Facial Fat Grafting

Conveniently located to serve the areas of San Diego, CA

Facial fat grafting is a safe, effective cosmetic technique that harvests the patient’s own tissue and reintroduces it into the face to plump, smooth, and revitalize. Sometimes known in medical terminology as lipofilling, this type of procedure has been a popular option to address a variety of areas of the body. 

Fat, or “adipose” tissue,  is an ideal soft tissue filler. It is autologous (from the patient themself), biocompatible, relatively permanent, and can integrate into the surrounding tissue at the injection site. (1)  At Faces+, Dr. Steven R. Cohen’s exclusive fat grafting technique filters fat into three grades, each with individual properties and rejuvenating benefits.

  • Milifat – This type of fat is the least filtered. It adds structure to the face and renews tissues.
  • Microfat  – In the next level of filtration, microfat smoothes the skin and reforms tissues.
  • Nanofat  – The highest level of filtration. Nanofat stimulates rapid cell production.

For patients who want to improve the appearance of their skin, and who want to fight signs of aging, a facial fat grafting procedure is the perfect solution!

Known as one of San Diego’s leading plastic surgeons, Dr. Cohen is a medical professional that has created a unique facial fat grafting technique: Cohen Injectable Tissue Regeneration. To find out if this type of procedure is the perfect fit for you, please call his Faces+ practice at (858) 453-7224, or fill out a simple online inquiry form to get a speedy response from our staff.

Before and After Photos

About Facial Fat Grafting

Studies have shown that fat grafting is a low-risk procedure that can be used to correct soft-tissue defects in the face, trunk, and extremities, with minimal discomfort for patients. (2) As we age, our facial appearance changes over time. Due to lower skin elasticity and replenishment capabilities, wrinkles and lines can appear, and failing tissue consistency can cause hollowing in key areas, such as the temples, cheeks, and jowls. This type of lipofilling treatment is both extremely safe and versatile and is an especially effective way to treat numerous age-related conditions in the face.

What Can Facial Fat Grafting Help With?

  • Forehead hollowing (loss of tissue volume)
  • Deep rhytides (lines) of the forehead and glabella
  • Temporal hollowing (sunken temples)
  • Supraorbital hollowing (hollowing of the eyes)
  • Increasing vertical length of the lower eyelid
  • Tear trough deformity and/or deep nasojugal groove
  • Malar bags (swollen eye bags)
  • Nasolabial fold (lines that extend from nose to mouth)
  • Marionette lines (deep lines at the side of the mouth)
  • Jowls (sagging skin below the chin or jawline)
  • Loss of volume in the lips
  • Weak chin (undefined contour of the jawline) (3)

Cohen Injectable Tissue Regeneration

Dr. Cohen uses your fat as the key ingredient in his one-of-a-kind facial rejuvenation procedure. What sets his procedure apart from others is the optimization technique to adjust fatty tissues for different areas of the face. He researched the effects of fat tissue filtered into different density levels with special medical devices. These devices, manufactured by renowned medical technology company Tulip, filter fat down to the highest density cell source, for the most effective variation of treatment for each area. The Cohen method of facial fat grafting can address myriad conditions in the face, replacing fat in appropriate size and anatomic structure to the face. (4)

Benefits of Injectable Facial Regeneration

Facial fat grafting restores deep and superficial fat compartments by utilizing autologous sites for transfer. A skilled doctor can harvest this material from select key areas of the body. In addition, it stimulates collagen production to plump and volumize areas of the face that have hollowed over time. Its main advantage over dermal fillers such as Juvéderm and Restylane is its longevity. To maintain the results of less natural fillers, patients must return for “top-ups’ around every 3 months. With autologous facial fat grafting, the results are much more long-lasting; up to three or four times the length of traditional fillers. (5)

The most common donor sites for fat are the abdomen, around the navel, the buttocks, and the medial, lateral, and anterior thigh. Autologous adipose tissues such as these, are considered by many in the plastic surgery field to be an ideal filler material for facial rejuvenation for a number of reasons. 

  • Minimally invasive
  • No downtime
  • Biocompatibility
  • Low allergenicity
  • Soft and natural results
  • Semi-permanent to permanent effects.(3)

Explore the art of beauty with one of San Diego’s leading plastic surgeons! If you’re interested in finding out more about the extensive services offered by Dr. Cohen, and staying in-the-know about the latest age-defying rejuvenation techniques, please visit our blog!

Candidates for Facial Fat Grafting

Dr. Cohen’s individual method of harvesting and filtering fat is a revolutionary way to restore your delicate visage. Facial fat grafting is suitable for patients between the ages of 30-65 who want to improve signs of aging in their face. You should be in good general health with no underlying conditions that could affect the success of your treatment. The ideal patient is a man or woman who has deep wrinkles that have been resistant to other treatments such as Botox, and for whom facial hollowing has become more apparent. Facial fat grafting may not be a good fit if you have extensive burn scars, eyelid retraction, metabolic lipid disorders, keloids (raised scar tissue), excessive bleeding disorders, or a history of vascular disease such as deep vein thrombosis. (3) To find out if you’re a good candidate, book a personal consultation with Dr. Cohen to discuss the next step in your facial rejuvenation journey. Call our San Diego offices at (858) 453-7224 or use this form to contact us at your earliest convenience!

