Facial Skin and Fat Grafting

Dr. Furze is an expert in performing both reconstructive and cosmetic grafts to match the unique needs per individual patient case of lost facial skin.

What is Skin Grafting?

Facial skin grafting is a type of surgery that is performed to replace facial skin that has been lost due to injury, illness, or burns. During the surgery, healthy skin is removed from a different part of the body and then transplanted to replace the missing or damaged skin. Facial skin grafts may be required after a number of events. The most common reasons why someone may need a facial skin graft include:

  • Removal of a cancerous tumor and the healthy skin around it
  • Severe burns or burns covered a large portion of the face
  • Skin infections that have resulted in open wounds
  • Trauma or accident that has caused an open wound to persist


Types of Skin Grafts

If you require a facial skin graft, Dr. Alexis D. Furze will determine which of the two types of skin grafts will best suit your needs.

Full-thickness Grafts

The type of skin graft most often used to replace missing facial skin is a full-thickness graft. In order to perform a full-thickness skin graft, Dr. Furze removes the top two layers of skin (the epidermis and the dermis) along with the underlying muscles and blood vessels that support the skin. This technique allows the transplanted skin to grow with the face as the patient gets older and helps the skin blend better with surrounding tissue.

Split-level Thickness Grafts

A split-level thickness graft involves the removal of only the top two layers of the skin. These grafts often have a shiny, smooth appearance and are less likely to have the same appearance as surrounding skin. They don’t grow as well with the surrounding skin, so additional grafts may be needed as the patients get older. Split-level grafts are typically used to cover large areas.

Skin Grafting Procedure & Recovery

Skin grafts are performed at the hospital under general anesthesia. Dr. Furze begins the procedure by removing healthy skin from the selected donor site, which is usually an area of the body that is concealed by clothing. After the healthy skin is removed, Dr. Furze carefully places it over the transplant area, taking care to align the skin to achieve the most natural result possible. Then he will suture the skin in place and cover it with a surgical dressing. Patients who receive a full-thickness graft will stay in the hospital for 1 – 2 weeks, while those receiving a split-thickness graft can often leave after 3 or 4 days. During this time, Dr. Furze will closely monitor the patient to ensure that blood vessels are developing in the graft and connecting to the skin. If this doesn’t occur, another graft may be required. Pain medications are given during the hospital stay and may be required for some time after the patient has been discharged. The donor site typically heals within 2 – 3 weeks and the graft site heals within 4 weeks. During this time it is important to protect both sites and avoid any activities that could injure the areas. Dr. Furze provides his facial skin graft patients with specific instructions to follow to help them they heal adequately and comfortably.

What is Fat Grafting?

Like skin grafting, fat grafting involves removing fat from one part of the body and transplanting it to another area. Fat grafting has had recent growth in popularity for its use in cosmetic surgery, where it can be used to replace lost volume on the face. Some of the most popular uses of facial fat grafting are:

  • Add volume to parts of the face that are sunken in, such as under the eyes or the cheeks
  • Soften the appearance of deep creases, such as nasolabial folds and marionette lines
  • Increase fullness in the lips

Fat Grafting Procedure & Recovery

Depending on the extent of fat grafting required, Dr. Furze will perform the surgery at his office or at a hospital. First Dr. Furze will administer anesthesia before using liposuction to remove fat from the selected donor area. After the fat has been removed, Dr. Furze will use a purification process to prepare the fat for transplantation. Finally, the fat cells will be injected into the donor site using a needle or cannula. Dr. Furze utilizes a number of specialized techniques while placing the fat cells to ensure a natural result.

Most patients are able to go home on the same day as their fat grafting procedure. There will be a significant amount of swelling and bruising, so many people prefer to stay at home for the first week following surgery. Within two weeks of surgery, the majority of swelling and bruising have dissipated and any lingering effects can be covered with makeup. While the effects of fat grafting are immediate, the full results of the procedure cannot be appreciated until all swelling as dissipated, which typically occurs within 6 weeks.

Facial Skin & Fat Grafting Consultation in Orange County

Dr. Furze is a double-board certified surgeon who is an expert in facial skin and fat grafting. He is equally skilled at performing reconstructive and cosmetic grafts, and works closely with each patient to meet his or her unique needs, while ensuring the most natural result. If you are interested in skin or fat grafting, we encourage you to contact our Newport Beach office today.

Facial Skin and Fat Grafting FAQ

Q Am I candidate for facial skin grafting?

Patients often come to either of our Orange County offices with the sole desire to re-attain their natural look, and Dr. Furze is proud to be the driving force behind their restorative journey. If you feel like your self-esteem can be improved by the surgery, and are in good physical health, you may be a candidate for a facial skin graft.

Q How Does Facial Skin Grafting Work?

In most cases, healthy skin will be taken from another area of the patient’s body to replace the affected facial skin and reverse the visible signs of trauma. The skin can be extracted from the thighs, abdomen, buttocks, back, or arms and is then surgically transplanted by Dr. Furze.

Q What are the Surgical Implications of a Facial Skin Graft?

Because the procedure is indeed a surgery, anesthesia (typically general anesthesia) will be administered to ensure your comfort and safety. There is a relatively long recovery period associated with facial skin graft. The site from which the healthy skin is taken will usually be healed within the first two weeks after surgery, but you may be advised to take it easy and take a break from your normal routine for up to a month following the date of your surgery.

Q Why Choose Dr. Furze?

Dr. Furze is an expert in reconstructive and cosmetic skin grafts and understands that surgery is not one-size-fits-all. Depending on the cause of the lost facial skin, he will construct a customized short and long-term plan to get you feeling like yourself again. He will never make you feel pressured or uneasy about your surgery and has your best interest in mind every step of the way. With two convenient locations, one in Newport Beach and one in Ranch Cucamonga, we are here to serve all your facial skin and fat grafting needs.

Q What Can I Expect During My Consultation?

We encourage you to set up a consultation appointment to kick-start this life-changing process. This initial appointment is your one-on-one time with Dr. Furze, during which he will assess your condition and recommend the best course of action to best match your goals and needs. He will go over pre and post-surgery expectations, will help you decide where to extract the healthy skin to be transplanted, and will give you a more detailed run-down of how your facial fat grafting surgery will be performed.

What Our Patients are Saying

“I am a rhinoplasty surgery patient and it took me 9 years to finally choose a surgeon to trust with my nose”

Dr. Alexis is a pleasant young doctor who is knowledgeable and willing to take the time to answer your questions and cover all your concerns so that you feel good when you leave his office. I definitely recommend him if ever need his services.

Dr. Furze is easy to communicate with, and is meeting all my post op needs. Of course this is after a successful surgery that I fully understood and was scheduled on my terms as immediate as was needed.

Written by Dr. Furze
Last updated: Wed 8 May, 2019
Newport Beach - Get Directions - Alexis D. Furze M.D