The Art and Science of Fat Grafting


Your face—it’s a beautiful masterpiece, unique and wonderful unlike any other.  True of all artwork, no two pieces are ever the same. This is why enhancing your unique look requires an art and science that cannot be manufactured.

No matter what age you are, the best is yet to come. Studying the changes your skin goes through will help you understand how a facial plastic surgeon can artfully and scientifically rejuvenate your changing appearance. This rejuvenating craftsmanship is performed in a key procedure called Fat Grafting, or Lipografting.

The Science of Fat Grafting

Facial plastic surgery is done as part of a comprehensive approach to what doctors call facial rejuvenation. Many surgeons, but not all, recognize that fat grafting (also known as lipografting), is important in restoring volume to a patient’s face.

The largest contributor to aging is volume loss.  This is caused by a loss of padding under the skin, which creates depressions in the skin, and greater exposure of bones.  Volume loss plus gravity also contributes to sagging of the skin.

A Fat Grafting procedure is done under anesthesia in the area that the fat is being harvested from.  Typically this area is in the abdomen, hips or thighs.  The patient’s fat is cleaned; the pure fat cells are separated and then injected in the area being treated.

The harvesting, handling, purifying and injection process of Fat Grafting requires an advanced technique that not every surgeon has yet mastered. This procedure must be done skillfully with advanced techniques and a high level of precision to obtain permanent results.  Once the living fat cells are injected they should take hold in their new environment and become nourished by the surrounding tissue’s blood supply.

The body takes very well to this procedure as each patient is using their own fat.  Although rarely needed, excess fat is frozen and kept at the surgeon’s facility up to one year for possible touch ups.

The Art of Fat Grafting

Have you ever seen the amazing three-dimensional street art by painters like Kurt Wenner and Eduardo Relero? They create such realistic art in the streets that passers-by can’t help but stop and stare, almost feeling as though they can walk right into the artwork.

It takes tremendous skill and impeccable vision to practice three-dimensional art and that is exactly what facial plastic surgery is–an art.  The face is not a one-dimensional palette.  There are no simple instructions or steps to injecting fat in just the right areas of the face to bring it back to it’s most natural, youthful-looking state.  A facial plastic surgeon must practice precision and treat each patient’s face as a unique work of art.  Great artists are very passionate about what they do.

Looking at the photos you have of yourself from over the years, a surgeon can evaluate how you have uniquely aged, where volume has been lost and can be restored.

Natural beauty is soft and subtle.  When facial plastic surgery is done right your friends and loved ones may only notice there has been an improvement in your look and need to ask what the change was.  This is the truest compliment a patient can receive!