Fat grafting; my smile looks clownish and my upper lip doesn't move. Is this permanent? (Photo)

I had fat grafting over two weeks ago and my face looks great. However my smile looks clownish and my upper lip doesn't move. My teeth use to show when I smiled and now it's scary! Is this permanent?

Doctor Answers 7

Swelling After Fat Grafting

It may take up to a month or more for
swelling to subside after fat grafting. If your smile doesn't loosen
by then, please see an expert. Best, Dr. Emer.


Los Angeles Dermatologic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 167 reviews

Fat grafting and facial movement

The change in your smile may be related to swelling. Best to give it time to settle and re-evalaute over the nest several weeks.

Steven Wallach, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon
4.1 out of 5 stars 24 reviews

2 weeks post fat graft

It is not unusual to have a very tight face at 2 weeks after fat grafting.  The fat in the cheeks can make it difficult to smile completely.  As the swelling goes down and some of the fat resorbs your muscle function should return and you should have your normal smile back.  There may also be some inflammation around the nerves and this will improve as well. 

John J. Martin, Jr., MD
Coral Gables Oculoplastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 25 reviews

Fat grafting; my smile looks clownish and my upper lip doesn't move. Is this permanent? (Photo)

Sometimes the healing phase can take over 1 month. Allow time and discuss with the chosen fat injecting doctor.

Abnormal smile post fat grafting

Since you are only 2 weeks post injection I would not get worried.You just need to be patient.This should go away on it's own.Massage may help as well.

Robert Brueck, MD
Fort Myers Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 56 reviews

Fat Grafting to face

Thank you for sharing your concern. Did you have any adjunctive procedure as well? like botox or lipo? Its fairly early in the post op course. Sometimes you can expect a little neuropraxia from the procedure. It should gradually improve with time.

Fat grafting - my smile looks clownish and my upper lip doesn't move. Is this permanent?

Thank you for sharing your question and photograph and I am sorry to hear of your lip related issues.  What has likely happened is that the swelling from your fat grafting has caused a temporary neuropraxia or deficit in those nerve branches responsible for causing your upper lip to move.  As your results mature and your facial swelling resolves you should see a steady return to normal function of your lips.  Hope this helps.

Nelson Castillo, MD
Atlanta Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 43 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.