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Why Facial Transferred Fat is Being Absorbed Just After One Week?

My facial skin has been injected by 40 cc of fat harvested from my abdomen by a syringe-attached cannula. Fat was purified by normal saline and then centrifuged in 2000 rpm for 3-5 minutes and then injected via a cannula into my skin, deep and superficially. My appearance was very fine and all of imperfections include scars, sunken eyes, sunken cheeks and .. were masked. just during one week around 80% of fat is absorbed! and it yet continues! Is it adipocytes shrinkage of permanent absorption?!

Doctor Answers 6

Likely resolution of swelling

What you are noticing one week after surgery is most likely the resolution of swelling after the surgery, and not the atrophy of the fat.

The final result of the fat will be apparent sometime between 2-3 months.

As far as how much fat "stays behind vs gets absorbed":  most surgeons would say that 40-60% of the fat stays behind. Now, there is absolutely now way that we can accurately determine that, since although we know how many cc's we inject, there is no test available  for us to actually determine how much stays behind.Some of these answers may become available with MRI studies, but none exists right now.

Seattle Oculoplastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 28 reviews

Fat Transfer to Face

Fat transfer involves transferring fat from an area such as the stomach, thighs or love handles, to an area of volume loss-often in the face. Some areas of the face maintain transferred fat better than others, usually stationary areas such as the lower eyes and cheeks rather than the lips, do better. There is usually a honeymoon period of swelling that lasts one to two weeks, after which the swelling subsides and patients are sometimes disappointed. The good news is, the fat is usually still there, and if you look at your "before" pictures you will likely see improvement. Some of the fat cells may be lost in the following months, and at six months to one year, you can consider your results "permanent."

Roy A. David, MD
San Diego Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 21 reviews

Fat resorption after transfer

With my patients I usually tell then to expect only about 40-60 % of the fat to remain after six weeks.  I do not normally centrifuge the fat, as studies have shown extended centrifuge times can break down the fat cells.  In addition you will be more swollen than from the fat alone, as the body is attempting to adjust to the new fat.  This initial swelling usually resolves in a couple weeks, and might be more of what you are seeing, not actual fat loss.


Robert Kratschmer, MD 

Robert Kratschmer, MD
Houston Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 17 reviews

Facial Fat Transfer Absorption

        I would ask your plastic surgeon what results have been seen with his or her other patients and compare before and afters.  The problem with fat grafting is that the first time patients see themselves after surgery they are usually quite swollen.  Everything looks great.  I have observed about 80% take in the face, but I do think there is variability.

Fat transfer surgery

Dear RezaD,

  • I would bring this up to your surgeon
  • Everyone has different fat injection techniques so it is not standardized
  • It will be up to their experience
  • Also, compare before and after pictures to see results


Nima Shemirani

Nima Shemirani, MD
Beverly Hills Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 48 reviews

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