Can Fat Transfer to Buccal and Lower Cheek Areas Limit Smile and Facial Mobility?

Doctor Answers 6

Facial Fat Transfer and Facial Mobility

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Hello and thank you for the question.

Facial fat transfer, when performed by an experienced surgeon, produces very predictable results with exceptionally low morbidity rates. Inhibited facial mobility following fat transfer is an extremely rare sequelae of this procedure. 

I would recommend consulting with a Board Certified Plastic Surgeon or Facial Plastic Surgeon that is well versed in complex facial fat transfer.

Kindest Regards,

Glenn Vallecillos, M.D., F.A.C.S.

Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 30 reviews

Fat injections and facial movement

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Long term there shouldn't be any facial muscle deficits, but in the first few weeks, some people may swell significantly and until that swelling goes down, there can be limitation of wide smiling and similar motions.

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

No problems with fat transfer and facial movement

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Fat transfer is a safe procedure when done properly. There might be issues if far too much volume is used, because large amounts may take up space and make your movements appear distorted. I always remind eager patients that it is easier to put more in, than it is to take out too much.

Barry Resnik, MD
Miami Dermatologist

Fat Transfer Risks

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Fat transfer, done correctly is a very safe procedure with little significant risk.  There should be no limitations to the facial muscles.  For a while, there was a recommendation to inject the fat into the facial muscles in an attempt to improve blood supply to the free graft, but this is not being advocated for anymore.  This is likely where you heard about the risk to facial muscles.

Joseph Campanelli, MD
Portland Facial Plastic Surgeon

Facial Mobility afer Fat Transfer to Cheeks

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I have never seen a limitation of facial movement after fat grafting to the cheeks in over 20 years of doing this surgery. It is a safe and rewarding procedure.

Richard W. Fleming, MD
Beverly Hills Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 43 reviews

Fat transfer

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Any procedure can have side effects. With fat transfer, if the placement is of the right amount & appropriate place, there should be no limitation of neither smile, nor facial muscle movement. 

Khaled El-Hoshy, MD
Detroit Dermatologic 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.