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Face Fat Trasfer After 2 Weeks?

I have face fat transfer done and already into my 3rd week of recovery. The biggest concern I have is the two sides of my face look asymmetrical. One side has a fading bruise and looks wide to the side the second has much larger swelling around left eye. It looks as an alien face when looked in profile. Will both sides even out eventually on its own? Is that common that two sides of the face does not look the same during the recovery?

Doctor Answers (7)

Fat Grafting - Too Much of a Good Thing?

+2

Structural fat grafting is a powerful tool for correcting one of the primary processes of facial aging: the gradual loss of facial soft tissue volume, which primarily represents the atrophy of facial fatty tissue. The importance of restoring facial fullness cannot be emphasized enough, for without it, very few facial cosmetic surgical procedures are truly rejuvenating. As we age the skeletal features of the face become more obvious, and create subtle visual clues that tell the observer 'this is an older person'. Fat atrophy is often very obvious when it appears as hollowness in the temple area and as flattening of formerly full cheeks, but can also exist as more subtle changes that still convey an appearance of advancing age, such as the development of a hollow in the space between the upper lid and eyebrow, or as indentations in a formerly smooth and gently curving jawline.

Lifting skin and trimming the excess has been the standard approach to the treatment of facial aging for centuries, but when performed without some means of restoring the youthful fullness of facial soft tissues, the result is an older-looking person with tighter skin. The word 'rejuvenation' means literally 'to restore youthfulness' or 'to make young again', so if the goal of surgery is to rejuvenate the face then it cannot be accomplished solely by means of redraping the skin and removing the excess.

In my practice fat grafting is not an afterthought that is thrown into the surgical plan for the occasional patient. It is a key component of almost every major facial rejuvenation surgery that I perform. It is in fact that very first part of the surgical procedure for my patients undergoing a full facial rejuvenation surgery.

Fat grafting also gives the surgeon the ability to provide a minimally invasive, quick recovery solution for some of the earliest signs of facial aging, in many patients long before they could or should consider a more involved (and much longer recovery) procedure like a facelift. Most people show evidence of facial soft tissue atrophy in their thirties, long before they develop the degree of skin laxity that warrants skin redraping and removal. So younger patients now have a means for 'turning the clock back' by maintaining or restoring facial fullness through structural fat grafting. These enhancements look beautiful and natural, not like surgery, and over and over I hear fat grafting patients tell me that "none of my friends or co-workers can figure out why I look so great".

As with any cosmetic surgical procedure, there can certainly be 'too much of a good thing'. Over-grafting of fatty tissue will distort facial features and produce unnatural proportions that look like surgery rather than appearing to turn back the clock. An important part of my preoperative evaluation is reviewing photographs with patients from their twenties and thirties (and from their forties for patients in their sixties and seventies). Such photographs are invaluable in confirming the manner in which a face has aged, and in planning a surgery that is designed to help a patient look more like their youthful self. Having said that, you are very early in your recovery. Stay in close touch with your surgeon and follow all instructions very carefuly.

Web reference: http://www.michaellaw.com

Raleigh-Durham Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 31 reviews

Swelling after fat transfer can cause asymmetry.

+1

Where there is bruising, there is usually swelling.  Therefore, I would give it another 2 weeks are so.  By this time, you should see your doctor to address any possible asymmetry.

Web reference: http://www.premderm.com

Atlanta Dermatologic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 46 reviews

Facial Fat Grafting Asymmetry after 3 Weeks

+1

   Usually, the facial fat grafting results look symmetric on the table and in the postoperative period.  However, bruising can definitely alter this, and a few more weeks may be beneficial.

Los Angeles Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 147 reviews

Bruising May Cause Asymmetry

+1

Unilateral bruising may cause more swelling and asymmetry.  Would recommend waiting a bit longer before judging the results. At 6 weeks, if you still feel the same way, then discuss further with your surgeon.

Fairfax Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 20 reviews

Fat transfer post-op recovery

+1

Dear Yelena208,

  • It is rare to put different amounts of fat into each side of the face so that looks asymmetrical
  • The difference in the 2 sides is probably related to swelling
  • Are you sleeping on one side compared to the other?
  • By the 3-4 week mark, lots of the swelling will have come down by then
  • If you have further concerns, please call your plastic surgeon

Best,

Nima Shemirani

Beverly Hills Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 17 reviews

Fat grafting can be variable.

+1

There are a lot of variables to consider here. What was the pre-existing asymmetry [everyone has some asymmetery]? What was the amount of fat injected per side? Was the post op edema the same for each side [usually not the case]? Was the fat survival equal for both sides.

The most important aspect of this post grafting recovery period is patience. At about three months, the swelling will have resolved and the fat grafting survival will be well known. Then, you can more objectively evaluate the postop results.

Good luck and be patient.

Seattle Oculoplastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 19 reviews

Facial fat grafting 3 weeks out, expectations?

+1

Was your fat transfer paired with a facelift or eyelift? Do you have medical issues like elevated blood pressure that may exacerbate bruising? Were both sides of your face treated exactly the same?

I would strongly recommend you see your surgeon for a followup visit to assure that all is going as it should, and that you are taking all the proper steps to ensure optimal recovery and results.

Web reference: http://www.drshermak.com/facial-surgery-baltimore/fat-transfer/

Baltimore Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 23 reviews

These answers are for educational purposes and should not be relied upon as a substitute for medical advice you may receive from your physician. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911. These answers do not constitute or initiate a patient/doctor relationship.

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