Autologous Fat Grafting

This method involves the collection of fats from other body parts, which are mixed with growth factors after extraction and screening before they are injected into the depression site of the midface at a proper dose to sculpt the plumpness of the submalar triangle. This surgery has simpler procedures and presents a faster recovery than cheekbone implant surgery and is often combined with injection at other facial areas (such as the depression of nasolabial folds, lateral cheeks, and temple) to achieve a coordinated and esthetic result. Nevertheless, because fats would gradually induce the weight load into the skin to result in premature cheek looseness or droopiness and other unexpected side effects afterwards, combined with uncertain factors such as the self-absorption of fats, Dr. Chuang thinks that this method is only applicable to young patients and that fats should be injected at an appropriate amount only for the purpose of auxiliary correction. The excess injection of fats should be avoided in case of risks of accelerated aging or droopiness of the midface skin in the future.

Surgical conditions


  • Type of anesthesia: IV sedation + local anesthesia and regional nerve block
  • Type of incision: A 1-mm needle hole at the nasolabial folds
  • Recovery: 3–5 days
  • Removal of stitches: 5–7 days

General instructions

No food and water on the day of surgery

  • Avoid excess ice and hot compresses after the operation.
  • Avoid smoking, alcohol, and irritating foods for 1 month postoperatively.
  • Avoid heavy massage to or squeezing of the face for 3 months postoperatively.

Ideal candidates

  • Patients with mild midface depression or submalar triangle loss
  • Those with midface depression and combined nasolabial fold or depression of both lateral cheeks
  • Auxiliary injection for whole face fat grafting
  • Alternative treatment for patients unable to receive facial prosthesis emplacement
  • Those who undergo the unilateral correction of a congenitally or traumatic uneven face
  • Those who have undergone cheekbone reduction but with an asymmetrical appearance of the cheek

Possible complications

  • Self-absorption of fats
  • Uneven absorption
  • Excess absorption
  • Lumps
  • Buccal droopiness

Surgical advantages

  1. The surgery is simple, and the recovery is rapid.

  2. Whole face fat injection is conducted to render perfect results.

  3. Results last for a longer time than those obtained by hyaluronic acid injection.

  4. Risks or complications caused by prosthesis emplacement are avoided.

Surgical drawbacks

  1. The self-absorption of fats may occur, and long-term results are relatively unstable.

  2. Excess filling may lead to premature droopiness or consequent nasolabial deepening of the cheeks.

  3. It cannot provide the additional effects of malar skin lift.

  4. Repeat surgery is necessary in case of fat loss in the future.

  5. The face may become fat.

Possible procedure in conjunction

Before & After

These photographs represent typical results, but not everyone who undergoes plastic surgery will achieve the same.

Autologous Fat Grafting – Female