I'm confused. Is fat grafting permanent or not?
Doctor Answers (5)
Is Fat Grafting Permanent?
However, some fat will be reabsorbed. Therefore, I do let my patients know that it is possible that they may want a "touch up" fat grafting procedure at some point in the future. The price for possible follow up treatments are carefully outlined prior to the initial surgical procedure.
Some plastic surgeons elect to over-fill faces with fat, knowing that some fat will be reabsorbed. The problem is we can't predict exactly how much fat will be reabsorbed and sometimes patients can have a very unnatural looking result This result could be a prolonged healing period where a patient feels uncomfortable being seen in public for months. Worse, this result can be permanent. It is very important to view many many before and after photos of fat grafting. View photos of patients weeks after surgery, and patients years after surgery. I have attached a gallery to my fat grafting before and after patients. I hope this helps.
Fat transferred fat is permanent
Fat grafting results based on 35 year experience.
2. What you see at 3 months is what you get
3. In the wrong hands it produces irregularities and often requires touch ups especially in the face.
4. I have primarily used the abdomen where most people have "extra" fat
5. If you gain 20lbs. the transferred fat can increase in size!
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Once this fat stabilizes, it is in fact permenant. However, in the facial region, aging will continue to occur and facial fat atrophy will continue.
One way to explain this is the following: in a hypothetical situation, if you had fat grafting done to only the right side of your face, but not to the left side, your right side will always have more volume than the left side, but will continue to age and have fat atrophy.
As far as thigh vs belly fat as the donor site, there has been no definitive study suggesting one is better than the other. What I generally ask my patients is the following: which body region do you have the toughest time losing fat from, and that is the region that I'll harvest fat from. In ladies its often inner knees and outer thighs, in males its generally around the belly.
Hope this helps clear things up a bit.