Is There the Same Amount of Down Time or Swelling when Adding Frozen Fat to the Face As a Touchup?

Doctor Answers 5

Frozen Fat is Tissue Banking

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The recovery should be the same.  The more important question is should you have frozen fat re-injected. There is anecdotal evidence that it works.  Unfortunately, the scientific studies supporting this practice are scant. Further, putting you fat in a freezer in a doctor's office is not a good idea.  How do you know that the fat was kept at the correct temperature, free of contamination, or hasn't been mixed up with someone else's fat.  Tissue banking is a highly regulated practice to ensure patient safety.  Banking of fat is not an accepted practice. Proceed cautiously.

Depends on transfer location, amount of fat injected but expect less swelling with follow up injections

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Hi, as you may already know there are many approaches to injecting fat and they all have their advantages and disadvantages. Personally I have found over the years that for the face, a series of fat injections provides the best long term and natural results. Doing the injections in series allows the fat to be injected into various layers of facial anatomy and allows for controlled outcomes (ie avoiding lumpy or puffy faces). When harvested, frozen and stored properly frozen fat has shown excellent outcomes over the years. In general the first injection is when large amounts of fresh fat is used - the swelling will be greatest at this time. Follow up injections of frozen fat tend to be done in smaller amounts and in more specific "touch up" locations so swelling should be less and recovery faster. Many ways to do things, so it's a great question you asked. Take care, Dr. Kamran Jafri

Kamran Jafri, MD
New York Facial Plastic Surgeon

Recovery after touch up fat grafting with frozen material

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A touch up implies a smaller procedure which should result in shorter recovery.

The bigger question for me is why frozen fat? Studies confirm that most frozen fat consist of dead cells which will not provide meaningful benefit once we understand the goals behind fat grafting. Given the ease of obtaining some additional fat, my approach is to treat our patients with the best possible material. For fat grafting, this represents cells that are actually alive.

Frank P. Fechner, MD
Worcester Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 48 reviews

Fat transfer

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fat for fat transfer is very sensitive to any manipulation and environmental factors. Frozen fat is probably dead fat cells and cannot be used for fat transfer.

Find a reputable plastic surgeon to do your fat grafting

Samir Shureih, MD
Baltimore Plastic Surgeon

Frozen Fat Downtime

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    I do not perform frozen fat transfer as it is difficult to know what effect freezing has on fat viability.  The best treatment is to have the fat harvested and used as a fresh specimen.  Kenneth Hughes, MD Los Angeles, CA

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