Can Fat Grafts Grow Unrelated to Weight Gain?

Doctor Answers 9

Fat grafts and your weight

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I once saw a photo of a patient at a national meeting who had fat grafts to the lower lids and gained 50 lbs after. Her eyes looked like Japanese goldfish. They were horrifying.

That is why I only use Restylane or Juvederm there - the fat REMEMBERS where it came from (ie. tummy or thighs) and gains or loses weight as if it were in tis original home.

Fat graft growth

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This is an aspect of fat biology that we are researching. If we could control localized growth of fat cells we could use them to replace breast implants. However, we are learning that there are many diffferent types of fat.

To answer your question, it is possible to experience localized growth of fat cells as a direct result or independly of weight gain.

Transferred fat cells and weight gain

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The Biblical admonition that a leopard cannot change its spots (Jeremiah 13:23 ) applies here as well.

You counted on the transferred fat cells to MAINTAIN their content and volume but they do so by acting as the caloric "barometer" of the body. The less calories you burn and more positive caloric balance you are in, the larger the fat cells become. The more negative caloric balance the body is in, the less fat the fat cells contain and the small they become. Just like the leopard, this behavior is their innate nature.

Dr. P. Aldea

Peter A. Aldea, MD
Memphis Plastic Surgeon

Fat grafting and weight gain

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Grafted fat becomes part of your body and will lose or gain volume with fluctuations in your weight very much like a normal face does

Fat grafts are not related to weight gain

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I am not familiar with any scientific evidence that shows that fat grafts will grow unrelated to weight gain. Even with weight gain, I do not feel that fat grafts will grow significantly.

Fat will not grow without weight gain

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To the best of my knowledge, there is no evidence, scientific or anectdotal, to show that fat transfers grow without weight gain. It is possible for fat to grow with weight gain, this usually takes significant weight gain to cause a problem.

D.J. Verret, MD
Dallas Facial Plastic Surgeon
3.9 out of 5 stars 14 reviews

Possible, but unlikely for fat grafts to grow unrelated to weight gain

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Yes that is possible but very unlikely. But in medicine we 'never say never'. When you find this occurring let us know, I personally have not seen this. 

Fat grafts

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Fat grafts involve removing fat from one place in the body and transferring them to another part. Some of the fat cells live in the new area (fat graft). Lumps could form which might confuse you to think the fat is growing, which it is not, but this is very rare. Fat grafts should not grow if you are not gaining weight.

Ronald Shelton, MD
Manhattan Dermatologic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 38 reviews

Fat Grafts and Weight Gain

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Fat grafts will grow with large weight gain. I have never seen, heard about, or read scientific articles to support fat grafts growing unrelated to weight gain. We always emphasize to our fat transfer patients the importance of avoiding massive weight gain after their procedure.

Good luck and be well.

Dr. P

Michael A. Persky, MD
Encino Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 36 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.