Puffiness After Fat Grafting on Cheeks

I had scar revision performed along with pearl fat grafting a little over 3 weeks ago. The pearl fat graft was done because I have a specific area underneath the scar that was raised above the surrounding area. So, my doctor was supposed to excise the fat from the puffy area and implant it under the scar where it was slightly indented.

I do think that the scar will come out much better but my cheek is still puffy where the fat was supposed to be excised. I'm afraid that he did not remove enough fat to make a difference, or there is a different problem. While the rest of my scar is healing nicely, the puffiness is still prominent in that small area. Is there a way to remove the fat in that part of my cheek without causing more scarring? Could there be another explanation for the puffiness that won't go away? Thank you.

Doctor Answers 5

3 weeks postop fat grafting

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Fortunately, you are just 3 weeks postop. This is far too early to assess results.

Scarring usually involves a tight area where the skin envelope is tight, and your surgeon apparently has tried to "inflate" this area with fat grafts.

It seems as though your surgeon had a detailed, careful plan for treating you, and you may well have the normal amount of swelling after such a procedure.

You should express your concerns to your surgeon, in case there is a fluid collection, etc. that needs to be treated, however we usually assess final results at 6 months, longer for some procedures.

Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 195 reviews

Give it time for the the swelling to resolve and the tissues to settle

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It is hard to give specific advice and comments if you do not provide a picture. However, at just three weeks, you still need to give it time for the swelling to resolve and the tissues to settle. Fat grafting can sometimes cause tremendous swelling and it takes time for this to resolve.

Swelling Is Normal For 3 Weeks After Surgery

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Three weeks after surgery is a little early to determine if your results are acceptable for the procedures you described. It is not unusual to get some swelling that can persist for several months after surgery. Definitely speak with your physician about your concerns but I would wait at least 3 months, and sometimes longer before determining if the results are where you want.

D.J. Verret, MD
Dallas Facial Plastic Surgeon

Swelling takes time

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I assume that your doctor did a great job, and left the operating room only when the results looked great. If that is the case then the swelling that you describe is quite normal after 3 weeks. i often tell my patients not to look in the mirror for at least 2 months afterwards, in order to get a good idea of what to expect.

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

Puffiness after fat grafting to the face

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Fat transfer is extremely effective and powerful technique to help recontour and add volume to the face. After the surgery, it is common to see swelling and puffiness in the areas that have been treated. We recommend our patients use cold compresses and keep their health had elevated at all times to help dissipate the symptoms. You should expect for the healing process to last approximately 6 to 8 months until you see your final result. During the healing process, it is common for the tissue to be swollen and thick and to feel firm.

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.