I Am 7 Weeks After my Full Face Fatgrafting and the Fat is Almost All Gone is This Normal?

I Am 7 Weeks After my Full Face Fatgrafting and the Fat is Almost All Gone is This Normal?

Doctor Answers 14

Transferred fat needs good blood supply to survive.

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I find that usually about 50% of the fat remains, and it can be up to 70-80% for some people. Fat grafts need a good blood supply in order to survive, and this can be one of the biggest contributors to unsuccessful fat grafting. Those who smoke often have a compromised blood supply and are at bigger risk for unsuccessful fat transfers. It's unlikely that all the fat has been reabsorbed after just 7 weeks unless it did not have a good blood supply. Also a thing to consider is that the face does tend to swell quite a bit during facial fat grafting. You more than likely had a good deal of swelling, which now that it has diminished, makes it look like the fat is gone.

San Antonio Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 73 reviews

Survival of at grafting to the face.

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It's a little unusual for the fat to be completely gone in 7 weeks. Probably the swelling, which can be significant, is gone and it looks less volumized by comparison. However, fat grafting is very technique oriented. When done by someone experienced, the survival can be up to 70-80%. Fat must be harvested very tediously, prepared carefully and by specifically nd then inbjected by the smallest of amounts (like micro-droplets). Fat grafts must be small enough to aquire a blood supply fo rit to survive, and the smaller grafts have a much better chance.  Then the post operative swelling can be extreme for several weeks.

I have seen patients that have had fat grafts and virtually none survived and others who had faces much too full. One thing to keep in mind is that if the grafts are taken from the abdomen and the patient gains weight, the face can get very fat. Removing excess fat can be challenging.

E. Ronald Finger, MD

Savannah Plastic Surgeon

Fat Grafting

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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.


Michael Law, MD
Raleigh-Durham Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 123 reviews

Fat graft

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Fat graft to the face is very technique sensitive and experience matters.One should expect at least 60-80% of the fat to stay long long term. Review this with your surgeon and compare to the preoperative pictures.

Or consult another Board Certified Plastic Surgeon (American Board Of Plastic Surgery).

Samir Shureih, MD
Baltimore Plastic Surgeon

Fat Grafting at 7 Weeks

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Fat grafting to the face should persist much longer than 7 weeks. I have found the improved facial contour from fat grafting to last years not weeks. There are very few patients which have required "touch ups" or additional fat grafting in my practice. I believe the manner in which the fat is harvested and the location the fat is harvested from affects the longevity of the fat graft. In addition, I have found that patients who are on a low carbohydrate diet after fat grafting to the face tend to lose some of their facial fat graft.

Richard Ellenbogen, MD
Los Angeles Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 30 reviews

Fat grafts gone at 7 weeks?

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It's common to feel as though the grafted fat is disappearing as the post-treatment facial swelling goes down. In my experience, it takes many months for the final fact grafting result to become evident. Studies show that the fat grafts continue to 'blossom" up to 18 months or so after surgery.

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

7 week post fat grafting

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It is not uncommon for patient to feel that the injected fat is all gone after the initial swelling goes down.  I would suggest being patient and then evaluating the outcome, preferably comparing pre-op and post-op photos at 3-6 month.

Sam Naficy, MD, FACS
Seattle Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 231 reviews

Fat Survival After Facial Injection

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The take of fat after injection into the face is both unpredictable and variable. I have seen results that range from complete loss of the fat to fat injection sites that actually have overgrown and need to be reduced later. My observation is what you see in most cases by three months is the amount of fat that has taken and survived. If your perception that by nearly two months after surgery all the fat is gone, then that is likely true. Is this a normal result?...yes it can be. Is is what everyone wanted?...no. 

Before and after picture would be helpful

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Fat grafting like any other procedure will depend on the surgeon's skill and patient's tissue. We do not have access to your before picture,amount of fat grafting and your after picture. It would be impossible to make comments about the results. You need to discuss your concerns with your surgeon.

Kamran Khoobehi, MD
New Orleans Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 154 reviews

It is very likely that the fat is still there.

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There is no substitute for reviewing photos.  Unless your surgeon really did not put much volume in, there is no reason to believe that the fat is gone.  Generally 60-70% of the grafted fat survives.  However, what is true is that the swelling associated with the fat grafting disappears around this time frame creating the impression that the fat volume has disappeared.  It is for this reason that I am not a big fat transfer fan.  It is a set up to want more grafted fat.  By carefully reviewing the before and after photos and knowing where the fat was actually placed, it should be possible for your surgeon to demonstrate the volume from the grafted fat.

Kenneth D. Steinsapir, MD
Beverly Hills Oculoplastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 26 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.