Dr. Bruce Freedman
Plastic Surgery Associates of Northern Virginia

Fat Transfers

With age, bodies redistribute fat so that areas that were full now appear gaunt, drawn, or thinner. This natural aging process is due to the underlying collagen and elastin fibers breaking down or becoming less abundant. Generally, the most noticeable changes occur in the face including the glabella, nasolabial folds, lips, and cheeks. Fat transfers, also called autologous fat transplantation or micro-lipoinjection, is a common solution which helps to combat the signs of aging. Fat transfers use the patient's own fat to fill out the face and/or the lips. Since the patient's own body fat is utilized, it is safe, natural, and non-allergenic procedure designed to recontour facial appearance and add definition.

The Process: Fat transfer is a process by which fatty tissue is removed from one area of the body and injected into another area. It is generally recognized that some or all of the transferred fat may be absorbed by the body over time. Fat is removed from the donor site, such as the abdomen or buttocks and is processed to remove excess fluids. The fat is then reinjected with a separate needle underneath the skin in the desired areas. Harvesting the fat cells for reinjection is commonly performed in conjunction with other procedures such as liposuction or tummy tucks. When larger volumes of fat are harvested, Dr. Freedman can freeze and store the fat for future injections.

The Recovery: Patients recover almost immediately after fat injections, and are able to drive themselves home. Swelling at the treatment site may last for up to 36 hours following the fat transfer. Some patients experience minor bruising which usually can be covered up with make-up.

The Results: Studies show that in the first few months about 65% of the fat will be reabsorbed by the body, but the remaining 35% usually stays in place for years.


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