Fat Transfer


Fat Transplantation (Fat Transfer)

Average Cost



2-5 days

When performed as a stand-alone procedure, fat transfer can be performed in-office under local anesthesia. Common areas to add fat include the cheeks, eyelids, temples, forehead and lips.

Dr. Joseph T. Cruise, a board-certified plastic surgeon in Newport Beach, CA, specializes in facial rejuvenation. Fat transfer, also known as fat grafting, is one of his favorite procedures to either complete a facelift or to perform on its own.

Dr. Cruise wants all his patients to make informed decisions about their cosmetic surgery choices, which is why he and his staff have dedicated these pages to providing the kind of information that patients routinely ask for in consultations. Browse through Dr. Cruise’s answers to some of patients’ most frequently asked questions, and view the before and after fat transfer pictures to see real results from some of Dr. Cruise's Orange County patients.

Overview of Fat Transfer

For years, the best plastic surgeons have struggled to fill wrinkles, laugh lines, sunken eye areas, and cheeks of patients concerned with the volume loss that occurs through aging. Although many substances can be used to provide some amount of benefits, some offer only temporary success while others are permanent but don’t provide the natural texture or look patients want. As one of the top surgeons in Orange County, Dr. Cruise has experience with a number of soft tissue fillers and knows how to help patients choose which one is right to address their concerns.

Fat transplant is the latest technique that Dr. Joseph Cruise and other top Newport Beach plastic surgeons are using to achieve natural, lasting results. The procedure uses a person’s own fat, harvested through liposuction of a problem area somewhere on the body, so the results are permanent and safe, with few side effects from this fat transfer procedure.

Fat transfer has been performed since the early 1970s. However, the techniques used at the time didn’t provide patients the same fullness in their areas of concern that today’s liposuction techniques can deliver. The improved methods of gentle handling, filtering, and chemical alteration allows Dr. Cruise and his professional staff to provide fat grafting patients the kind of lasting results they are looking for.

Fat transfer was not recognized as valuable until plastic surgeons became more knowledgeable about the causes of the signs of facial aging. It was once believed that wrinkles, sagging skin, and a gaunt appearance associated with aging were only caused by stretching skin. However, cosmetic surgeons now realize that facial aging is also caused by fat and muscle descent and volume loss. The best procedure that Cruise Plastic Surgery has found for facial rejuvenation that best corrects a number of the concerns of aging, is fat transfer to the face. Fat injection allows patients to recapture their youthful appearance, rejuvenating patients’ sunken eyes, deep cheek folds, crow’s feet, and other facial concerns.

Animated Fat Transfer to Cheeks and Lower Lids
Scroll over the image to see Fat Transfer to Cheeks and Lower Lids

You can see the importance of facial fat in the adorable cheeks of a baby or a successful model; high cheekbones and full cheeks are associated with facial youth. In order to rejuvenate this look, Dr. Cruise uses fat transfer to restore fatty tissue that disappears or descends with time. By replacing this fat, the effects of aging can be reversed and certain facial features accentuated and restored.

With age, cheek fat descends, giving a gaunt appearance to the eyes, cheeks, lips, and jaw line. Ideal facial shape is triangular, but with age the fallen fat creates a rectangular shape. Fat injection, as a facial rejuvenation procedure, allows patients to restore the shape and fullness of their youthful appearance.

Fat Transfer Consultation in Orange County

Some of Dr. Cruise’s Orange County cosmetic surgery patients are concerned about the effects that aging has on their neck as well as their face. If there are other causes besides the loss of facial fat that are leading to an aged appearance, Dr. Cruise may recommend other facial rejuvenation procedures such as a facelift or neck lift to best address your individual concerns.

Dr. Cruise meets with each patient individually at a consultation in his Newport Beach plastic surgery office. During this meeting, you will have an opportunity to discuss with him all your concerns and discover the best procedures for meeting your unique conditions.

In order to make these pages as convenient for patients as possible, Joseph T Cruise, MD has provided detailed answers to many of patients’ most common questions, including:

  • Is fat transfer better than soft tissue fillers?
    The type of procedure you choose depends on your specific face, concerns with the effects of aging, and desired results. Fat transfer has many advantages over soft tissue fillers, but may not be the best choice for you.
  • What does a fat transfer do?
    Does fat transfer correct wrinkles or loose skin? Can it take the place of a face lift?
  • Do I need to go under general anesthesia  to have a fat transfer?
    Typically, fat injection can be done in the office under local anesthesia. Often, it is combined with other facial procedures.
  • Fat transfer before and after pictures
    Pictures give you an idea of people with similar concerns and the results they achieved.
  • Potential complications, risks, recovery and safety?
    What are the some of the concerns associated with fat transfer? What should I expect during the healing process?
  • How affordable is fat transfer?
    What financing options are available?

Healing Progression