Fat Transfer
Available In Pittsburgh, PA or Columbus, OH  

What is Fat Transfer?

Fat transfer to the face is among our most popular facial rejuvenation treatments and is considered one of the most long-lasting and natural treatments to restore facial fullness and volume that is lost to the aging process. Fat transfer to the face can also soften facial lines, wrinkles and folds.

Fat transfer or fat grafting offers a natural approach to restore volume and fullness to:

  • Fine lines and wrinkles
  • Facial creases and folds
  • Flattened, deflated cheeks
  • Sagging jowls
  • Thin lips
  • Drooping, sagging eyelids
  • Recessed chin

In Pittsburgh, fat transfer is performed by board-certified cosmetic surgeon, Dominic Brandy, MD, in our state-licensed and nationally-accredited (AAAHC) outpatient surgery center. In Columbus, Ohio, fat transfer is performed by board-certified plastic surgeon, Fernando Colon, MD, in our nationally-accredited (AAAHC) surgical center.

Fat Transfer Treatment

Fat transfer is a two—step facial rejuvenation treatment. The first step is to remove the unwanted fat, typically from the hips, thighs, buttocks or abdomen. However, fat can removed from anywhere on the body. Using a local anesthetic, the area where the fat is being removed from is desensitized. Then, a small cannula attached to a syringe is placed under the skin. It is gently and systematically moved back and forth as the fat fills the syringe. A nurse then purifies the fat and transfers it into another syringe with an extra small cannula for injecting.

The fat injections are performed using a topographical map layering technique (Figure 1 to the right) developed by board-certified cosmetic surgeon, Dominic Brandy, MD. With the topography map, the smallest circle indicates the highest point and the largest circle indicates the lowest point. The fat is layered into the different circles, creating the desired shape and fullness. Layering the fat also guarantees the highest rate of fat retention. Typically, 50 percent of the injected fat is retained, therefore the injected area is overfilled by 25 percent to ensure optimal results.

Fat transfer is the most natural dermal filler as the fat is harvested from the individual's own body. Fat grafting offers some of the most lasting results once the fat injection treatments have been completed.

How Many Fat Grafting Treatments Will I Need?

After the first fat grafting treatment, the body may absorb up to 65 percent of the fat within the first few months. The remaining fat will typically stay in place for many years.

Fat Grafting and Body Contouring

Many people choose to combine fat transfer to the face with liposuction surgery to remove a larger amount of unwanted fat from the belly, love handles, flanks or back.

Cosmetic surgery or body contouring procedures may include:

  • Tummy Tuck
  • Liposuction
  • SmartLipo™ Laser Liposuction

However, it is not necessary to have a significant amount of fat or a body contouring procedure to remove fat for fat transfer to the face.

Do I need to have a full liposuction surgery to have fat transfer to my face?

No, a full Liposuction surgery is not necessary to perform fat transfer to the face. If a full liposuction is not performed to remove the fat, a small cannula attached to a syringe is used. The amount of fat removed using the syringe method will not change the shape of the body or result in weight-loss. Every person has some amount of fat on the body that can be collected for fat transfer to the face.


Re-LIPO-sition, is a surgical procedure that utilizes liposuction to remove unwanted fat from the belly, love handles, back, arms or thighs. The fat is then artistically repositioned to another area of the body where more volume or fullness is needed, such as the buttocks and/or breasts.

How Does ReLIPOsition Work?

Using a small cannula, the fat is removed from the body during liposuction surgery. The fat is purified and then injected into the breasts and/or buttocks in a topographical layering technique (see reference document to the right) to artistically create the desired fullness and volume. Once the injected fat is in place, the area is multi-directionally massaged for a beautiful smoothing effect. Because some of the injected fat is naturally reabsorbed by the body, the area is typically overfilled by 25 percent to ensure optimal results.

Do you need be overweight to have Re-LIPO-sition?

No! Everyone, no matter how thin, has some fat on their body. Re-LIPO-sition can add subtle volume and fullness or more dramatic results depending on the amount of fat harvested and injected into the breasts and/or buttocks. For most people, the amount of fat removed during liposuction is enough to restore the youthful volume and fullness they desire.

Re-LIPO-sition Surgery Recovery

Each person will experience a different recovery from Re-LIPO-sition because no two surgeries are exactly alike. However, you will experience some degree of discomfort and soreness after surgery which can be effectively managed with the proper pain medication.

The two weeks immediately following surgery you will need to wear a compression garment to help reduce post-operative swelling from the liposuction surgery. During this time, you will be asked to refrain from any lifting or exercise.

Because the fat transfer area is overfilled to accommodate the reabsorption of some of the injected fat, the injection site may look too large immediately after surgery. This over-filled area gradually subsides, resulting in a more natural look. In some cases, it may take up to 12 weeks or longer to see the final result.

Depending on your occupation, you should be able to return to work within a week of having surgery.

Cost of Re-LIPO-sition

The cost of Re-LIPO-sition surgery will vary depending on the amount of liposuction needed and the number of areas being enhanced through fat transfer. The cost of your Re-LIPO-sition surgery will be outlined during your surgical consultation.

How long until I can sit after having fat transfer to the butt?

When fat transfer to the buttocks is performed, it is acceptable to sit and lay down immediately following the surgery. Sitting or lying flat will not displace the injected fat nor will it diminish the result of the fat transfer to the butt.


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Alternative Treatments

Juvederm® is an FDA-approved hyaluronic acid facial filler that immediately restores lost volume to fine lines, wrinkles and depressed areas of the skin.
Radiesse smoothes facial lines, wrinkles, and deeper facial creases while stimulating the skin's natural collagen production. And now it's FDA-approved for hand rejuvenation, too!
Restylane® facial fillers can be used to effectively supplement or replace the hyaluronic acid that diminishes during the aging process.
Voluma XC
VOLUMA is the first and only injectable dermal filler FDA-approved for injection deep into the cheek area to restore fullness and volume to the cheek area for an instant cheek lift.
Brazilian Butt Lift
Available at The Skin Center in Pittsburgh, Brazilian Butt Lift surgery is a surgical procedure designed to enhance the natural curves of the body while adding volume and fullness to the buttocks.
Breast Augmentation
Breast Augmentation is a surgical procedure that alters the size and shape of the breast for cosmetic or aesthetic reasons.
Liposuction can help you achieve the shape you want by removing body fat that cannot be eliminated through diet, exercise or other types of weight reduction techniques.
Tummy Tuck
Tummy Tuck tightens the abdominal wall, removes sagging skin on the belly and reduces excess belly fat to restore a younger, firmer mid-section.

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