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Facial Fat Transfer Surgery in Newport Beach, CA

Published by Dr. Brandon Richland, MD

Overview of Facial Fat Transfer Surgery in Newport Beach

Facial fat transfer surgery restores lost volume in the face, providing a more youthful appearance. This procedure, known as autologous fat transfer, involves extracting, isolating, purifying, and injecting fat from other body parts to enhance facial contours and fill in areas affected by aging.

What Is a Facial Fat Transfer?

Facial fat transfer, also known as fat grafting, involves harvesting excess fat from areas like the abdomen, thighs, or flanks using liposuction. The harvested fatty tissue is then purified using a centrifuge to separate the fat cells from other components. Once purified, the fat cells are carefully injected into targeted areas of the face, such as the cheeks, lips, and under-eye regions.

This procedure is minimally invasive and aims to restore a natural, youthful appearance by addressing volume loss due to aging.

Why Have Facial Fat Transfer Surgery Done in Newport Beach?

Newport Beach, CA, offers top-notch medical facilities and highly skilled cosmetic surgeons specializing in facial fat transfers. The appeal of having the procedure done in this location lies in the combination of advanced medical technology and the expertise of board-certified professionals.

Individuals opting for this surgery in Newport Beach benefit from personalized care, ensuring the best possible outcomes. The local climate and beautiful surroundings also provide an ideal environment for recovery.

Who Is a Good Candidate for Facial Fat Transfer Surgery?

Good candidates for facial fat transfer surgery include individuals experiencing volume loss in areas like the cheeks, lips, and under-eye regions. Those seeking a natural solution to aging and desiring a minimally invasive procedure are typically ideal candidates. Facial fat transfer can restore facial fullness and combat signs of aging.

Candidates should be in good overall health, have realistic expectations, and possess enough fat in donor areas for harvesting. Consulting with a qualified surgeon is essential to determine suitability and discuss individual goals.

Choosing a Facial Fat Transfer Surgeon in Newport Beach

Selecting the right plastic surgeon in Newport Beach, California (CA) for facial fat transfer surgery involves careful consideration. It includes assessing a surgeon’s experience, ensuring effective communication, and verifying certifications.

How Do I Choose a Plastic Surgeon for Facial Fat Transfer Surgery in Newport Beach?

Look for a board certified plastic surgeon who specializes in facial fat grafting and has a significant amount of experience. Check their portfolio and before-and-after photos to see the results they have achieved for past patients. Experience can greatly impact the success of the treatment and the overall satisfaction of the patient.

Ensure that the chosen surgeon is board-certified in plastic or cosmetic surgery. Certification from reputable boards, such as the American Board of Facial Cosmetic Surgery, indicates that the surgeon has met stringent standards. Always verify these credentials to ensure you are in capable hands.

Read reviews and testimonials from previous patients to gauge their satisfaction and experiences. Look for feedback on the surgeon’s skill, bedside manner, and the results of their surgeries. This firsthand information can be invaluable in making an informed decision.

Consultation Process

When considering facial fat transfer treatment, the consultation process is crucial. It allows you to gather vital information, address concerns, and set realistic expectations for the treatment and recovery.

What Questions Should I Ask My Plastic Surgeon About Facial Fat Transfer Surgery?

To ensure you are fully informed, prepare a list of questions for your plastic surgeon. Important questions might include:

  • What experience do you have with facial fat transfer surgery?
  • What are the risks and complications associated with this procedure?
  • How do you handle complications if they arise?
  • What kind of results can I realistically expect?
  • Can I see before-and-after photos of your previous patients?
  • What should I do to prepare for the surgery?
  • What is the estimated cost, and does it include follow-up appointments?

Asking these questions will help you gain a comprehensive understanding of the procedure.

What Should I Expect During A Consultation for Facial Fat Transfer Surgery?

During the consultation, the plastic surgeon will evaluate your medical history and examine the areas where fat might be harvested and injected.

  • Medical History Review: The surgeon will review your health background to ensure you are a suitable candidate.
  • Physical Examination: This includes assessing the donor sites (abdomen, thighs, etc.) and the target areas on your face.
  • Discussion of Goals: You will discuss your aesthetic goals and expectations in detail.
  • Customized Treatment Plan: Based on the assessment, a personalized treatment plan will be formulated.
  • Recovery Plan: The surgeon will explain the recovery process, including post-operative care and expected downtime.

Ensure you take notes and ask for any clarifications on points that are not clear.

Understanding the Facial Fat Transfer Procedure

Facial fat transfer surgery consists of several stages, including fat harvesting, purification, and fat injection into targeted facial areas.

What Medical Terms Should I Know About Facial Fat Transfer Surgery?

Liposuction: This is the process by which fat is harvested from donor sites like the abdomen or thighs. The fat is then purified and prepared for injection.

Grafting: Refers to the process of implanting fat into the face to add or restore volume.

Local Anesthesia: Often used to numb both the donor and recipient sites during the procedure. Patients are awake but do not feel pain.

