Ask a doctor

Fat Injections - Can It Be Permanent?

Hi! I`ve heard alot about fat injections, but im still very confused! If you get fat injections under your eyes or in labia majora, is that permanent? Or will it be absorbed by the body? Thank you!

Doctor Answers 11

Fat injections are long lasting if done correctly

If you frequent various plastic surgery blogs, there is a wide variation in the types of techniques that surgeons are using. Thus, there is a wide variation in their results and their opinions about whether fat injections are permanent.

When fat transfers are done correctly, a large percentage of the injected fat cells do indeed survive and are permanent. When done incorrectly, they don't last very long.

The American Society of plastic surgeons just published a position paper on this. Basically the experience of the surgeon and the technique matters a lot. Do not use fat extracted by UAL. Blasting the cells with heat (Laser or ultrasound) is not a good idea.

I discuss why fat grafting is long lasting when done correctly inside the video, but you can also take a look at my blog post web reference for more information.

Baltimore Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 58 reviews

1300 Bellona Avenue
Baltimore, Maryland 21093

Long-term results with facial #fat injections to improve under #eye area

Hi 474867anon in Norway,

Fat injection is a good option for non-surgical facial rejuvenation, including lip augmentation or cheek enhancement. Fat may provide natural, soft enhancement of the cheeks, lips, and under eye areas. Fat is typically harvested from the abdomen, purified, and injected into the desired areas.

However, there is a certain level of unpredictability with fat injections as always less than 100% of the fat survives long-term. In addition, the face continues to age naturally, so touch-ups may be required for some patients. Speak with a plastic surgeon who can provide a comprehensive evaluation and help determine appropriate options for you. Best of luck.

Dr. C

Houtan Chaboki, MD
Washington DC Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 64 reviews

2300 M St NW
Washington, DC 20037

Fat graft

Fat grafting is technique dependant. Some of the fat is absorbed, but these days should be minimal. There is also stem cells in the fat injected and that stem cells eventually differentiate to fat.

For the face expect to redo the fat transfer a second time,

For the labia majora, 90% of th fat stays. But expect swelling and bruising

Samir Shureih, MD
Baltimore Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 5 reviews

10 East 31 Street
Baltimore, MD 21218

Fat injection balancing act

The truth is somewhere in between. Fat injections can be permanent but a significant  amount of the injected fat will resorb. Predicting the final result requires an estimate of the final outcome of thes two opposing actions.

Otto Joseph Placik, MD
Chicago Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 58 reviews

880 W Central Rd
Arlington Heights, IL 60005

Fat Injections Designed To Be PERMANENT

The goal with any fat injection is for it to be permanent.  The problem, though, is that you just do not know how much of the fat your body is going to resolve on its own.  In some people, 50% of the fat will be resorbed over the first year, which is why it is not unusual to need multiple fat injection treatments to finally get to your desired goal.  Once there, though, it should be very long lasting.  I hope this helps.

Christopher V. Pelletiere, MD
Barrington Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 49 reviews

1602 Colonial Parkway
Inverness, IL 60067

Fat Transfer IS as PERMANENT as any filler can hope to be

Regarding: "Fat Injections - Can It Be Permanent?
Hi! I`ve heard alot about fat injections, but im still very confused! If you get fat injections under your eyes or in labia majora, is that permanent? Or will it be absorbed by the body? Thank you

Fat, like ALL living tissues, require an efficient blood supply for oxygen delivery and removal of metabolic byproducts. In the process of fat grafting, fat cells may be destroyed during harvest (trauma of suctioning), preparation (washing away blood and dead cells), waiting to be grafted / injected into their new location and after grafting by not getting a blood supply fast enough. As a result, not all the fat grafted makes it (or "takes").

The fat which survives will then be subject to the same hormonal influences that the fat in that location would otherwise be subject to. Put another way, grafting a deflated, aging face of a woman in her 60's would make her appear younger BUT facial aging would continue at a slower rate than before and the clock cannot be reversed from their 60's to 20's.

Successful fat grafting is as "permanent" and ideal as any fillers can hope to be.

Dr. Peter Aldea

Peter A. Aldea, MD
Memphis Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 81 reviews

6401 Poplar Avenue
Memphis, TN 38119

Fat Grafting and How Long Does It Last

Fat grafting can be permanent but what I tell my patients is that not all of it is permanent.  Some of the fat that is injected does stay but some die off.  So I say that to make the result permanent usually several sessions need to be performed to reach the ultimate result.

In general I say that about 40-50% of what is injected remains, but again this is just an approximation.

Hope that helps.

Farbod Esmailian, MD
Orange County Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 60 reviews

10861 Cherry Street
Los Alamitos, CA 90720

Fat injections may be long term

Permanent, maybe, but that is hard to guarantee and prove. There are many people who have long term (years) augmentation from one or more fat injections.  Fat injections are fat grafts. Some of the cells may live in the new environment, but not all. Several sessions can be done to get long term improvement. Some patients don't retain the fat grafts even after multiple attempts.

Ronald Shelton, MD
Manhattan Dermatologic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 33 reviews

317 East 34th St
New York, NY 10016

Fat Grafting - Permanent

Fat grafting when performed properly, is a permanent procedure. The fat has to be gently harvested, purified, and injected in order to achieve these results.  When choosing a fat grafting surgeon, be sure to see before and after photos of their patients that are over a year after the procedure to determine how their results are.  Click on the link below to see more information about fat grafting and the results. The first patient is 1 year and 3 months after only one round of fat grafting. 

Jacob D. Steiger, MD
Boca Raton Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 35 reviews

1001 North Federal Highway
Boca Raton, FL 33432

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.