How Long Does Fat Grafting Last? Many people say fat grafting on the upper eyelid only last for 2-3 years .

many people say fat grafting on the upper eyelid only last for 2-3 years and many doctors say it is permanent. i understand that if there's no blood supply to fats, it will be absorbed. but what i dont understand is, how can it be absorbed after 2-3 years? unless it takes 2-3 years for the fats to get blood supply, if not, how can the survived fats later be absorbed again.

Doctor Answers 5

Fat Grafting is Permanent

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For fat grafting to truly represent 'grafting', the grafted tissue must gain a blood supply in its new location which provides a source of oxygen and nutrients and allows the tissue to persist indefinitely. If the grafted fat does not acquire a blood supply in the first few weeks after surgery, the body will gradually break it down and dissolve it, and no long-term benefit will be achieved in terms of soft tissue augmentation. Successful fat grafting surgery therefore requires a great deal of focus and attention to detail, to ensure that the fat which is harvested is viable tissue (i.e. not damaged by the harvesting process), and that the fat is delivered in such a way that the potential for ingrowth of blood vessels is maximal. If this process of blood vessel ingrowth (neovascularization) does not occur, then the injected tissue cannot truly be considered a 'graft' and is instead just another 'soft tissue filler' of limited duration.

Raleigh-Durham Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 123 reviews

Fat grafting is permanent but...

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This a question that I answer very frequently.

The immediate result of fat grafting is variable in that about 40-60% of the fat may be resorbed in the immediate 3 months postoperatively.

Once this is established, the remaining fat is permanent. HOWEVER, the aging process does not stop. So the regular aging fat atrophy will continue with time.

A different way to explain it which patients grasp more effectively is this:

If we were to only inject once side of the face with fat, the side that received the injection will ALWAYS look better than the non-injected side, but the aging process will continue for both sides equally.

I hope this explanation helped.

A.J. Amadi, MD
Seattle Oculoplastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 42 reviews

Results of fat transfer

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Dear cherryzz,

  • Fat transfer, once past the 3 month mark is as permanent as natural fat would be
  • That means you reverse the clock about 10 years with fat transfer, it should last, and start resorbing at a normal rate of aging

Best regards,

Nima Shemirani

Nima Shemirani, MD
Beverly Hills Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 85 reviews

Facial Fat Grafting is Permanent

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   Any facial fat that remains after 3 months or so has an established blood supply and will continue to live.  Some of the fat grafted will be lost, but about 70 to 90% of the fat grafted to the face should live.  Find a plastic surgeon with ELITE credentials who performs fat transfers hundreds of times per year.  Kenneth Hughes, MD Los Angeles, CA

How long does facial fat transfer last

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The fat that is placed does have variable reasorption. In my experience, the fat that is present after 6 months should be permanent but will continue to behave like the fat that is naturally in your face. As such, even this grafted fat will atrophy over the years much like natural facial fat. Even so, your face should always look younger after have fat transfer compared with if you didn't have it done.

Thomas A. Lamperti, MD
Seattle Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 22 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.