Is It Safe for Fat Transfer Under the Eye with Cheek Implants Already in Place?

Doctor Answers 7

Fat transfer to the cheeks can work well if done carefully

I have done fat augmentation to several patients with cheek implants. This proceedure was done to re-inflate the cheeks as fat is lost here as we age. Patients with silastic cheek implants can end up with the edges of the showing through the skin as fat thins out in cheek. Fat can be valuable in smoothing out the cheek and hiding the implant. Grafting fat to the cheek/eyelid area can be tricky and it easy to over graft. I hope this helps.

Oklahoma City Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 61 reviews

Fat Transfer is safe but is it effective.

Fat transfer is safe but the question should it effective.  fat injected in the thin skin of the lower eyelid area is very likely to create lumps, bumps and contour irregularities.  If you're looking to fill in the area, choose a stable, reliable soft tissue filler like Restylane or Juvederm.  The Cheek Implants are placed adjacent to the cheek bone and are deep below the area where the fillers will be placed.

Francis R. Palmer, III, MD
Beverly Hills Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 25 reviews

Fat injections with a cheek implant

The danger is:

1. increasing the risk of an infection if a biofilm is activated at the implant from the fat injection, or a direct innoculation of bacteria from the skin which then spreads to the implant. This seems to be of a low risk based on numbers of procedures done and reported complicaitons.

2. lumps or irregular surface if the filler or fat is injected above the muscle and underneath the thin eyelid skin

3. blindness is a very rare complication.

Ronald Shelton, MD
Manhattan Dermatologic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 38 reviews

No it is not safe!

It is not safe because you have already had a complication from your cheek implant surgery, which is the accentuation of the dark circles.  Now you are going to "double down" with another procedures that is highly prone to problems.  Loss of vision is very unlikely but contour irregularities is much more likely.  A much better and safer option here is to have filler in the tear trough instead. Fillers like Restylane can be adjusted after the treatment if necessary.  Please be careful out.

Kenneth D. Steinsapir, MD
Beverly Hills Oculoplastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 26 reviews

Free fat grafting

Safety and results are 2 separate issues. If done carefully it can be done safely. If the fat is injected into the wrong tissue plane it can cause blindness whether or not a cheek implant is present.

The results are technique dependent whether or not a cheek implant is present. If the implant is silicone the fat has to be injected outside the capsule of the implant and just under the muscle from which it will get its blood supply. Despite that the survival rate of the fat will likely be less than it would be with a porous polyethylene cheek implant.

This format of posting questions and receiving answers lacks the face to face direct communication required for you to make an informed decision regarding surgery.

My response to your question/post does not represent formal medical advice or constitute a doctor patient relationship. You need to consult with i.e. personally see a board certified plastic surgeon in order to receive a formal evaluation and develop a doctor patient relationship.

Aaron Stone, MD
Los Angeles Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 2 reviews

Fat transfer Naturalfill

It is safe to have fat placed in the area you have asked about, even if there is a cheek implant. The under eye area, or medically, the inferior orbital rim hollows are an area that does real well with fat transfer, provided the surgeon puts the fat in the correct 'plane' or area. This is the one area of the face where the ft must be put in the deeper levels and not just under the skin, where the fat is placed in other areas of the face. If the doc puts the fat under the skin you can be left with lumps/bumps/scarring, so make sure your doctor is adept at treating this area. Hope this helps.

Roger Bassin, MD
Orlando Oculoplastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 94 reviews

Fat transfer

 Yes fat transfer to the tear trough in the presence of implant is safe. As long as the implant is not dislodged, introduced bacteria etc.

Samir Shureih, MD
Baltimore Plastic Surgeon
4.2 out of 5 stars 7 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.