Eyelid and Facial Fat Transfer / Fat Graft / Fat Injection

One of the main factors that contributes to an aging face is fat deflation (loss) from the face. Think of this analogy: Imagine a balloon full of air (similar to a young person with full face). When you let the air out of the balloon, the balloon sags with wrinkles and folds. The same thing happens with the face. As one ages, there is fat loss which contributes to saggy fallen face with wrinkles and folds.


There are a variety of synthetic materials to restore fullness and volume to the face, creating a more youthful contour. Many patients are turning to fat lipotransfer, rather than repeated synthetic fillers. Fat has also the added advantage of being natural, along with being permanent. Furthermore, since it is harvested from the patient, there is no allergic issue, it is easy to harvest and the average patient has plentiful reserves. It is also more cost effective over the long run.

What Is A Fat Transfer?

Fat injection is also referred to as “Fat transfer” or “lipo transfer”. This cosmetic procedure is performed under local anesthesia with or without sedation. Fat cells are harvested from the patient (from an area where they don’t need it) and inject it into an area on the patient’s body where they do need it. It is can be harvested from the abdomen, flanks (“love handles”), and thighs, through small incisions. Depending upon the amount of fat needed, 10 to 100 cc’s are removed. Harvested fat is carefully processed before injection. Some surgeons feel that rejuvenating cells known as “stem cells” are included with the live fat cells. The harvested fat cells are then injected into various facial areas, including brows, temples, around eyes (tear troughs), cheeks, lips, and nasolabial folds.

Recuperation and Healing

This is a minimally invasive procedure with little downtime. Bruising and swelling will resolve in 7-10 days. Of importance, not all the transferred fat cells survive. Usually about 60-70% survive over the next 2-3 months, and therefore more fat cells are initially injected that necessary. A “touch up” may be necessary. For touch-up injections, some surgeons will re-harvest more fat, while other surgeons will transition to filler injection instead. Lumps or bumps are very rare with proper fat injection technique. That includes fat injection around the delicate eye area, to improve hollow under eyes and hollow sunken looking eyes and dark circles, along with brow filling.

During your consultation with Dr. Taban in Beverly Hills/Los Angeles or Santa Barbara, he will evaluate your eyes and face and discuss fat transfer/injection to the necessary areas of the eyes and face to restore natural youthFULNESS to the eyes and the rest of the face. Fat can help improve or eliminate under eye hollows, hollow sunken eyes, dark circles, etc. To better understand your options for eye and facial fat transfer, contact cosmetic oculoplastic surgeon (eye plastic surgeon) Dr. Taban to schedule your initial consultation in our offices in greater Los Angeles area (Beverly Hills or Santa Barbara).

1a 52 year old Asian female, preoperative
52 Year Old Asian female with fat injection/transfer in upper eyelids and brows, to help stretch the loose saggy skin. Before (left), After (right).

Before and after fat transfer around eyes (along with cosmetic orbital decompression).
Before and after fat transfer around eyes (along with cosmetic orbital decompression).

Before (left) and after (right) Fat transfer to upper eyelids and brows.
Before (left) and after (right) Fat transfer to upper eyelids and brows.

 Before (left) Middle age woman with multiple prior eyelid surgeries and blepharoplasty, resulting in right lateral canthal angle distortion and lowering, unnatural right lower eyelid contour, and droopy upper eyelid. After (right) 2 months after revisional eyelid surgery, right canthoplasty, right lower eyelid retraction surgery (internal, with midface lift, without graft) and lower eyelid contour surgery. Fat injection in upper eyelids.
Before (left) Middle age woman with multiple prior eyelid surgeries and blepharoplasty, resulting in right lateral canthal angle distortion and lowering, unnatural right lower eyelid contour, and droopy upper eyelid. After (right) 2 months after revisional eyelid surgery, right canthoplasty, right lower eyelid retraction surgery (internal, with midface lift, without graft) and lower eyelid contour surgery. Fat injection in upper eyelids.

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Next, read about LATISSE™ for Eyelash Growth.

I had eyelid surgery with Dr. Ray Taban …Droopy eyelid surgery (ptosis); Eyelid retraction; Canthoplasty; Revisional eyelid surgery; Fat Injection for sunken hollow eyes. I had previous eyelid surgery that was done incorrectly. Dr. Taban had to work on all four of my eyelids to bring the eyes back to their original shape. He did an excellent job. He suggested the fat grafting under the eyebrow and around the outer part of the eyes where there was a hollow. This has made my eyes look very youthful, and I am very very happy with the result. …Dr Taban is very kind and is a master at his craft. …

Anita F.

Anita F.

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