What Types of Facial Fat Transfer Surgeries Are There?

Facial fat transfer surgeries can be categorized based on the specific area being treated.

Lip Augmentation: Using fat injections to enhance the fullness of the lips and correct asymmetry.

Cheek Restoration: Fat is grafted to fill sunken cheeks, giving a more youthful appearance.

Eye Area Rejuvenation: Fat is targeted around the eyes to reduce hollowness and dark circles, providing a fresher look.

Each type aims to address different areas of volume loss and can be tailored to individual needs.

What are the Surgical Steps of a Facial Fat Transfer Procedure?

Harvesting: The surgeon performs liposuction to collect fat cells from donor sites such as the abdomen, thighs, or flanks. The procedure often involves local anesthesia for minimal discomfort.

Purification: After harvesting, the fat is purified using a centrifuge or other methods to separate healthy fat cells from other substances.

Injection: The purified fat is then carefully injected into the targeted facial areas as part of a facial fat graft. The surgeon uses small syringes to ensure precise placement and natural-looking results. These injections aim to rejuvenate the face by adding volume where needed.

Cost of Newport Beach Facial Fat Transfer Surgery in California

The cost of facial fat transfer surgery varies widely based on several factors including surgeon expertise, and the extent of the treatment needed.

How Much Does a Facial Fat Transfer Cost?

The cost of facial fat transfer surgery in Newport Beach, CA can be quite diverse, typically ranging between $2,500 and $15,000. Factors influencing the cost include the surgeon’s reputation and skill level, practice services, and the specifics of the procedure itself.

Paying attention to these details can help individuals make informed decisions and achieve the desired results from their treatment.

Insurance Coverage

Facial fat transfer surgery is largely deemed a cosmetic procedure. The cost implications and lack of medical necessity mean it is often not covered by insurance providers.

Is a Facial Fat Transfer Covered by Insurance?

Facial fat transfer is typically not covered by insurance. Insurance companies classify it as an elective cosmetic procedure, which is not medically necessary.

Patients should expect to bear the full cost out-of-pocket. These costs can be significant and may increase if combined with other procedures. It is essential for patients to consult their insurance providers early on to confirm their coverage details and to understand any potential exceptions.

Lack of insurance coverage means planning financially for the procedure is crucial. Some clinics offer financing options to help manage costs.

Non-Surgical Alternatives

For those seeking facial rejuvenation without surgery, several non-surgical alternatives to a facial fat transfer exist. These options can enhance facial volume and reduce wrinkles using various techniques.

What Non-Surgical Alternatives are There to a Facial Fat Transfer?

Dermal fillers are a popular choice for non-surgical facial volume enhancement. These injectable treatments can smooth out wrinkles and add volume to the cheeks and lips. Hyaluronic acid fillers, such as Juvederm and Restylane, are commonly used due to their natural-looking results and minimal side effects.

Compared to facial fat transfer, soft tissue fillers also address volume loss and signs of aging, but using a person’s own fat can provide more permanent and natural-looking results.

Collagen-stimulating fillers help boost the skin’s natural collagen production. Sculptra, for instance, gradually increases collagen over time, resulting in smoother, firmer skin. These treatments are ideal for those looking for long-lasting, natural results without the need for surgical intervention.

Radiofrequency treatments like FaceTite use thermal energy to tighten the skin and reduce fat deposits. This non-invasive method can contour the face and improve the sagging skin, offering a firmer and more youthful appearance.

Pros and Cons

Facial fat transfer surgery features several benefits but also comes with risks and potential downsides.

What are the Pros and Cons of Facial Fat Transfer Surgery?


Facial fat transfer uses the patient’s own fat, making it a natural option for facial augmentation. The results are generally long-lasting compared to injectable fillers. Once the fat cells establish a blood supply, they can stay permanently. The procedure can restore volume lost due to aging, providing a more youthful appearance. Additionally, it can improve skin texture and quality because of the stem cells in fat.


Despite its benefits, there are some downsides. There’s a risk of uneven fat reabsorption, leading to facial asymmetry. The recovery period may be longer compared to fillers, with potential side effects like bruising, swelling, and tenderness. Ultra-superficial fat placement can cause visible lumps. Changes in body weight can affect the results since fat cells can grow or shrink.

Side Effects, Risks and Complications

Facial fat transfer surgery can provide significant cosmetic benefits, but it is important to be informed about its potential side effects, risks, and complications.

Are There Side Effects, Risks, or Complications of Facial Fat Transfer Surgery?

The most common side effects after a facial fat transfer include bruising, swelling, and pain. These usually subside within a few weeks. Patients may also experience tenderness or soreness in both the donor and treated areas.

Potential risks include neurological side effects if fat is accidentally injected into a blood vessel, leading to possible vascular complications. Minor asymmetry can occur if fat distribution between both sides of the face is inconsistent.

Preparation for Surgery

Proper preparation for facial fat transfer surgery is crucial for optimal results and a smooth recovery. It involves steps like consulting with the surgeon, managing medications, and planning for post-operative care.

