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, board certified plastic surgeon in Newport Beach, CA, specializes in facial rejuvenation. Fat transfer, also known as fat injection, is one of his favorite procedures to either complete the face lift or to perform on its own.. He 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 ask for. Browse through Joseph T Cruise, MD’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 Joseph T Cruise, MD’s Orange County cosmetic surgery 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 effects of aging. Although many substances are used for this purpose, some offer only temporary success while others are permanent but don’t provide the natural texture or look patients want. As one of top surgeons in Orange County, Joseph T Cruise, MD 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 Joseph T Cruise, MD and other top Newport Beach plastic surgeons are using to achieve natural, lasting results. The procedure uses a person’s own fat and replaces it from one area of the body to another, so the results are permanent, safe, and the surgery has few side effects.

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 techniques can deliver. The techniques of gentle handling, filtering and chemical alteration allows Joseph T Cruise, MD and his professional staff to provide fat injection patients the kind of lasting results they are looking for.

Fat transfer to the cheeks. Notice the round and full cheeks, lips, mouth area, and eye area

Fat transfer was not recognized as valuable until plastic surgeons became more knowledgeable about the causes of 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 caused by fat and muscle descent and disappearance. The best procedure that Cruise Plastic Surgery has found for facial rejuvenation, the procedure that best corrects a number of the concerns of aging, is fat transfer. Fat injection allows patients to recapture their youthful appearance and feel, 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 cheeks of a baby or a successful model; high cheekbones and full cheeks are associated with facial youth. In order to rejuvenate this look, Joseph T Cruise, MD’s technique of fat transfer allows you to restore fat that disappears or descends with time. By replacing this fat, the effects of aging can be reversed.

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.

Some of Joseph T Cruise, MD’s Orange County cosmetic surgery patients are concerned about the effects that aging has on their neck as well as their face. Joseph T Cruise, MD 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 the best procedures for meeting them.

Questions about other facial rejuvenation procedures such as face lift or neck lift often arise during these consultations. Joseph T Cruise, MD addresses each patient’s concerns individually, and customizes an approach that corrects what really bothers each individual.

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