Fat Transfer

Offered at our convenient location in Baltimore, Maryland

Fat transfer featured

Fat transfer, or fat grafting, is a cosmetic procedure that removes and repositions excess fat from one area of the body to another. Plastic surgeons utilize autologous fat cells to increase and refine a patient’s body contour without increasing their risk of rejection. They use a patient’s fatty tissue to improve their contouring and increase their overall sense of body confidence.

If you are searching for an effective way to plump your face or breast contour, Valley Plastic Surgery & Medi-Spa is a premiere plastic surgery center located in Baltimore. Along with renowned and double board-certified plastic surgeon Dr. Alyson Wells, our staff is dedicated to providing excellent and patient-centered care to the Washington Metropolitan area. Her expertise and experience in all facets of cosmetic surgery inform every procedure she performs. She focuses on safety and works toward natural-looking and lasting results for all of her patients.

To schedule a private fat transfer consultation with Dr. Wells, please contact our Maryland office by calling (410) 628-8200 or filling out this contact form.

About Fat Transfer

A common effect of weight loss, pregnancy, and aging is volume loss. Tissue sagging, hollowed cheeks, and breast deflation can all be signs that a fat transfer procedure may be necessary. Fat transfer creates natural-looking results that integrate seamlessly with existing tissues. Since it uses the patient’s own fat cells, there is no risk of allergic reactions or adverse side effects associated with foreign substances.

How Does Fat Transfer Work?

Fat transfer is a biocompatible technique to augment and restore soft tissue loss.  (2) Autologous fat grafting has been used in aesthetic medicine for decades. Early surgeons would extract fat from the body using a syringe, and then inject it into irregularities caused by scarring or burns. This led to tremendous results, and the procedure was refined with the advent of liposuction. Modern fat transfer requires liposuction to safely remove excess fat without damaging the healthy cells. (1)

Facial Fat Transfer

This technique can help restore volume, improve facial contours, and rejuvenate the overall appearance. Facial fat transfer is a versatile procedure through which Dr. Wells can address various aesthetic concerns, including:

  • Facial Hollowing
  • Aging Skin
  • Wrinkles
  • Sunken Cheeks
  • Nasolabial Folds
  • Under-eye Hollows
  • Thin Lips

Facial fat transfer can often be combined with other procedures to achieve more comprehensive facial rejuvenation. Common combinations include facelifts, blepharoplasty (eyelid surgery), or brow lifts.

Fat Transfer Breast Augmentation

For patients unable or unwilling to undergo breast augmentation using silicone implants, fat transfer offers an exceptional alternative. During this procedure, Dr. Wells injects harvested fat into either the breast tissue itself, the pectoral plane, or the subcutaneous tissue space to increase the breast size. Though it does not offer the same results as an implantation procedure, this type of breast augmentation may provide patients with a more natural-looking chest contour. 

Dr. Wells talks you through the procedure process during a private consultation to ensure you are aware of your options.

How Can I Benefit From Fat Transfer?

Fat transfer patients can enjoy:

  • Smoother, youthful-looking skin
  • Plumper, fuller cheeks
  • Higher cheekbones
  • Reduced dark circles
  • Improved wrinkle appearance
  • Long-lasting lip augmentation
  • A more defined chin and jawline
  • An increase in breast cup sizes
  • A natural increase in breast contour
  • Fuller and more plump breast shapes
  • Permanent and biocompatible results
  • Small and well-hidden incision scars
  • Body contouring and fat reduction
  • A safe, effective, natural procedure

Ideal Fat Transfer Candidates

Patients who seek fat transfer should be in good overall health with no serious underlying medical conditions. They have realistic and optimistic expectations about the procedure and have enough donatable fatty tissue. These patients may look for more subtle, natural body contouring using their tissue as opposed to synthetic injectables or implants. 

Fat Transfer vs. Fillers

Compared to dermal fillers, which typically last for several months, facial fat transfer offers more durable results. Once the transplanted fat cells establish a blood supply, they can survive in their new location for years, contributing to the longevity of the aesthetic improvements.

Personal Consultation with Dr. Wells

Dr. Wells will meet with you privately to discuss fat transfer procedures and how they may help you reach your cosmetic goals. She will perform a physical examination of the treatment area before creating a customized procedure plan that addresses your needs. Then, she will ask about your medical history and current medications. Dr. Wells will suggest alterations if necessary during this meeting. 

