What Are Possible Complications for Fat Transfer to Forehead and Nasolabial Folds?

Doctor Answers 5

Fat injections can rarely cause blindness.

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Fat injections can rarely cause blindness.  Probably this is the most disturbing complication of fat injections to the face.  There are two recent articles that discuss this complication and show that this problem has little or nothing to do with the skill of the injector or the technique of injection (Lazzeri, et. al. Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery: 2012; 129:995-1012; Woo, et al.: Am J Ophthalmol. 2012;154:653-662). Another problem not fully addressed by other Doctor answers is that, particularly in the thin woman, deformities of the donor area can occur. Most of the other risks are cosmetic ones related to reabsorption and irregularities.

Santa Barbara Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 15 reviews

Complications of fat injections

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There may be many other risks and this is not a complete list of complications of fat injections, but some that exist are: infection, bruising, hematoma (collection of blood underneath the skin), lumps, loss of fat, cystic change and calcification, compromise of blood flow with resultant risk of ulceration and scarring of the skin around the side of the nose and cheek and between the eyebrows and inner forehead, overcorrection, undercorrection, asymmetry, skin coloration change with pigmentation or vascular flow purple coloration.

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

Asymmetry, irregularity and resorption are the main risks.

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All fat grafting can result in asymmetry, irregularity and resorption.

Risks in forehead is higher than nasolabial folds because of the tightness of the skin. The risks of embolism and blindness are very rare if appropriate cannulas are used.

Babak Azizzadeh, MD
Beverly Hills Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.1 out of 5 stars 9 reviews

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Risks of fat transfer

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Risks of fat transfer

1: infection

2: Bleeding

3: hematoma

4: Lumpiness

5: No take of the graft or partial take of the graft

6: need for further surgery. ( you are fully responsible for the cost of any surgery incluing the surge's fee, anesthesia fees. facility or hospital fees.)

7: injury to nerves or blood vessels

8: fat embolism

9: putting too much or too little

10: blindness

11: skin necrosis

Samir Shureih, MD
Baltimore Plastic Surgeon

Fat transfer to the nasolabial fold and forehead can have complications.

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The fat can "take" irregularly and lead to asymmetry or lumpiness.  Infection is possible but rare.  Bleeding with significant bruising occasionally.  The graft might not take and make the benefits temporary.

Vincent N. Zubowicz, MD
Atlanta Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 41 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.