Injecting Fat Graft Effects on Scar Tissue

What are the effects of injecting fat graft into a scar tissue? I have heard that fat is being used to treat wounds and scars.

Doctor Answers 7

Fat grafting can help to improve scars

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Fat grafting beneath scars and damaged skin (after radiation treatments, for example) has been observed to improve overlying scar quality. Fat can also provide volume beneath a scar when it is released from its underlying attatchments.

Injecting fat into scar tissue

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Although it is possible to inject fat into scar tissue this procedure must be performed very very carefully. Keep in mind that this scar tissue is not normal tissue. It has much more fibrous connections and may not have the blood supply as other normal areas of your body. For this reason, the amount of fat that can safely be injected is limited and a good result may require several sessions. Your best bet is to work with a board-certified plastic surgeon who is a great deal of experience with fat injection and scar revision techniques.

Fat grafting for scars

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Fat grafting is a srugical technique of transferring fat.

You can make the analogy of trans"planting" a plant. Survival of the transferred plant depends on the health of the plant as well as the suitability of the area to which it is transferred. This means that a plant moved to a desert is less likely to survive than a plant transferred to a lush, fertile, moist, sunny environment.

The same goes for fat. Fat survives better when it is handled delicately, and then moved to a vascular (good blood supply) recipient site. Therefore the more the blood supply, the better the survival. Muscle has some of the best blood supply and fat does best when transferred to muscle. We use this principle when transferring fat to the buttocks. It does best when we implant it in the musclse of the buttocks.

Scar tissue often has a poor blood supply and may be stiff or resistant to enlargement. Fat garfting can help to eliminate depressed scars but the survival of fat in scars is generally suboptimal. However, when it works, it can be a very good result. Therefore it may be worth a try in many instances where a depressed scar is the primary priblem.

Otto Joseph Placik, MD
Chicago Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 86 reviews

Volume mainly

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Adding fat to scar tissue may add volume to depressed scars.  It may add padding as well.  Unfortunately, a lot of fat will eventually go away over time.

Fat transfer can fill depressions

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Fat Transfer can improve traumatic depressions and liposuction irregularities. It is also good for skeletonized breasts after breast augmentation in thin patients. It is also great for aging hands.

I am not sure what it will do for a simple scar.

Robert M. Freund, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 34 reviews

Fat injection for scars

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Scars that are sunken (depressed) may benefit from fat grafting.  An example of this is acne scars.  It is important sometimes to release the scars (subcision) before injection the fat.

Sam Naficy, MD, FACS
Seattle Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 231 reviews

Fat grafting limited help for most scrars

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Depressed scars in my experience benefit more by scar revision and re-arrangement. Fat grafting is of limited utility in most scars.

Best Regards and good luck.

John P. Di Saia, MD
Orange Plastic 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.