Fat Transfer
Available In Pittsburgh, PA or Columbus, OH  

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.


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Treatment Information

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.

Stem Cell Assisted Fat Transfer

Stem cell assisted fat transfer is an optional add-on treatment that patients may elect as part of the Fat Transfer to the face and is highly recommended. Stem cells are present in body fat; the same body fat that is removed during the small liposuction, or fat removal, procedure described above.

When stem cell assisted fat transfer is added to the procedure, twice as much fat is harvested during the fat removal or liposuction procedure. Using a special enzymatic technique, the additional fat that is harvested is purified until all that remains is the stem cells. These stem cells are then added back to the original fat that was removed. The original fat and added stem cells are then injected into the facial area as planned during the consultation process using Dr. Brandy’s proprietary topography technique.

Adding purified stem cells to the fat transfer increases the fat survival rate from approximately 50 percent to 85 percent because the number of stem cells present in the fat has doubled. Another benefit of stem cell assisted fat transfer is there is no longer a need for overcorrection because of the stem cells natural augmentation effect. As a result, stem-cell assisted fat transfer patients experience a less-exaggerated fullness in the initial two-week post-op period. The stem cells also stimulate the development of new blood vessels to the injected fat. Six months after the fat transfer procedure, the fat will have developed a healthy blood supply and will begin to grow — subtly enhancing the volume and fullness of the fat transfer, which will continue six to 18 months following the procedure.*

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:

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.


Frequently Asked Questions

How often does the fat grafting treatment need to be repeated?
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.
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.
How Does Adding Additional Stem Cells to the Fat Help The Result?
It is widely believed that it is actually the stem cells contained within the fat, not the fat itself, that create the majority of volumizing and augmentation effect of the fat transfer treatment. Six percent (6%) of the fat that is harvested for fat transfer is made up of stem cells and every cc of fat that is removed contains approximately 1.5 million stem cells. For a fat transfer treatment, we remove 60 cc’s of fat, which naturally contains 90 million stem cells. With stem cell assisted fat transfer, we remove 120 cc’s of fat. We reserve 60 cc’s, or half of the fat, for the fat transfer procedure. Then we purify the remaining 60 cc’s of fat using a special enzymatic technique which results in an additional 90 million stem cells that are added to the fat transfer procedure. Adding purified stem cells increases the fat survival rate from approximately 50 percent to 85 percent because the number of stem cells have doubled to 180 million. This survival rate has been confirmed by MRIs and CAT scans and verified by clinical outcomes.


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.

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