Fat Transfer: How Long is the Recovery Period?

I am planning to have a fat transfer on May 20, 2001. I am 55 yrs old woman looking forward to have this procedures. I have a consultation appointment today around 4pm in San Francisco.

I need to know how long is the healing process. If I do it on 20th of may and attend a wedding on july 7th. Is this this sufficient time to recover before the wedding? From may 20 till july 7th seems not enough time. Most stated 6wks, 8wks,12weeks.

Doctor Answers 9

Fat Transfer Recovery

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Fat transfer recovery has several phases.  Shortly after surgery, your face will look more swollen because of localized edema (swelling) which will resolve after several days. Bruising may be seen during this time.  The second phase takes longer to resolve.  This phase involves the incorporation of fat into the face.  Some fat will be removed by the body and during this phase, the swelling will resolve further.  I find that the long term appearance is usually seen around 4 weeks after the procedure.

San Antonio Plastic Surgeon

Recovery after Fat Transfer

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I assime the fat teransfer is on your face, otherwise you would not be concerned about the wedding. In general I tell patients that they should allow 2-3 weeks. You may be aware of some subtle continuing changes in things like sensation, but you should enjoy the wedding without fear of being discovered.

Richard W. Fleming, MD
Beverly Hills Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 43 reviews

Age dependent recovery

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Many patients are severely stressed when their recovery is "timed" and calendar limited by deadlines.  The closer you get to the event, the higher the stress.  You are wise to ask what to expect, but understand that each patient heals at different rates based on your general health.  80% of bruising and swelling usually resolves by the end of the second week.  My rule of thumb is to advise that patients in their 30's can expect any surgical recovery to take 3 weeks, in their 40's - 4 weeks, 50's - 5 weeks, 60's - 6 weeks, and so on.   

Recovery after fat transfer

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Where the fat is being transfered is important when it comes to recovery time.  Typical recovery issues are bruising and swelling.  If done symmetrically, most patients are presentable in public within 1-2 weeks.  The one exception is lip fat transfer.  Lips swelling takes longer to resolve- sometimes 3-4 weeks.  Ultimately these are questions you should discuss with your doctor, and get their point of view based on their experience and planned treatment areas.

Yoash R. Enzer, MD

Yoash R. Enzer, MD, FACS
Providence Oculoplastic Surgeon

Facial Fat Grafting Recovery

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As a stand-alone procedure, patients require about 10-12 days to be presentable after facial fat transfer. For important events such as a wedding, 6 weeks should be sufficient.

Frank P. Fechner, MD
Worcester Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 48 reviews

Fat transfer recovery period

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You did not mention where you were planning to have the fat transfer procedure done - for facial, breast, buttock enhancement ? In very general terms, the recovery for these procedures is brief - much like the recovery after a liposuction procedure. Expect some brusing in the region that fat was transferred to - this brusing typically resolves after 2-3 weeks.

Recovery after Fat Transfer

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This is a very common question, as I believe that the post-operative care is a very important part of achieving your final results.

The fat transfer, often called Brazilian butt lift has become extremely popular because it allows your plastic surgeon to transform your entire shape. You improve your waist, hips and of course your buttock.

The area where the fat is harvested (liposuction) is sore but typically patients don’t have a lot of pain. Patients also typically do not have a lot of pain in the buttock where the fat is placed. It is difficult for patients to get comfortable the first few days after the surgery, as they are sore in multiple places.

The difficult part of the recovery is that I do not allow patients to sit for the first two weeks after the surgery. The fat needs time to heal and become part of your buttock. During this time patients may lie on their stomach, stand and walk, but they need to avoid sitting as much as possible.The majority of patients are back at work after a week of recovery.

For six weeks I have patients is a special compression garment that helps shape the buttock and compress the areas that have been liposuctioned.

In general of the procedures that I perform this is one where patients tend to be universally extremely happy.

Fat injection recovery

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Fat injections involve the removal and processing of fat cells from one part of the body to another.  The swelling in the recipient area, the area in which the new fat cells begin to live, can be different for each patient. It is possible that the fat may live well and only one treatment is needed but other times, there are multiple treatments needed.  Swelling can last for several weeks depending on how deeply the fat is injected and how many passes are made.  Often there can be just several days of swelling and bruising and then it looks good.  An average may be two to three weeks, so your social timing may be cutting it close.

Ronald Shelton, MD
Manhattan Dermatologic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 39 reviews

Recovery after fat transfer

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I agree with the surgeon above me. It is improtant to know where the fat is coming from and where it is going (and how much). If you are to have large volume fat transfer to the buttocks for instance, then a fair amount of both liposuction and fat transfer is invovled. The recovery period is several weeks and there will be swelling and abnormal sensation for up to three months. On the other hand, 10 cc of fat into the cheeks is a very rapid recovery with little down time (some bruising and swelling which resolve in 10-14 days).


Good luck,


Daniel A. Medalie, MD

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.