Super Swollen From Fat Grafting 12 Days Ago

12 days ago I had fat grafting to my laught lines upper lip and under eyes also a nose job... I'm super super swollen I look like Joan rivers I was wondering in how long will this swelling go away...My doctor says 3 weeks but I'm nervous that it will never go away... My doctor never told me that i will be swollen for so long and now I'm freaking out!!! Please help!!!

Doctor Answers 4

12 days post fat grafting

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Twelve days post surgery is still very early for you to judge the results of your surgery - be patient and follow up with your surgeon

Seattle Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 231 reviews

Swelling after facial fat grafting

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Swelling after facial fat grafting is common. A significant amount of swelling will resolve after one week, but may take several weeks to completely resolve. Keeping your head elevated, especially at night with a few pillows, will help the swelling resolve more quickly. Good luck.

Richard Ellenbogen, MD
Los Angeles Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 30 reviews

Swelling after facial fat grafting (and also rhinoplasty) is normal!

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Please relax; swelling after rhinoplasty alone can sometimes be substantial--every patient is different! Also, are you laying flat at night? If you sleep with your head elevated above heart level (put a sofa cushion under your mattress) this will decrease the swelling that otherwise returns each night if your head is at the same position as your heart. Let gravity be your friend!

But if you add fat grafting to your lower eyelids and upper lips to the swelling already present from rhinoplasty, this increases the swelling by another whole level! Also, since a portion of the fat that is grafted always dies, a certain degree of over-correction is necessary to yield a reasonable amount of permanent fullness, so yet another degree of (intentional) swelling results!

I hope your procedures were done by an ASPS-certified plastic surgeon, or ABMS-certified facial plastic surgeon (Otolaryngologist), who should be willing and eager to help you through what sounds like a normal healing process. I'm sorry you were ill-prepared for the usual and expected healing process. Sometimes it's because the consulting surgeon doesn't want to overstate the downsides of surgery (risks, complications, and even the normal stuff like swelling and bruising) or else nobody would sign up for elective surgery!

Other times it's because even though we explain all of this, patients are unwilling or reluctant  to hear and understand these issues--it's scary and often it takes a leap of faith to expose yourself to elective pain, swelling, and healing.

Talk to your surgeon! Express your concerns and listen to the advice given. Hang in there; it will (probably) be just fine as things settle and you heal! Best wishes!

Richard H. Tholen, MD, FACS
Minneapolis Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 263 reviews

Swelling from Fat Transfer

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   Swelling is a natural and normal response to fat transfers. I always let my patients know that they are going to be very swollen, especially for the first two weeks. Usually swelling does not begin to stop or start resolving until weeks 3-6. One thing that I've noticed with fat transfers is that every patient heals differently some have more swelling, some have less, it is very individual. I would try your best to take a deep breath and to not judge the results until around week 6 when the fat has settled and the majority of the swelling has gone down or is starting to go down. Even after reviewing swelling with patients before their procedure, I often have patient's that are frustrated or in your words "freaking out" from the swelling. I know it can be frustrating but I assure you that even a large amount of swelling can be normal and it should begin to go down for you within the next couple weeks. However I would only be concerned if after the 3rd or 4th week the swelling increases rather than decreases, otherwise keep your face clean and continue to drink plenty of fluids throughout this healing time.

Philip Young, MD
Bellevue Facial Plastic Surgeon

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.