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What Percentage of the Fat Survives During a Transfer?


Doctor Answers 6

30 percent of the fat survives in fat grafting

There are several studies that have attempted to address this issue.  The more convincing studies show about 30 percent of the fat survives in the midface.  In my experience, there is great variability in the results with some patients having a much higher percentabe of survival while others have a much lower percentage.  One can always add more fat and most patients do not mind donating it from their abdomen for a good cause!


Manhattan Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 7 reviews

Fat transfer

Fat transfer or lipoaugmentation is technique and surgeon-dependent.  That means some techniques will do better than others.  Placing the fat as tiny droplets within the recipient site and placing the fat diffusley will defiitely help with the survival of the fat cellls. Also, the way that the fat is liposuctioned, the processing, and the injections also influence the survival of the fat cells.  You should go to someone who has experience with fat transfer with an extensive gallery.

Fat Transfer

Fat transfer is technique dependant.

Following appropriate technique a large percentage will survive. Plus a large portion of stem cells are available in the fat that could be contributing to the long term good results

Samir Shureih, MD
Baltimore Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 4 reviews

Percentage of fat cells living in graft

When a fat injection is done, the fat cells that are transferred to a new area either die or survive. The percent of living, or viable, cells varies in each treatment, but it is never 100%. It can be less than a third and can be more than 50% but fat injections are not always consistent even in the same patient. Each transfer can provide a different result. Most doctors slightly overcorrect to account for theloss.

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

Survival of fat transfer, transplant, injection, or grafting

Excellent question with no definitive answer. Depending on the study your review fat grafts will survive anywhere from an average of 30-50%. There are also schools of thought that believe few fat cells survive and the success is attributable to stem cells that are transferred along with the fat cells. Survival can depend on the age and health of the patient, donor site, method of harvest/processing/transfer, as well as post-oeprative care.

Otto Joseph Placik, MD
Chicago Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 56 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.