What causes fat cells to shrink/die after a Fat Transfer to buttocks? (photos)

I'm at 4 weeks since surgery. I feel like my butt has gone down a lot after the inflammation has gone down. I see a difference in it going down everyday. When will it stop? Is it going to get bigger over time? I'm pretty bummed out...

Doctor Answers 5


Lack of oxygen and nutrients to the transplanted fat will cause them to die. We always expect 1/3-1/2 of the fat to get absorbed so sometimes it's worth considering a staged operation where more fat is injected into a vascularized bed. This means that the already-integrated fat cells can help maintain the viability of the new cells in a second stage procedure.

Beverly Hills General Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 293 reviews

Fat cells dying

Your results are excellent; you may notice loss of swelling which is not related to fat cell death; reason for fat cell death can include placing too much fat which then can compete for blood supply or it can be a technical error during surgery when handling the fat cells. Over all though, you look great and I believe that your loss in volume is related to resolution of swelling.

Arian Mowlavi, MD, FACS
Orange County Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 67 reviews

What causes fat cells to shrink/die after a Fat Transfer to buttocks?

At 12 weeks you should have your final results. Once the fat has ¬®installed  and has new blood supply it will stay permanently .  

Your results seem  very nice. You can also gain 5 pounds and the fat cells will also increase on their size ;)

Best wishes 

Katherine Feliz Camilo, MD
Dominican Republic Plastic Surgeon
4.2 out of 5 stars 32 reviews

What causes fat cells to shrink/die after a Fat Transfer to buttocks?

Based on your photos I believe the improvement is excellent. Fat does not have a direct blood supply, it survives by fluid percolating past and through it. The fat pull in what it needs and therefore survives. In fat grafting, not all the fat survives. I am certain this was discussed with you before surgery. Over the next weeks this will stabilize and those fat cells that survived will start a growing process. I think you will be surprised and happy with the overall results.
Good Luck

Stephen M. Davis, MD, FACS
Green Hills Plastic Surgery

Stephen M. Davis, MD, FACS
Nashville Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 24 reviews

Brazilian Butt Lift Results

Congratulations on your result.  Don't worry that additional fat cells are dying as there is no real reason for this to happen.

With Brazilian butt lift we transfer fat from one area of the body to the other. These fat cells are transferred in microinjections throughout multiple planes in the buttock tissue so that they can gain new blood supply and live in their new home, providing increased volume and shape to the buttocks.

You are likely seeing changes as a result of decreasing swelling.  After surgery there is a predictable swelling process that mostly resolves over two months, when the final result really settles in.  

Alex Campbell, MD
Colombia Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 64 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.