Can Fat Grafting into Cheeks Travel Up to Eye Area Causing Tightness Around Eye and Swelling Also Eye Lids Swollen?

I had a neck and lower facelift in January ,also fat graft into cheeks , my concerns are that my eyes have been sore and a feeling of tightness around them with a swelling on the upper eye lid especially in a morning, also since day one my left cheek is more swollen than the right will it settle down these matters are of great concern to me , I wish to know can the fat travel up from the cheeks to the eye area?

Doctor Answers 9

Migrating fat grafting?

Its very unlikely as the fat either establishes a blood supply and survives where placed or it is resorbed by your body.  Your skin has mini-compartments where the fat is placed that prevent  movement from one spot to another.  Your facelift will enhance your cheek bones as well.

Redding Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 33 reviews

Fat Grafting Migration??

Fat grafts are not going to migrate upward from the cheeks into the eyelids. Those are two different tissue planes of which fat can not transgress. Fat grafts may resorb but I have yet to see them migrate.

Barry L. Eppley, MD, DMD
Indianapolis Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 72 reviews

Fat Graft Migration

Following a facelift and fat grafting, you need 3-6 months to evaluate your results. In my past, I have not seen fat grafts migrate, rather they have a 40% absorption problem. Discuss the result with your surgeon. All the best.

Thomas A. Narsete, MD
Denver Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 10 reviews

Swelling not fat probably

Fat doesn't usually travel. The biggest concern with fat is how it "takes" to the area. You may be experiencing swelling after surgery, which is common. Sleep with your head elevated and limit sodium intake. You should also follow up with your surgeon.

Michael Constantin Gartner, DO
Paramus Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 137 reviews

Can Fat Grafting into Cheeks Travel Up to Eye Area Causing Tightness Around Eye and Swelling Also Eye Lids Swollen?

Dear password,

thank you for your question.  Fat does not migrate.  Your eyelid swelling if it has not been decreasing with time should be reassessed by your surgeon.

Best wishes,

Pablo Prichard, MD

Pablo Prichard, MD
Phoenix Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 47 reviews

Traveling fat?

Fat does not travel.  Fat stays where it is injected.  You are experiencing swelling that is normal.  Be careful and keep salt ingestion to less than 1500 mg a day.   You will be fine.  Healing takes one year.  Healing is 80% at 6 months.  Be patient.   My Best,  Dr C

George Commons, MD
Palo Alto Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 36 reviews

Fat Grafting Migration is unlikely, but persistent swelling is possible

It is very unlikely that the fat itself moved up to the eye area from the cheeks, however it is possible that the placement of excess fat in the area of the cheeks can cause a "crowding" effect around the eyes, especially when the patient smiles big and the cheeks effectively get pushed up towards the eyes. 

Moreover, whenever a surgical procedure is performed, the skin and deep tissue as well as the accompanying lymphatic flow are disrupted, thereby causing some degree of postoperative fluid retention in the tissues.  This is certainly true for surgical fat grafting as well. The result is a persistent swelling that just takes time to resolve.  The fluid retention is usually worse in the morning, since lying down flat all night long allows gravity to pull fluid into your face.  i would recommend sleeping with your head of bed elevated (on extra pillows) to see if it improves, and also returning to your surgeon to let him or her know of your concerns.  

Since your surgery was in January, I hope the issue has resolved itself by now, and that you are enjoying a lovely result.  Best wishes!

Lynn Chiu-Collins, MD
San Francisco Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 29 reviews

It is possible for grafted fat to migrate.

Fat injections probably don't actually move after the procedure. Or than likely some of the fat that is injected under pressure may find its way in excess that shows up after the swelling subsides. Talk your surgeon about this.

Vincent N. Zubowicz, MD
Atlanta Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 35 reviews

Fat Grafting To Cheeks Migrating

Theoretically, any filler can migrate but it's pretty rare. I perform a significant amount of fat grafting in my practice and have yet to experience migration. I would speak with your PS about your concerns and I'm sure they will be able to tell if there is any issue.

Jeffrey Hartog, MD
Orlando Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 60 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.