What is fat injection, “lipofilling” or autologous fat transfer?

Fat injection, lipofilling, fat filling or autologous fat transfer is the transfer of one’s own fat tissue from one area to another.

Why is fat injection needed on the face, what is the logic?

To understand the answer, we need to understand the anatomy of the face and the changes that occur in the face with aging. With aging, the tissues descent, the fat volume on the face decreases (most notably in the mid-face area) (except for the jowl region), skin quality deteriorates, wrinkles and skin excesses occur. This causes a tired and aged appearance. With the fat injection, the lost volume is restored in the desired areas of the face. In addition, it is aimed to increase the quality of the skin with the presence of important cells in the adipose tissue (See Stem Cell (SVF) Therapy Section).


From which areas is the adipose tissue taken?

Depending on the preference of the doctor and the patient, adipose tissue can be taken from the abdomen, thighs, hips, medial knee, or from areas where fat volume reduction is desired.


In which areas is the fat injected?

The most applied area of ​​fat injection is the face area. Replacing the volume lost with aging or increasing the volume of areas that have less volume than it should be genetically are the most important indications. The cheekbones, under the eyes, nasolabial grooves (deep grooves descending from both sides of the nose to the corners of the lips), lips, temple area, chin area, deepened wrinkles can be given as examples of areas on the face. With fat injection, it is aimed to increase the quality of the skin and provide skin rejuvenation, as well as to provide volume to the desired areas on the face.

Fat injection is also used in the treatment of deep wrinkles on the neck and rejuvenation of the neck skin, rejuvenation of the hands, correction of bad and depressed healed scars, burns, buttock augmentation, breast augmentation in combination with silicone implants, correction of breast asymmetries, breast reconstruction after breast cancer, post-radiotherapy dermatitis, shaping the legs, and improving the asymmetries that occur after liposuction.


How is the fat injection application done?

This process consists of three steps: (1) Removing the adipose tissue from donor area, (2) subjecting the fat tissues to some processes and (3) injecting the prepared tissues into the desired areas with the help of small cannulas. The fat removal part can be thought of as liposuction. However, it is technically a simpler procedure and is done with smaller incisions and using smaller cannulas. The fat taken from the desired area is subjected to some processes like centrifugation, filtration. Parts that will not live after injection such as blood, local anesthetics given, fragile fat cells are removed. The adipose tissue, which has undergone certain procedures, is injected into the desired areas with very small cannulas. It can be performed with local anesthesia, sedation, or optionally general anesthesia. It is a process that takes an average of 1 hour, depending on the amount to be taken and the volume injected.


What is the post-operative period after fat injection?

Fat injection is an outpatient procedure performed under sterile conditions and you can go home after the procedure. Since the injected tissue is the individual’s own adipose tissue, no risk of allergy or anaphylaxis is expected. No side effects are expected other than minimal pain that responds to painkillers, edema and small bruises which can last up to 3 days in the area where the fat is removed. There may be edema and bruises in the injection areas. These edema and bruises -if happens- gradually increase until the 3rd day and then gradually decrease. Using medical face mask, lying down with the head upright, and ice application help reduce swelling in the early period. At the end of the first week, you can return to your social life. The millimetric incision in the area where the fat is removed heals imperceptibly. There is no trace left in the injected area. No need for stitch removal.


What are the advantages of fat injection, can’t we achieve the same effect with classic hyaluronic acid fillers?

The difference of fat injection from other methods, such as hyaluronic acid fillers, is that it is obtained from your own tissue, so its source is your own body. In this way, the volume that can be taken and used is much more. There is no risk of allergy or anaphylaxis as no foreign substance is injected from the outside. The importance of a holistic approach to the face should not be forgotten. Volume loss is usually not limited to one area and most elements of the face need to be treated as a whole. Therefore, the amount needed is usually more than expected. Thanks to the fact that the source is your own fat tissue in the fat injection process, it is possible to add volume to many areas at the same time in a single session. Therefore, considering the cost of fillers, fat injection seems more appropriate if more than one area is to be treated. In addition, thanks to the presence of living cells containing mesenchymal stem cells, properly prepared and injected fat improves skin quality. Since the fat will be taken from the area you want -if your doctor deems it appropriate-, it will also be possible to remove some of the unwanted fat, although it is not as effective as liposuction. Another difference is persistence. Hyaluronic acid fillers are temporary (6 months-2 years). But, after the fat injection, some of the fat tissues in the injected area are absorbed (lost)(20%) and the rest becomes permanent (80%) for life.


I’m thin, I don’t have fat, can I still have a fat injection?

If the amount to be injected will not be used to make a big butt or for breast augmentation without using an implant, your own fat tissues are sufficient.


What are the disadvantages of fat injection?

Like other processes, this process also has its drawbacks, but these disadvantages can be overcome. First of all, the fat injection application is not an office application like filler/botox/PRP/mesotherapy applications. The fat needs to be taken under sterile conditions, prepared with a sterile and appropriate method, and injected into you sterile again. It can be performed with local anesthesia, sedation or general anesthesia according to the preference of the patient and the doctor.

In addition, some of the injected fat is absorbed after the injection. With the understanding that only vascularized living fat cells survive, a permanence of 40% was mentioned before; With the renewed method, up-to-date techniques and additional procedures such as PRP and SVF, permanence can be mentioned at rates up to 80% or even more than this rate. Therefore, if a little more volume injection is made than needed, which is called “over-correction” while performing fat injection, the desired permanence and appearance can be obtained.


Is one session enough? Are additional sessions required?

As I mentioned above, some absorption is expected after the injection, and considering this situation, a slightly over-correction is performed. Usually, a single session provides the desired result. However, if it is observed that there is more absorption than expected, an additional session can be performed. Genetic, individual factors, environmental factors such as smoking, sun protection, nutrion are also extremely important in the effect and permanence of the application.


What are other procedures that can be combined with fat injection?

The main source of fat injection is your own fat tissue, so other processes that can be combined are also relevant. Tissues used in stem cell (SVF) therapy are also obtained from your own fat tissue. Therefore, fat injection applications can be combined with stem cell treatments. In this way, in addition to volume increase; skin elasticity, dermis thickness and vascular bed increase so it provides skin rejuvenation (See Stem Cell (SVF) Therapy Section).

Another procedure that can be combined with fat injection is liposuction. The amount of fat that needs to be taken for fat injection is much less than liposuction. Therefore, as a result of fat intake, it does not promise a contouring in the area where the fat is removed. However, if liposuction is added to the area where fat will be removed in the same session, regional shaping of the abdomen, waist, back, hip areas, jowl, pubis, arms, thighs, and knees can also be achieved (See Liposuction (Fat Removal) Section).



The advantages of fat injection are that the substance to be injected is the individual’s own fat tissue, there is no risk of allergy/anaphylaxis, the abundance of volume that can be taken and injected, and the permanence of the procedure. It can be applied to all areas with volume loss and the results are quite successful. It is usually a single session application. Fat injection applications can be combined with stem cell treatments, liposuction, or both. It should be noted that the results are affected by many genetic, individual, and environmental factors. Upon request, additional sessions can be planned to increase the quality and effect. You can browse the related articles in the References section. Best regards.