How Long is It Necessary to Sleep with Head Elevated, Post Fat Transfer to Face?

My lower blepharoplasty with fat transfer to tear trough/ lower eye socket and upper cheek pad was done exactly two weeks ago. The eyes are 90% back to normal without swelling, but the facial swelling is huge and makes me unpresentable to public still. How much longer do I need to sleep sitting up with head elevated through the night to minimize swelling? My lower cheeks are so swollen, I look like I have just had 10 root canals at once.

Doctor Answers 5

Swelling after fat transfer

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Swelling after fat transfer is rather unpredictable and can be different in each region of the face. This really depends on the amount of fat injected, the number of passes the doctor made in each area, and the degree of bruising after surgery. The bruising and swelling can last up to 4 weeks, although that is not the norm, it does happen. As a previous surgeon has mentioned, oral steroids may speed up the recovery. Keeping your head elevated also helps even 2 weeks out after surgery. Also, bromelain and quercetin supplements are very helpful.

Los Angeles Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 45 reviews

Fat transfer with swelling how long to elevate head

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Unfortunately there is no "exact" answer to this question......although it is a good question and very practical! The swelling may take a few weeks to really come down. The longer you elevate the head on two pillows the better.....essentially for as long as you can tolerate it until you see resolution. I would also suggest cold compresses to assist with this. If you are quite swollen and/or having discomfort then you need to see the practitioner. They may recommend a short course of mild steroids to aid in resolution of the swelling.

Michael A. Carron, MD
Detroit Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 42 reviews

Post fat transfer recovery of face

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It depends upon the extent of bruising and swelling you had immediately after the procedure. There may still be some swelling particularly in the lower part of the face due to gravitation. At the same time it is possible that you have more volume of fat as doctor mentioned. I suggest which may sound different, is to sleep in a flat position, if it is swelling it will be redistributed in the face if not then chances are you have more volume of fat then required. Even in latter situation the fat will resolve but do inform your surgeon so he can assess well.

Sanjay Parashar, MD
Dubai Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 24 reviews

Fat grafting and swelling - Los Angeles

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I would begin massage therapy and take a swelling supplement such as Swell-X to reduce the swelling around the face. Raffy Karamanoukian Los Angeles

Raffy Karamanoukian, MD, FACS
Los Angeles Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 95 reviews

No longer necessary

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If you are two weeks postop from surgery, sleeping with your head is no longer elevated. A lot of the "swelling" which are you seeing now is likely just the excess fat that your surgeon injected in anticipation that 40-60 will resorb. Every one heals a bit differently and reacts differently to the injected fat.

Have you discussed this with your surgeon? I'm sure he/she would be interested in hearing about your recovery, and possibly want to see you.

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