Fat Transfer to Cheekbones and Lips. How Much Fat Stays and is It True That Fat Takes Better in Younger People?

I had a fat transfer for my cheekbones and lips and i read from a doctor here that only 3% of the fat can stay from research from ASAPS and ASPS. but my doctor says more than 50 % can stay? and i m 18 years old and i have read that fat takes better in younger people?

Doctor Answers 6

Fat Transfer and Take

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There are many variables that effect the success of fat transfer, age, techniques used to harvest and prepare the fat, experience of surgeon, etc.  We call our procedure Natural Fill and you can see videos and before and after pictures on our website.  With an experienced surgeon, more that 50% should take.

Tampa Plastic Surgeon
4.4 out of 5 stars 40 reviews

Take of Fat after transfer

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Fat transfer is commonly done in all parts of the face and body. There are studies that quote fat retention from single digit percentages to near 90%. The truth is that there are many variables that contribute to he success of fat take. One variable is age, health status, amount of fat, harvest, process and purification technique.Speak with your plastic surgeon about his/her specific protocol. The nice thing about fat transfer is that there is nothing artificial about the product (unlike commercial fillers). Once the fat has taken it as the potential to last a very long time. Lastly this procedure can be repeated for best results and can be done in the office with minimal post operative discomfort. Remember that safety should always take priority over being expedient so speak with your surgeon and inquire about his/her results and experience. Communication and aligning expectations is the key to happy patient and happy doctor!

Fat Transfer and Take

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It is true that fat retention varies not only in studies but from patient to patient.  In my experience, younger patients do have better "take" than patients older than age 65-70.  It is safe to say that you may require more than one session of fat grafting for optimal results but at 18, and in experienced hands, you will likely have 50% or more fat graft retention.

Elizabeth Kim, MD
Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 29 reviews

Fat transfer is better in younger patients

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Like many things in surgery, fat transfer tends to be better in younger patients.  The reality is quantifying fat take rate is very difficult and there is no standard way for preparing and injecting fat though techniques are improving.  Myself, I use a specialy designed system called Adivive to help me better prep the fat and isolate the stem cell content.  I expect about 50 to 70% take in my younger patients and about 40 to 60% in my patients who are post-menopause.

I prefer not to use it in the lips because of variable take due to lip mobility.  Cheekbones in a young woman should do well.

Chase Lay, MD
Bay Area Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 80 reviews

Fat resorption varies

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It is certainly true that fat survival can be variable in patients. Generally, in our practice, we believe an average of 40-60% to be the rate we can achieve. Certainly we've had better in some and sometimes none in others.

There are no scientific papers that show a different rate in fat retention, but some feel that younger patients will do better. Again the percentages that are quoted are approximations as there is no way currently that can measure the volume of fat that has survived.

A.J. Amadi, MD
Seattle Oculoplastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 42 reviews

Fat Grafting. How Much Fat Stays and is It True That Fat Takes Better in Younger People?

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The resorption rate for fat grafting varies from study to study, but you can expect approximately 60-80% long term graft survival based on several studies in the literature. Resorption rates may vary depending on the location. The cheeks and lips tend to have a lesser degree of resorption than the nasolabial folds. I'm not aware of any studies that have shown variation in resorption rates based on age.

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.