Does donor site matter in regards to how long lasting fat grafts are?

I am having fat grafting to the face for the 2nd time. The first time fats were taken from the love handles. I no longer have fat in that area and surgeon suggest taking from the thighs but I like my shapely legs and request to take from my arms which has abundance of stubborn fats. Surgeon said fats from the arm may not be long lasting and he usually take only from thighs. Is that cause for concern? The fats on my arm are very stubborn and never want to go away with diet and exercise

Doctor Answers 7

Fat Grafts

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Thank you for posting your question. There is no study that shows fats from different areas having different survival rate. Some people tend to reabsorb more fat after fat transfer, so how long lasting fat grafts are really depend on your own body and the physician's technique. Do what you believe is right and best for yourself. There is no need to change a body part you really love. Best of luck.

Bellevue Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 17 reviews

Fat Facts

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There is little evidence that shows fat grafts survival increases/decreases dependent on area. The technique is more important. Successful fat transfer can last 10+ years with minimal need for touch ups. We use water-assisted harvesting of fat (BodyJet/AquaJet) and find it has high levels of success. See an expert. Best, Dr. Emer

Jason Emer, MD
Los Angeles Dermatologic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 207 reviews

Harvesting areas and how long lasting fat grafts are?

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The longevity of the fat graft is dependant mainly on the vascularity of the recipient bed! In other words, the best tissue for fat transfer if it is not injected in a rich vascular area, will  die in few weeks! It is why as other harbingers I have chosen to inject purified fat inside the muscles of facial expression, 18 years ago. I created the FAMI technique for predictability and longevity. There is a quote:

Roger Amar, MD
London Plastic Surgeon

Fat graft donor sites for fat transfer

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There are very few studies which have truly looked into the nature of the donor sites and if this has an influence on fat survival. The technique for the harvest and preparation as well as the nature of the recipient site probably are more important factors but even than has not been standardized.

Otto Joseph Placik, MD
Chicago Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 86 reviews

Fat Grafting Donor Sites

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There are no reliable studies that show a difference in fat survival when taken from different areas.  Wherever the fat is taken from should be relatively the same in terms of survival, meaning 60-70% of the grafted fat should take hold over time.  I hope this helps.

Does donor site matter in regards to how long lasting fat grafts are?

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Different studies on this come up with different results but overall, if there is a difference in donor sites, it is small. Best to take from areas that have fat available. 

Karol A. Gutowski, MD, FACS
Chicago Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 76 reviews

Does the area where you take fat for grafting from matter?

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The teaching is that some areas produce "better fat" for grafting, but in practice, I have taken fat from many areas and not noticed a significant difference. There may be a slight quality difference between fat from softer areas of your body like the abdomen and flanks and that of previously liposuctioned or more fibrotic areas (such as the upper abdomen or outer thighs), but this has not yet been proben. Taking fat from your arms for grafting should be a perfectly viable option. 

Tracy Kayan, MD
Minneapolis Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 11 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.