June 2023

Facial Fat Grafting with 
Micro and Nano Fat

Fat transfer procedures have been a highly sought-after solution for those looking to restore youthfulness to the face and improve the appearance of aging skin. While many patients reach for dermal fillers as a means to re-volumize the face, the cost of multiple syringes and maintenance injections can add up quickly.

Fat grafting provides a way to safely use your own fat tissue to enhance areas of the face that have become thinner with age, and some patients prefer it for the subtle enhancement of facial features. Depending on the degree of correction needed to restore facial volume, fat grafting results are much longer-lasting than traditional dermal injections. Plus, patients get the added benefit of a little simultaneous liposculpting.

Tulip Fat Grafting

Facial fat grafting sounds like a relatively straightforward procedure but there are nuances to getting a beautiful, long-term result.

Fat grafting technology has evolved, allowing experienced plastic surgeons to apply advanced techniques for facial rejuvenation. In the past, traditional fat grafting was problematic due to the difficulty of introducing unprocessed fat into delicate areas of the face. Fat was harvested, washed, centrifuged and loaded into syringes for injection. This unprocessed fat required large bore needles to inject and was often lumpy and irregular.

Newer technology allows injection of much finer processed fat which can be injected with smaller gauge cannulas, allowing for a more beautiful integration at delicate areas of the face. In my practice, I prefer to use a sophisticated filtration tool called Tulip to refine facial fat. The Tulip Nano allows harvested fat to be processed in a variety of consistencies more optimal for dialing in delicate facial areas and creating a one-of-a-kind result.

Find more information on Tulip here.

Using Unfiltered Fat For Facial Rejuvenation

Unfiltered fat tends to be very thick and viscous. This fat is too thick for injecting in more delicate areas but is great to enhance overall facial volume. I use unfiltered fat for larger volume loss and to primarily to augment the facial skeleton, placing it deeply over the cheek bones, chin, and jawline.

After liposuction, the unfiltered fat is washed, separated, and drawn into injection syringes without straining the fat. For this reason, the unfiltered fat requires a larger caliper cannula to inject (19 gauge).

Facial Fat Grafting Before and After by Dr. John Burns

Fat Transfer Before and After | Dallas Fat Transfer | Dr. John Burns
Fat Transfer Before and After | Dallas Fat Transfer | Dr. John Burns
Fat Transfer Before and After | Dallas Fat Transfer | Dr. John Burns
Fat Transfer Before and After | Dallas Fat Transfer | Dr. John Burns

What is Micro Fat Grafting?

Micro fat transfer offers a sophisticated technique for facial rejuvenation. In a microfat transfer, small droplets of fat are carefully layered to restore volume in areas where it has been lost. This allows your plastic surgeon to contour the face with greater precision and accuracy. The advantage to using micronized injections is that it only requires local anesthetic and increases the chances of long-term results due to increased blood supply which gives the fat cells a better take rate.

Micro fat is created by putting harvested fat through a 1.4mm or 1.2mm straining device. This fat is of moderate viscosity and can be injected more superficially.

Common areas for micro fat transfer are:
-the temples
-the nasolabial folds, and
-the marionette lines

This fat is viscous enough to fill out more resistant areas without being bulky or bumpy when injected. Micro fat is typically injected through a 23 gauge micro cannula.

Not only is micro fat transfer a precise method for rejuvenating the face, but it also looks natural by mimicking the body’s own fat distribution patterns. Surgeons can make precise injections of volume in certain areas without creating an unnatural contoured appearance. Another benefit of microfat transfer is that it doesn’t require the ongoing maintenance of dermal filler injectables. Once volume loss has been restored in a micro fat transfer, many patients find themselves happy with their results for 5+ years.
Low-Plus Profile: Low-plus profile falls within the conservative range, producing a cup or slightly more volume increase at a given base diameter.

Facial Fat Grafting Injection Sites | Dallas Fat Grafting | Dr. John Burns
Before and After Fat Grafting to Face | Dallas Fat Transfer | Dr. John Burns

What is Nano Fat Grafting?

Nano fat grafting is a revolutionary procedure designed to provide patients with dramatic results in refining delicate areas of the face without any drastic recovery time. The nanofat transfer has become increasingly popular in recent years, as it gives individuals an opportunity to restore their facial volume loss and improve the appearance of facial aging.

This treatment works by harvesting fat cells from other areas of the body, then breaking them down into micro droplets through a process called lipo-emulsification. These tiny fat cell particles are then injected into the dermal layers of the facial structures that need additional volume or support. Nanofat injections are processed by first placing it through a 1.2mm strainer, followed by a much finer nano-fat strainer.

Nano fat is very pliable and ideal for rejuvenating delicate such as:
-the upper and lower eyelids
-the tear trough area
-the temples
-tributary lines or "smoker's mouth" at the lips
-the lips
-acne scars

This fat is so refined that it can be injected using the smallest caliper needle, 30 gauge.

The main advantage of nano fat injections is that it provides incredibly realistic outcomes with minimal downtime and discomfort for the patient. This more refined approach to fat transfer also allows for plastic surgeons to dial in facial contours and micro contouring in ways that would otherwise be impossible with traditional techniques.

For those seeking quick results that won’t look artificial, nano fat grafting may offer the perfect solution; making it an ideal choice for those who want subtle improvements without having to undergo major surgery. 

Dr. John Burns Patient | Facial Fat Grafting Before and After

Fat Grafting Consultation

Nano Fat Grafting can be a great option for facial enhancement, and the best way to start is by having an initial consultation with a board-certified plastic surgeon who with experience in micro and nano fat grafting.

Once your medical history has been reviewed, a physical exam is performed to determine what fat grafting techniques are most suitable for you.

Your facial appearance and symmetry, volume loss, are taken into consideration when forming your unique cosmetic plan.

Fat Grafting Consult

Facelift with Facial Fat Grafting by Dr. John Burns

Facelift Before and After with Facial Fat Grafting | Dallas Facelift | Dr. John Burns
After Breast Implants by Dr. John Burns
After Breast Implants by Dr. John Burns
After Breast Implants by Dr. John Burns
Healing Process | Month by Month | Facial Fat Transfer

What To Expect with Recovery

Recovery is a key component of achieving the best results from fat grafting. Post-procedure swelling typically lasts about a week, while moderate bruising and soreness may occur within a few days. To maximize the results of a facial fat transfer, it is important to avoid touching or heavy pressing the treated areas for at least 24 hours. Though you should be able to return to normal activities within several days, you will need to wait some time for the full results to be seen as injected fat needs time to adjust.

Back to work: 2 days to 1 week.

More strenuous activity: 2 weeks

Final Appearance: 2 weeks for swelling to completely resolve

Duration of Results: Variable depending on graft take

Dallas Fat Transfer Specialist- Dr. John Burns

Facial fat grafting has evolved from a rather crude facial augmentation technique and become very sophisticated in it’s utility. Using unfiltered fat, micro and nano fat particles, the face is broken down into discrete elements which perfectly match the type of fat needed to achieve the optimal and long-lasting results.

To learn more about facial fat transfer, we invite you to schedule your complimentary consultation with board-certified plastic surgeon, Dr. John Burns.

Schedule Today

Stay In Touch

Follow us for news and information on plastic surgery procedures