Fat grafting can help you to look years younger, especially if your face has become long and thin.

  1. If the main goal is to look younger, then fat grafting is probably the best solution.
  2. Dr. Duncan is sought out for her artistic results that appear natural, yet beautiful. Restoration of your own more youthful face is the goal.

Why might I need facial fat grafting?

Many patients note that their face is aging, but are not sure what the source of the aged appearance is. This ‘aged’ appearance is often the result of facial volume loss. The average person loses over 200cc of volume in the face and jawline over a lifetime; facial fat grafting addresses this issue. Not all is fat loss: bone resorption, muscle atrophy, and changes in cartilage also contribute.

Most of us notice that the full, round cheeks we had at a younger age become more hollow. Perhaps the fullest part of your face descends into the nasolabial folds. Maybe the hollows under the eyes are your prominent mark of aging. Jowls may form, and a notched appearance of the mandibular bone behind and in front of the jowl can appear. Lips become thinner, and the region around one’s mouth can look sunken in. Finally, an aging chin can drop and become ‘flattened’.

Fillers are commonly used to address these problems, but they are not a permanent solution. This solution can rapidly become a financial drain when needing multiple syringes of filler every six months. A longer lasting alternative can be using your own fat. Taken from an area with extra volume, fat is then transferred to your face and jawline.


This 54-year-old had a difficult year. She felt that her challenges made her suddenly look old. She noted dull, pigmented skin and facial hollowing – especially around the eyes and mouth. Dr. Duncan’s style is subtle yet dramatic. She conservatively filled hollows around the eyes and mouth – her face is slightly fuller. Dr. Duncan also corrected her sad and tired facial expression.

Left, 54 year old before treatment. 

Right, 6 weeks after fat grafting, laser resurfacing, and neck lift.

I saw on Oprah that fat grafting does not last, and has to be redone just like filler.

Not true; my colleague, Dr. Syd Coleman, pioneered fat transfer in the early 1990s. When done correctly, most of the injected fat will last a lifetime. It is true than only about 2/3 of the injected fat will take as a permanent graft. Motion at the graft site immediately following the procedure will reduce the amount that stays.

Some dermatologists have reported harvesting small amounts of patient fat and freezing it.

This process does not result in good long term take. Optimal survival of fat grafts is enhanced by injecting harvested fat immediately, not letting the fat dry out prior to injection, and avoiding motion at the site of injection for a while so that a blood supply can grow into the fat.

Dr. Duncan’s pictures are remarkable. How does she get these great results?

Attention to detail is the secret of a beautiful outcome. First, an assessment of the target areas is performed. Each individual has different needs, so the analysis is the key to a successful outcome and younger appearance. Dr. Duncan has many years of experience; she has been performing fat transfer for over 25 years. A keen aesthetic eye is the final step towards a lovely aesthetic outcome. Knowing where to inject the fat, how much to inject, and when to conclude are all important aspects of this procedure.

If I can only afford one procedure—facelift, fat grafting, or laser resurfacing—which one should I choose?

We all have budget limits, so the best procedure is one that addresses what bothers you most. Many of my patients decline a traditional face and necklift because they feel there is risk and down time. However, if you have lots of extra skin, this may be the best solution for you.

If the goal is a younger, less tired appearance, the addition of volume with fat grafting is probably your best bet. If skin wrinkling, sun damaged, irregular pigmentation, or a crepey skin texture are the biggest concern, the laser resurfacing should probably be the top priority.

What fat grafting can do for you:
  • Fat grafting can help you to look years younger, especially if your face has become long and thin.
  • Fat grafting targets individual regions, so it is customized for your particular needs.
  • Cost effective as a significant volume of fat can be injected during a single procedure; about 2/3 of injected fat adds permanent volume.
  • Fat grafting can eliminate frequent visits and expense of filler injections.
Why choose Dr. Duncan?

Dr. Duncan writes medical journal articles and speaks nationally and internationally about fat grafting and other minimally invasive procedures for facial rejuvenation. Her level of experience combined with a high level of attention to detail make her a top resource for volume restoration of the face.

If you are interested in any of our available positions, please submit a resume and cover letter to acarpenter@drdianeduncan.com