How Should I Prepare for a Facial Fat Transfer?

The first step is a detailed consultation with the surgeon. Patients should discuss their expectations and understand the potential outcomes of the procedure. The surgeon will evaluate the patient’s health, discuss donor sites for liposuction, and outline the recovery process.

Patients may need to stop smoking several weeks before surgery to enhance healing. It’s also important to avoid aspirin, anti-inflammatory drugs, and certain herbal medications that can cause increased bleeding. Surgeons often recommend staying well-hydrated before and after surgery.

Careful preparation not only contributes to the success of the surgery but also ensures a smoother recovery experience for the patient.

Facial Fat Transfer Recovery Process

Facial fat transfer recovery involves managing swelling and bruising while gradually resuming daily activities. The patient will experience changes in appearance as both the donor and recipient sites heal.

How Long Does It Take to Recover From a Facial Fat Transfer?

The initial recovery phase for facial fat transfer typically lasts about 1-2 weeks, during which most swelling subsides.

Swelling and bruising are expected, especially in the first few days. Applying ice packs can help reduce these symptoms. They should be wrapped in cloth and applied for short intervals to avoid direct skin contact.

The patient may experience some pain and tenderness in both the harvesting and injection sites. Over-the-counter medications can help manage discomfort.

Most patients can resume daily activities within 2-3 weeks. Full recovery and natural-looking results generally appear over 4-6 weeks.

Adhering to post-operative care instructions is crucial for a smooth recovery and optimal results.

Duration of Facial Fat Transfer Results

Facial fat transfer results can be long-lasting, providing a more youthful appearance to the patient. Several factors, such as fat survival and aging, influence how long the results will last.

How Long Does a Facial Fat Transfer Last?

Facial fat transfer offers results that are considered permanent. The results seen 9 to 10 months after the procedure are mostly stable. Although patients may experience some changes in the treated area, such as slight volume loss from natural aging, the overall youthful appearance can remain for years.

Fat survival is a key factor in the longevity of results. Successful transfers rely on the surgeon’s technique in harvesting, purifying, and injecting the fat. Patients need to maintain a stable weight, as fluctuations can impact fat volume.

Aging also plays a role in the results. Even though the transferred fat cells are permanent, the face will continue to age naturally. This means that while the procedure can significantly reverse signs of aging, it does not halt the natural aging process.

Expected Results

Facial fat transfer surgery can provide natural-looking volume and rejuvenation to areas like the cheeks and nasolabial folds. Patients can expect long-lasting results, though they may vary based on several factors.

What Results Can I Expect After I Have Facial Fat Transfer Surgery?

Patients often see increased volume in treated areas such as the cheeks and nasolabial folds. This added volume helps smooth wrinkles and fine lines, offering a more youthful appearance. The results can look very natural because the fat cells come from the patient’s own body.

Results last longer compared to some synthetic fillers. Many patients enjoy their new look for several years, although aging will continue. Successful fat transfer can maintain volume better in areas with rich blood supply.

Emphasizing patient-specific factors, a consultation with a qualified surgeon is essential for tailored advice and realistic expectations.

Before & After Photos

Before and after photos provide a visual representation of these changes and help prospective patients set realistic expectations.

Facial Fat Transfer Before & After (B&A) Photos

Facial fat transfer before and after photos highlight the improvements in facial volume and contour achieved through facial fat transfer. These images typically show enhanced cheeks, filled-in wrinkles, and rejuvenated overall facial appearance.

Patients can see how individual treatments tailored by a surgeon lead to natural-looking results. Photographs taken at different stages of recovery can also illustrate the gradual improvements and final outcomes of the treatment. This helps patients visualize the healing process and the lasting effects of the procedure.

About the Author

Dr. Brandon Richland, MD is one of the best, most respected, top Board Certified Plastic Surgeons in Newport Beach, California specializing in cosmetic and reconstructive surgeries.

Driven by his passion for medicine, Dr. Richland obtained his Doctor of Medicine (M.D.) degree from the prestigious program at Saint Louis University (SLU) School of Medicine in 2013. His exceptional skills were recognized when he received the McGraw Hill / Lange Medical Student Academic Achievement Award, and graduated top of his class with Honors. For his undergraduate degree, he attended University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) and graduated with Honors in 2009.

To further enhance his surgical expertise, Dr. Richland completed his Residency in Plastic Surgery at the University of California, Irvine (UCI) from 2013 to 2019 earning the Academic Achievement Award twice during this period. A total of 14 years in dedicated schooling and medical residency.

Dr. Richland is actively involved with healthcare and medical societies, as a Diplomate of the American Board of Plastic Surgery, a member of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, American Society of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons, and the California Society of Plastic Surgeons.

Contact Dr. Richland’s Newport Beach Plastic Surgery office today by calling 949-867-6005, or visit RichlandMD.com to schedule your personalized plastic surgery consultation in Newport Beach.