Considering Fat Injection

how long does it take to look a bit normal after a fat injection in the face (under the cheeks), in a way that people won't notice it

Doctor Answers 7

Recovery from Facial fat Grafting

{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}

Facial fat grafting is a wonderful procedure for both facial rejuvenation and facial reshaping. The recovery period is fairly quick because there are no incisions in the face or donor area that require healing except for a very tiny stab incision to both harvest and inject the fat. The majority of bruising in the face/cheeks will begin to resolve about one week after surgery and the remaining selling will slowly decrease over the next week. If you keep your head elevated after surgery the amount of swelling and bruising post-operatively will be minimized and your recovery process will be expedited. Arnica tablets may help with bruising but do not place anything frozen on the grafted area because you may damage the fragile fat cells. Also, watch out for salty foods and don’t over exert yourself the first week after surgery so that your body can focus on the healing process. This technique is very operator dependent and I recommend having a fat grafting procedure performed only by someone very experienced in the proper harvesting, handling and injection techniques for the best possible long-term results.

Los Angeles Plastic Surgeon
4.3 out of 5 stars 67 reviews

Fat Grafting

{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}

Typically, any bruising or swelling will resolve about 2 weeks after the procedure.  Please avoid the list of medications/foods as recommended by your surgeon as that will decrease the likelihood of bruising.  Fat grafting, if done well, generally leads to natural appearance results to restore your youthfulness.

Kimberly Lee, MD
Beverly Hills Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 13 reviews

Wanting to do fat injections....

{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}

The procedure of Liposuctioning fat from an area and harvesting for injections into the face is a simple procedure with little down time, that gives you beautiful results.   After having the first procedure, your thigh will be slightly swollen and possibly bruised.  Your doctor will also inject the fat into your face at the same time and you may have minimal swelling.  Some patients may get a little bruising especially around the eyes that will diminish within a few days.  Without bruising, by the next day no one should notice you had anything done.  Additional injections should be done around 8-10 weeks later, with similar reactions.

Andrew Miller, MD
Edison Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 222 reviews

Swelling and bruising after fat transfer to the face

{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}

Most of the obvious swelling and bruising after a fat transfer to the face/cheeks will be gone around 2 weeks after the procedure. This of course depends on the areas that are treated. You can minimize the bruising by taking Arnica before and after surgery. The finer swelling can take a few weeks longer to completely resolve.

Best wishes,


William Bruno, MD
Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 412 reviews

Fat grafting recovery

{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}

The time period for you to look "normal" is variable nd also a bit subjective.

The amount of swelling (and possible bruising) you have depends a lot on how much fat volume is placed. In patients having full face grafting, they usually look very presentable (and can easily return to work without looking "done") after 2-3 weeks. There's still swelling at this stage but it's usually dramatically improved by 3 weeks. If more limited grafting is done this time frame would obviously be shorter. Additionally, bruising may occur, but this usually resolves after 1-2 weeks.

Another issue is that if the fat grafting procedure is successful there SHOULD be a difference. I think you're getting to the fact that you'd like the result to be such that people may notice that you look better, but can't place exactly why. Volume enhancement procedures of any type are great for this effect.

Discussing your specific case with your fat graft surgeon will help to get more specific answer, especially based on how much grafting would need to be done in your case.


Thomas A. Lamperti, MD
Seattle Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 22 reviews

Fat Tranfer

{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}

After fat injection, it will take at least a couple of weeks without a bruise. Thank you for your question and good luck with everything.

Vivek Bansal, MD
Danville Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 26 reviews

Facial Fat Transfer

{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}

In my experience, it takes around 2 to 3 weeks to achieve a very natural result. Bruising can occur but settles within 2 weeks in most cases. Most of the stubborn swelling occurs in the jowl area and the malar festoons. Talk to your qualified surgeon about compression and cooling protocols to reduce the swelling early on during your recovery. This can make a significant impact in your recovery time. Best Regards, Dr. Todd Hobgood

Todd Christopher Hobgood, MD
Phoenix Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 57 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.