Do You Recommend Icing 2 Weeks After Fat Grafting?

lumps in cheeks after fat grafting (12 days ago). I have been putting ice on them, does this help or hurt?

Doctor Answers 7

Too much icing is not good

Fat survival is reliant on the vascularity and blood supply to the restored fat. Fat with adequate blood supply is more likely to survive the longest. Icing to long each time or for too many weeks can suppress the blood flow to the new fat decreasing the survival rate.

Bellevue Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.2 out of 5 stars 84 reviews

Icing is unlikely to help

Icing that long after surgery is unlikely to help with the swelling. Fat grafting survival is dependent on vascularization of the injected fat, and icing could potentially decrease blood flow. Now, if you're not doing it continuously, it likely won't effect things too much, but ice is effective in decreasing edema only the first few days after surgery.

Discuss any post surgical instructions with your surgeon.

A.J. Amadi, MD
Seattle Oculoplastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 37 reviews

Fat grafting protocol postop

I think ice use off and on is fine, but I would check with your PS to see what they reccomend. Massage can help for lumpy areas but start off easy. Good luck, Dr K

Mahlon Kerr, MD, FACS
Austin Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 216 reviews

Ice three weeks later for swelling

At this stage you must let your body heal the area and reduce the swelling. Ice initially does help swelling but at this stage put the ice in a drink of your choice to celebrate your beautiful new look

Richard Ellenbogen, MD
Los Angeles Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 30 reviews

Icing after 3 days doesn't help swelling

Icing, or cooling the skin with ice (applied over an interface like a cloth   but never directly on the skin) is a great way to help minimize and prevent a lot of swelling following surgery. We usually recommend keeping your head elevated for the first week if possible. Physiologically you continue to swell for 2-3 days, then peek with a slow but progressive resolution of the swelling which is also called "edema".  The ice decreases the formation of swelling but in my experience does NOT hasten its retreat. Further if ice is put too close to the skin it can injure it. 


Larry S. Nichter, MD, MS, FACS
Orange County Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 154 reviews

Ice and Fat Transplantation

Fat is best iced when it is outside the body waiting to be transplanted.  Lowering the temperature of the cells can reduce their rate of cellular respiration and therefore reduce the amount of acidosis the cells undergo prior to re-inserting then into the recipient site. Icing the recipient site theoretically reduces swelling.  12 days after fat transplantation, cells either have a blood supply or they do not.  Ice is unlikely to heLp the situation at this time; it may actually be a hinderence.





Daniel Del Vecchio, MD
Boston Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 179 reviews

Icing Cheeks 2 Weeks after Fat Grafting

Some patients find the application of ice packs after surgery to be soothing, but 2 weeks post-op it will have no effect on your result. Massage may be helpful to diffuse the lumps, but follow your surgeon's instructions.

Richard W. Fleming, MD
Beverly Hills Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 38 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.