After determining your candidacy, she will explain the fat transfer surgery at length to ensure you are well-informed before scheduling an appointment. Finally, a member of the Valley Plastic Surgery & Medi-Spa team will schedule your procedure and any additional appointments.

You may read more about this cosmetic treatment and others in our company blog. 


Before a fat transfer procedure, patients should quit smoking tobacco and nicotine for at least 1 month, and continue to avoid it throughout recovery. They should avoid excessive sun exposure and diligently protect themselves from dangerous and damaging UV rays. Patients should also refrain from using medications and substances that can cause blood thinning, including but not limited to ibuprofen, aspirin, vitamin E, ginseng, ginkgo, green tea, and garlic supplements. 

Dr. Wells requires candidates to schedule the necessary time off of work to properly recover. They should also find a friend or family member who can drive them to their procedure and back home afterward. Though fat transfer rarely requires general anesthesia, patients are still unable to transport themselves after this surgery.

Fat Transfer Procedure

Dr. Wells and her surgical team start your fat transfer procedure by administering a local anesthetic to the treatment area(s). Next, she infiltrates the donor area with tumescent fluid to break up the targeted fat. After the numbing agent takes effect, she places the incisions needed for liposuction in discrete locations. She can reduce excess fat in the abdomen, sides, back, thighs, upper arms, and chin. She continues to contour the body and harvest fat until reaching the desired body shape and the necessary amount of tissue needed for transfer.

As she finishes the liposuction portion of the procedure, she and her team clean the harvested fatty tissue and prepare it for transplantation. Dr. Wells places the healthy fat cells into syringes and then carefully injects them into the areas that need volumizing. After reaching optimal contouring, she bandages the incisions and completes the procedure. Fat transfer typically takes anywhere from 1 hour to 4 depending on patient circumstances and the area of treatment.

Recovery & Results

It typically takes 1 to 2 weeks off of work to initially recover after a fat transfer procedure. Necessary downtime depends on the type of job you have and your treatment plan. Follow your post-procedure instructions carefully to find the appropriate time to discontinue the use of compression garments. Dr. Wells offers comprehensive information and guidelines to ensure your recovery is smooth and stress-free. Fat transfer procedures lead to extremely long-lasting results as the transferred fat cells are permanent.

Cost of Fat Transfer in Baltimore

Dr. Wells provides a personalized cost estimate during your private consultation. To learn about this procedure and explore your options, please schedule a consultation at Valley Plastic Surgery & Medi-Spa today. Call our Baltimore office at (410) 628-8200 or book an appointment online to get started.


Why is fat transfer better than fillers?

Facial fat transfer uses your own fat cells harvested from another part of your body. Since it’s your own tissue, it integrates well with existing facial tissues, resulting in a very natural look and feel. Dermal fillers, on the other hand, use synthetic substances like hyaluronic acid, which can also provide natural results but may not be as integrative as your own fat cells.

How many fat transfer sessions do I need to reach my cosmetic goals?

The number of fat transfers you may need depends on the area being treated and what your desired results are. You may only require one procedure, whereas others may need a second to refine their results.

Can fat grafting procedures replace dermal fillers and other injectables?

Yes! Depending on the level of augmentation you seek, fat transfer can achieve similar results to dermal filler injections. They often last much longer and can provide more natural-looking contours.

Can I improve my lip contour with facial fat transfer?

Absolutely! Fat transfer procedures can improve the symmetry, shape, fullness, and overall definition of the lips.

Does fat transfer to the breasts improve their projection?

Not necessarily. Breast augmentation using fat transfer increases the size and improves the contour of the breast mound, but it cannot current ptosis or severe sagging. You may need a breast lift in addition to fat grafting to achieve your desired results.

How long do the results of facial fat transfer last?

The results of a facial fat transfer are long-lasting. The majority of the transferred fat cells should establish a blood supply and survive in their new location for the long term. However, it’s important to note that some fat resorption may occur within the first few months following the procedure.


  1. Shauly O, Gould DJ, Ghavami A. Fat Grafting: Basic Science, Techniques, and Patient Management. Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery – Global Open. 2022;10(3):e3987. doi:https://doi.org/10.1097/gox.0000000000003987
  2. Marten T, Elyassnia D. Facial Fat Grafting: Why, Where, How, and How Much. Aesthetic Plastic Surgery. 2018;42(5):1278-1297. doi:https://doi.org/10.1007/s00266-018-1179-x