How Long Do Fat Transfer Injections Last?

I am considering getting fat transfer injections to my face to fill in hollow areas. What percent of the injected fat will stay? How long will it last? Are there different types of fat transfer methods and what makes one better than the other?

Doctor Answers 7

Fat Grafting Results are Permanent

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Not all fat that is grafted will survive. In some areas, up to 90% of grafted fat may survive. In other areas, particularly hollow areas without a foundation or scaffolding may require more than a single session of fat grafting in order for acheive the ideal result.

If a physician is new to fat grafting, and especially if they are not confident about their instrumentation and technique, then they may tend to over-graft thinking that a large amount of the fat probably will not survive. However if a large amount of that grafted fat does survive, the patient is left with an unnatural and sometimes bizarre look. Another part of the problem can be the physician's aesthetic vision and understanding of facial aging. There are facial areas where adding volume restores a more youthful appearance, but others where adding volume creates a distinctly unnatural appearance. Balance and overall facial harmony is important as well - for example, overfilling the jawline and lower face will create a heavy, square-jawed, masculine appearance.

Raleigh-Durham Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 123 reviews

Duration of Facial Fat Transfer

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Fat injections are a good option for natural facial enhancement. Fat injections, however, have a certain degree of variability on the duration of the results. Fat transfer has the potential to have permanent enhancement, but results may be as short as a few months. Fat injections, just as many areas of medicine, are both science and art. Speak with a plastic surgeon to help determine if fat injections are appropriate for you.

Houtan Chaboki, MD
Washington DC Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 89 reviews

How Long Do Fat Transfer Injections Last?

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Excellent question, but without the clear answer many would like.  In general, fat transfers/grafts survive for a variable amount of time, and that can be frustrating for all involved.  Some claims of consistent long-term survival are not seen universally.  The best approach is to expect that variable survival will be the rule rather than the exception and that one or more procedures may be necessary to achieve the desired results.  With that a greater degree of satisfaction is likely.

I hope that this helps and good luck,

Dr. E

Fat injections

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Fat injections or fat grafts are injector dependant. The fat need to be cleaned, purified and the injection site need to be optimal for the graft to take or stay.

Once the fat acquires new blood supply it will stay for long. How long? we do not know exactly, but more than 5 years.

The amount that stays or take. varies but well done procedure will have at least 80% chance of take

Samir Shureih, MD
Baltimore Plastic Surgeon

Fat Grafts or Transfers can partially last forever

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Fat Grafts are variable in how long or how much lasts.  It is not how much is put in, but how much fat gets its own blood supply after grafted. Even going back to the 1950's, a study by Dr Peer showed that 30-40% of the fat got its own blood supply and would last forever.  But it has to be small enough area of fat that can get its own blood supply.  

There are differences with people also in how good their healing is and how much stays around.  Location plays a role as well.  When placed in an area with a lot of scar, and not much blood supply will not stay around as well as some place like the lips where the blood supply is better.  Fat also is not a good dermal filler, but deeper subcutaneous or deep filler.

Dan Mills, MD
Orange County Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 35 reviews

Fat injections

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the longevity of fat injections is quite capricious, in fact, it is the most unpredictable aspect of my cosmetic practice. Many patients receive long term correction, but some do not obtain any meaningful correction and it is not possible to predict who those patients would be prior to the injections. There are different ways of injecting, deeply, in the muscle or in the fatty layer. Small cannula, centrifuging the fat prior to injection to separate out the liquid anesthetic are techniques that may help.

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

Fat Transfer Longevity

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The survival percentage varies from patient to patient and from body locations.  The range of survival percentage can be from nothing to 90%.  

Justin Yovino, MD, FACS
Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 103 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.