Fat Grafting on Face

Hi I am 26 years old and about to do fat grafting to make my oval shape face more fuller. I am very worried what if my face looks asymmetry or one side looks bigger than the other side. Or as I get older the fat moves downwards. Is the procedure safe? I haven’t had any consultation yet but I was told by a friend of mind who has experienced; after care requires keeping the face upwards and not talking for 2weeks, is that correct? Best regards Jennifer

Doctor Answers 14

Survival of fat grafts

There is a belief that survival of fat grafts is skill dependent.  This is probably true, to an extent.  You are still sucking living human cells through a tube and then injecting them through a needle.  How many cells survive?  If you use very precise measurement techniques such as matabolic uptake studies, the survival is very low indeed, often below 10%.  If you look at whether the cells are broken or not, the survival is closer to 20-25% if carefullly aspirated.  Our studies used the dye exclusion technique and found numbers in that range.  Some people claim 100% survival.  I doubt that.

There is no getting around asymmetries after fat injection, even in the very best of hands.

The survival of fat grafts is vairiable, and not fully predictable.

For those reasons, we prefer a technique of directly placing fat-fascial grafts into pockets, minimizing trauma to the cells.

Patients and surgeons should go into the procedure with that in mind.  To guarantee a patient symmetry after fat grafts, or to guarantee the survival of fat grafts, is simply not realistic, in my opinion.

Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 178 reviews

Fat grafting to face at an early age for contour change

Trying to change the overall shape of the face with fat grafting alone is not a wise choice at your age. Even with excellent intial placement and survival of the grafts,  your subsequent weight gain and loss as well as hormonal fluctuations with pregnancy may produce unpredictable changes in the volume of the grafted areas and make some grow disproportionately to others resulting in an undesireable contour irregulariy.

Otto Joseph Placik, MD
Chicago Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 82 reviews

Fat injections

At your young age it is wise to be conservative and remember, you can always add more but it is difficult to remove unwanted fat. Asymmetry is better addressed by adding more to the undertreated side than removing it in an overtreated side. NOt speaking for two weeks is extreme. Fat injections can be capricious and despite the surgeon's excellent care, there are many variables in the processing, harvesting and implanting and your body's response that create the final effect.

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

Asymmetry can occur after fat grafting.

Tha fat won't move and you can talk but asymmetry can be a problem. Unless you have major depressions avoid having this done.

Toby Mayer, MD
Beverly Hills Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 34 reviews

Concerns about facial fat grafting

You are right to have these concerns, all of them!  This is not a procedure where totally predictable results can be promised.  Fat sometimes takes 100% and sometimes not regardless of what the doctor does.  It's long term look has yet to be determined too.

Richard P. Rand, MD, FACS
Seattle Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 67 reviews

Fat grafting for facial rejuvenation- Looking younger in a natural way!

fat grafting or micro-fat grafting of the face has significantly improved the results of facial rejuvenation. Aging causes loss of facial volume as well as sagging of the soft tissue and skin. replenishing the lost facial volume with a patient's own fat can rejuvenate the face in a very natural and balanced way. My personal experience with facial fat grafting for my patients has been amazing, so has been the long term experience of my patients.

Sean Younai, MD, FACS
Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon
4.4 out of 5 stars 49 reviews

Fat Grafting for Younger Patients

Fat grafting is a procedure designed to restore facial volume, and is less successful for altering facial shape. As a younger patient, you should be aware that transplanted fat may change years down the road: if you gain significant weight, the fat transferred to your  face may change dramatically.  For some patients facial implants or injectable fillers may provide a more targeted solution- and one that can be reversed if desired down the road. Consult with an experienced surgeon who will give you all the options.

Roy A. David, MD
San Diego Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 23 reviews

Fat Grafting

Fat grafting is an art and a difficult one at that.  The problem is twofold: you must have the artistic vision to know where to place the fat and the technical skill to make sure that it lives after it is transferred.  This is definitely a procedure where you want to go to someone with experience and a great track record.  Risks include asymmetry, loss of graft and the usual surgical risks (bleeding,infection, etc).  There are not any special restrictions necessary after the procedure, such as not talking for 2 weeks.  Once the fat has established a blood supply it will be no more likely to move than your native fat but remember that your native fat normally sags as you get older.

Joseph Campanelli, MD
Portland Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 8 reviews

Fat transplantation is a wonderful, safe method for restoring facial symmetry.

Fat transplantation is a wonderful, safe method for restoring facial symmetry. The recovery is rapid and many patients are able to socialize within 48 hours. See link below.

William P. Coleman III, MD
Metairie Dermatologic Surgeon
3.5 out of 5 stars 2 reviews

Facial Fat Grafting

Using small syringes, fat is harvested from the hip, inner or outer thigh, lower back, or lower abdomen. The fat is then processed in a special centrifuge, and is then injected into the desired area. When performed properly, a large percentage of the fat transfer will stay and the face will fill out to look more youthful.

In addition to making your facial structure look younger, fat injections can also improve your skin. More than a decade ago, researchers discovered that your own adipose tissue contains adult stem cells. These are cells found in your own fat that have regenerative properties. When the procedure is performed correctly, fat grafting can provide a new source of blood supply for your existing tissue and skin. Thus, the fat not only adds volume to your face, adding fullness, but it also has these natural regenerative properties to make your face look more youthful.

Be sure to consult with a board certified plastic surgeon who has extensive experience with fat grafting to get the best results.

Ricardo L. Rodriguez, MD
Baltimore Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 94 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.