each time fat is injected into the treatment site, a percentage of cells lives and remains in place permanently. Cells that do not flourish are reabsorbed into the body. The results of fat transfer can be long-lasting, depending on patient age, treatment area, genetics, and the amount of transferred fat that gets reabsorbed. Repeat treatments may be necessary for optimal results.

Anesthesia and Pain

Local anesthetic is used to numb the donor and treatment sites. Sedation may be administered on an individual basis, depending on the patient and the size of the treatment area.


Fat injections require more downtime than manufactured injectables like Juvéderm® and Restylane® but results tend to last longer. Both the donor and the treatment sites are likely to be swollen, bruised, and red for several days after fat injection. Avoid the sun for a few days until redness subsides. Swelling and bruising at the treatment site may last days to weeks, depending on the amount of fat injected.

Risks and Complications

Complications from fat injections and fat transfer are rare. Allergic reactions seldom occur because live fat cells are taken from your own body and moved to a different spot. You will receive instructions on contacting our staff if you have concerns or questions after your treatment.

Information on this page is not a substitute for medical consultation or advice. Please contact us to schedule an appointment to discuss the best treatments for you.