What is the likely hood of fat surviving in the neck Fat Grafting?

What is the likely hood of fat surviving in the neck? I had too much fat removed and it has caused my neck to look bad. I've been told I need fat grafts but everything I read says it's not the best place for fat to survive. I need some type of reassurance that I'm not throwing thousands of dollars down the drain for some procedure that may or may not work. I would like more then a crap shoot outcome! My PS didn't learn less is best theory so now I'm paying for his mistake! ty, confused

Doctor Answers 7

Fat transfer is not ideal for the neck

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Hi there,

Sorry to hear about your neck.  Unfortunately aggressive liposuction during necklifting can lead to a skeletonized looking neck: thin skin overlying visible neck anatomy.  Ideally there should be a barrier (fat) that buffers the visibility of the deeper anatomy.  Once that fat is gone, it is very difficult to fix with fat grafts.  There is significant amount of subcutaneous scar tissue after necklifting surgery, and this makes passing the canula for fat grafting difficult.  In turn, scarred areas support grafted fat less than in virgin territory.  Bottom line, fat grafting into a scarred neck has a high liklihood of irregulaty that will be unsatisfactory.  

Another option that has a significantly higher liklihood of success is injecting Scuptra into your neck skin. Multiple subcutaneous injections will cause an expansion of the subcutaneous layer, effectively creating that volume buffer that you need to make your neck look healthy again.  The downsides of the Scupltra is that you will need ongoing maintenance injections every 1-2 years to maintain your result.

Best of luck to you!

Austin Oculoplastic Surgeon

Survival of Fat Transplantation in the neck

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It is very difficult to give you an answer without seeing photos of your neck.  If too much fat was removed from the neck, there could be scarring that would make it difficult to inject the fat and for it to have a good enough blood supply to live.  In general, predicting fat graft take in the face is difficult because the range of survival of transplanted fat is highly variable.  It might be even more difficult to predict in a  neck that has had prior surgery.   I would suggest that you get a second opinion from a surgeon who is very experienced in fat transplantation.

Keith A. LaFerriere, MD (retired)
Springfield Facial Plastic Surgeon

Fat Grafting in the Neck

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Fat grafting is a very technique dependent procedure.  Success rates vary widely and in an area like the neck, I would insist on someone with a good track record and experience specifically with the neck.

Joseph Campanelli, MD
Portland Facial Plastic Surgeon

Overcorrection with neck liposuction may not be improved by fat injections

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The skin of the neck is so thin that fat injections might leave lumpiness.  You should consult, in person, not on the internet, with an experienced plastic surgeon to determine if you can benefit from any procedure without significant risk.

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

What is the likely hood of fat surviving in the neck Fat Grafting?

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Fat grafting is an unpredictable procedure as we are not sure how much of the transferred fat survives. The neck area is a relatively mobile area and fat grafts don't do well in areas that are constantly moving such as lips.

Mohsen Tavoussi, MD, DO
Orange County Facial Plastic Surgeon

Fat graft

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The reason fat graft is not very predictable is because of previous surgery and the presence of scar.


you need to understand the surgical procedure, its limitations and risks before you can make an intelegent decision

Samir Shureih, MD
Baltimore Plastic Surgeon

Choose carefully! Fat grafting may not be right for you!

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    It is difficult to say whether fat grafting is indicated in your case.  Certainly, no one can offer you any “reassurance” that you would not be “throwing thousands of dollars down the drain.”  Needless to say, you probably should get several opinions before subjecting yourself to further surgery.  But I certainly would not limit yourself to seeing only a “board certified plastic surgeon” as was advocated to you by one responder since many of these generalized plastic surgeons are far less experienced in facial surgery and fat grafting than those who have advanced training and specialization in these techniques.

Lawrence Kass, MD
Saint Petersburg Oculoplastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 140 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.