Autologous Fat Transfer : Potential Risks and Side Effects

Because the surgeon usually must inject too much fat to allow for reabsorption, the overcorrection can make the patient’s face look too plump or swollen for about a week. However, many patients are able to return to their normal activities immediately. Most notice some bruising, swelling, and redness in the donor and injection sites. Results from patients, physicians, and other researchers place the durability of fat injections anywhere from half a year up to eight years.

Fat transfer remains controversial although many plastic, dermatology and cosmetic surgeons offer various fat transfer procedures to their patients because the procedure is so well received by patients.

Cysts may also form in the area where fat is transferred. Some other potential risks of any fat transfer include bleeding or hematoma, (a pool of blood forming under the skin), infection, nerve damage or wound dehiscence, when a surgical wound opens.

Sometimes, fluid collection, or seroma, around a surgical wound happens. While all are normally easily controlled and healed, more serious complications can arise.

Overall, the survival of injected fat seems to depend on how the physician harvests the donor fat, the technique used to treat the fat and how the prepared fat cells are put back into the patient and the site to which the fat was moved.
The issue of survivability seems most affected by where in the body the fat is transferred, how much that site moves, how muscular it is and if disease is present.

When a large area like the buttocks is treated, the patient may have to stop normal activities for a while and can expect some swelling, bruising or redness.

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