Fat Transfer

Facial fat transfer is a surgical procedure that uses fat cells from one part of the body to enhancethe appearance of the face. The fat cells are injected into the areas of the face that have lost volume, such as the cheeks, lips, and temples. The goal of facial fat transfer is to improve the appearance of the face by restoring lost volume and youthful fullness.

The procedure is performed under general anesthesia. The fat cells are harvested from another part of the body, such as the abdomen or thighs. The surgeon will make very small incisions inthe areas where the fat cells will be injected. The fat cells will then be injected into the desired areas of the face.

The procedure usually takes about one hour. The patient will need to wear a bandage over theincisions for a few days. The patient will also need to avoid strenuous activity for a few weeks. In the first few weeks, your face will appear to be too swollen. This will improve with time, as approximately 30-50% of the initial volume is lost after the swelling resolves after surgery.

The results of facial fat transfer are usually permanent. However, the fat cells may absorb slowly over time, just as fat deposits change slowly with time in other parts of the body. For those who do not want to undergo fat transfer, facial filler is an in-office treatment that can treat facial volume loss.

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(650) 736-FACE (3223)

Associate Professor of Otolaryngology — Head & Neck Surgery


Dr. Pepper is a double-board certified surgeon who specializes in aesthetic and reconstructive surgery of the face, in particular surgery for the treatment of facial paralysis. He is the Director of the Stanford Facial Nerve Center since 2017. He has broad expertise in facial plastic and reconstructive surgery, including facial reanimation surgery, facelift surgery, rhinoplasty, and the reconstruction of the face after skin cancer resection. Dr. Pepper performed his undergraduate studies at Brown University, majoring in Neuroscience. He completed a one-year research fellowship at the National Institutes of Health in preparation for a career in academic medicine. He was awarded his M.D. at the University of California, Irvine, graduating with highest honors and Alpha Omega Alpha designation in 2007. He went to the University of Michigan for residency training in Otolaryngology – Head & Neck Surgery in 2012. He then completed fellowship training in Facial Plastic & Reconstructive Surgery in 2013, also at the University of Michigan. Dr. Pepper was honored to receive the highest board score in the nation on the American Board of Facial Plastic & Reconstructive Surgery examination in 2013. For this accomplishment, he was given the Jack R. Anderson Award for Scholastic Achievement. He also directs the scientific work of the Stanford Facial Nerve Center and his NIH-funded research explores regenerative strategies to improve nerve regeneration after injury.