Personal Consultation

Dr. Cohen gets to know each of his patients personally at their individual consultation. This meeting gives both doctor and patient the chance to find out more about the other, and decide whether the chosen procedure is the right one. During this process, he will outline the benefits of facial fat grafting for your particular circumstances, while examining the areas for treatment. He will pay particular attention to the loss of volume in your face and your skin’s elasticity and will document your facial features photographically for post-procedure comparison. Patients who are receiving facial fat grafting as a standalone treatment may require local anesthesia, whereas others who are combining procedures such as facelift, eyelid lift, or body sculpting may require general anesthesia. If the treatment is a good fit for your situation, we will schedule your procedure appointment for the coming weeks.

While you wait, why not see Dr. Cohen’s amazing talents on his YouTube channel, or give us a like and follow on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter?

Preparing for Treatment

Before your procedure, you should understand all of the risks and benefits and the alternative treatments available for your facial aging issues. Additionally, you should use your discussion with Dr. Cohen at your personal consultation to speak frankly about your expectations and goals. Furthermore, you will discuss which areas of your body will be targeted for fat harvesting. To prepare for your treatment date, you should do the following things.

  • Stop smoking at least 6 weeks beforehand
  • Stop taking certain medications
  • Be at your ideal weight

Facial Fat Grafting Procedure

Dr. Cohen’s distinctive Injectable Tissue Replacement treatment is facial fat grafting on an exact scale. There are three main stages.

  • Fat Harvesting
  • Fat Processing
  • Fat Transfer

After he administers the pre-arranged anesthesia for your individual treatment, he begins the meticulous fat harvesting process. Using small cannulas and a syringe, Dr. Cohen administers a wetting solution and removes fat through a tiny incision, which is often made through the navel if the harvested fat is from the abdomen. Once harvested, the adipose tissue is carefully filtered through three stages: sedimentation (using gravity to separate the constituent parts of the fat), centrifugation (mechanical agitation), and washing and filtering. Once Dr. Cohen deems the correct level of filtration has occurred, the fat is reintroduced to the body in the areas of the face for treatment. From this point onward, your skin will begin to repair and regenerate new cells in the area of injection.

Fat Grafting Recovery & Results

During the procedure, you will be under local anesthesia, or stronger sedation, depending on your circumstances, so it will not cause you pain. After the facial fat transfer is complete, patients may experience mild to moderate discomfort in the areas of treatment. Luckily, these temporary feelings can be easily improved with oral pain medication approved and prescribed by Dr. Cohen. 

The Tulip technology utilized in the Cohen Injectable Tissue Replacement method of treatment helps to refine and match varying levels of filtered fat to specific parts of the face. Dr. Cohen uses the term “tropism” to describe the long-term processes that occur after a facial fat transfer procedure. In these cases, added structure and smoothing, as well as rapid rejuvenation of cells continues to occur long after your treatment date! Soon after your procedure you will notice smoother, plumper, more youthful-appearing skin that will give you a well-deserved boost of self-confidence!

See the amazing results of Dr. Cohen’s numerous facial rejuvenation techniques in our before and after gallery!


Each facial fat grafting procedure performed by Dr. Cohen is individualized and customizable. Therefore, the cost of your treatment will vary. Factors that will affect pricing will include the number of areas of your face you want to treat, and whether this procedure is performed as part of a tailor-made treatment package. Contact our office for more information at (858) 453-7224. Be sure to keep an eye on our seasonal specials on our website!


What is the best way to rejuvenate my face?

There are so many facial rejuvenation options for patients looking to restore their natural beauty. These include neuromodulators such as Botox and dermal fillers such as Restylane and Juvéderm. Patients who have had little success with treatments such as these may consider facial fat grafting, a procedure that uses the patient’s own fat from another area of the body to restore volume and smooth lines in the face.

Does facial fat grafting work?

Facial fat grafting garners effective long-term results in patients. Compared to less permanent options such as fillers, these procedures mean fewer return trips to your surgeon to maintain your facial aesthetic.

What areas can facial fat grafting improve?

Facial fat grafting can improve fine lines and wrinkles, and loss of facial volume in numerous areas. These include: the forehead, temples, cheeks, lips, eyelids, and jowls.


  1. Gornitsky, J., Viezel-Mathieu, A., Alnaif, N., Azzi, A. J., & Gilardino, M. S. (2019). A systematic review of the effectiveness and complications of fat grafting in the facial region. JPRAS Open, 19, 87–97. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jpra.2018.12.004 
  2. Simonacci, F., Bertozzi, N., Grieco, M. P., Grignaffini, E., & Raposio, E. (2017). Procedure, applications, and outcomes of autologous fat grafting. Annals of Medicine and Surgery, 20, 49–60. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.amsu.2017.06.059 
  3. Vasavada, A., & Raggio, B. S. (2021). Autologous Fat Grafting For Facial Rejuvenation. PubMed; StatPearls Publishing. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK557860/ 
  4. Cohen, S. F. (2019, March 29). Progressive Improvement in Midfacial Volume 18 to 24 Months After Simu. Ifaas. https://www.ifaas.co/single-post/fat-grafting-remodelling 
  5. Fontdevila, J., Serrarenom, J., Raigosa, M., Berenguer, J., Guisantes, E., Prades, E., Benitoruiz, J., & Martinez, E. (2008). Assessing the Long-Term Viability of Facial Fat Grafts: An Objective Measure Using Computed Tomography. Aesthetic Surgery Journal, 28(4), 380–386. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.asj.2008.05.002