Is There a Difference Between Fat Transfer & Fat Graft? Candidate For Area Around Mouth?

Which would probably work best for the face, in area around the mouth? In misery from post-surgical scars that were NOT supposed to be in the area, acc'd to pre-surgery info. Doc jammed so much facia in the area also. Small muscles around my mouth trapped in scar: feels sticky, discomfort, impairs my speech. Fillers: gone in 2 wks. Subcision: it tacks back down. "Scar revision" made it worse. Am broke & desperate. One doc said putting fat in area wld stop it from tacking down. True?

Doctor Answers 4

Fat Transfer VS. Fat Graft?

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Fat is transferred from one location to another to be grafted. Grating, be it skin, bone fat or even a plant limb are all done to grow the grafted tissue in its new location.

In your case it sounds like you had a lot of surgery with resulting scarring. Without a photograph, or more importantly, an examination it is impossible to know your needs, the challenges and just how fat may or may not help you. You may want to wait to allow any swelling to subside, improve your finances and armed with as many valid opinions as possible take your best shot at improving your condition. I would not act on any advice you get without a face to face examination from an experienced Plastic surgeon.

Good Luck


Memphis Plastic Surgeon

Fat Transfer

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I recommend you see a Board Certified Plastic Surgeon at a university, as this may be most cost effective, and have an evaluation and recommendations. Thank you for your question and good luck with everything.

Vivek Bansal, MD
Danville Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 26 reviews

Fat Grafting in Conjunction with Scar Revision

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In many cases, fat grafting in conjunction to scar release (subcision) or scar revision (excision and re-closure) will improve the overall outcome of the scar. The fat will help prevent the skin from scarring back down following subcision.  In this case it forms a barrier.  Fillers will do the same thing.  The long-term benefit of fat transfer is that the stem cells that are transferred will potentially improve the look and feel of the scar.  This is that to be a result of the rejuvenative potential of the stem cells.  In your case, it is difficult to point you in the right direction without the benefit of photographs or an examination.  Given your financial constraints and your history, I would recommend taking your time to make sure you get the right treatment at this point. 

Good luck,  

Dr. Karam

Amir M. Karam, MD
San Diego Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 124 reviews

Fat Transfer refers to Injected Fat. Fat Grafting formally means surgical placement of whole-composite -piece of fat

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Fat Transfer and Fat Grafting are terms that are frequently used interchangeably to refer to the technique of injecting fat cells that have been harvested by liposuction from one area of the body and transferred to another area.

Technically Fat Grafting refers to a surgical procedure in which a whole piece of fat is harvested from one area and surgically placed into another area through an open incision.

Theoretically the take or survival of a fat graft should be better than injected fat because the Liposuction Harvest and Needle injection kills many fat cells during the procedure.

However fat grafting involves an incision which can create scarring in visible areas.

Modern fat harvesting methods such as AdIvive are available to increase the number of surviving cells during harvest.

In your situation if there is significant scar contraction and adherence then release of the scarring and placement of a fat graft is likely going to be more effective than injection or Fat Transfer as the scar may prevent the injected fat from entering the depression

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.