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How Long Do The Results Of A Fat Transfer Last?

Mar 25, 2020 | Body

With the rising popularity of living an “all-natural” lifestyle, more and more Beverly Hills patients are seeking alternatives to common cosmetic surgeries. Synthetic fillers, artificial implants, and other substances can undoubtedly produce beautiful results, but for patients who are interested in more natural options, fat transfer procedures may be a fantastic solution. Board-certified plastic surgeon and internationally recognized expert Dr. Jaime S. Schwartz is highly experienced and familiar with the various techniques and applications of fat grafting. Dr. Schwartz and his caring team are dedicated to helping patients achieve their ultimate aesthetic goals using procedures that are in line with their individual beliefs and lifestyles. 


A fat transfer, also known as fat grafting or autologous tissue transfer, is an innovative technique that involves the surgeon harvesting fat from one area of the patient’s body via liposuction and injecting it into another area. Fat grafting is beneficial for men and women looking to augment an area of their body without the use of synthetic fillers or artificial implants.


The list of exciting ways that fat transfer can be used for cosmetic benefit continues to grow. Some of the most common procedures that involve the fat transfer technique include:

  • Brazilian butt lift: a procedure during which fat is taken from one area of the body and transferred to the buttocks in order to create a more voluminous and shapely rear end.
  • Breast augmentation: many women opt to have fat from other parts of their body injected into their breasts in lieu of getting silicone or saline implants.
  • Facial fat transfer: rather than using synthetic dermal fillers, some patients choose to have fat transferred to their face to fill deep lines and restore lost volume in the cheeks.


While a fat transfer procedure can certainly produce gorgeous results, patients must have realistic expectations and understand that a fat transfer is not typically capable of achieving as dramatic of a transformation as some other methods. For instance, patients looking to significantly increase their breast volume are likely to benefit more from having implants placed, as there are limitations on how much fat can be extracted and transferred. 

When a fat transfer is performed, some of the transferred fat cells will not survive. This is a natural part of the transfer process, and Dr. Schwartz takes this survival rate into account when planning the amount of fat he will harvest and transfer. Depending on the surgeon, the area being treated, and the patient’s postoperative behavior, most fat transfer procedures result in a 50 – 85% fat survival rate. 

In order to maximize your chances of having the largest number of fat cells survive after a fat transfer procedure, it is essential that you follow your doctor’s post-operative instructions. One of the most important parts of your recovery will be to avoid direct pressure on the treated area. For example, Brazilian butt lift patients must take great care to refrain from sitting directly on their buttocks in the days and weeks following surgery. Dr. Schwartz will recommend behavioral modifications and tools to help with this, including sleeping on your stomach and using a donut pillow when sitting or driving. 

As the swelling from your procedure begins to subside, your results will begin to appear. However, your final results may not be visible for several months. In most cases, it takes about six months for the newly transferred fat cells to establish a blood supply and take permanent hold in their new location. 


The longevity of fat transfer results will vary from patient to patient but, in general, most men and women can enjoy their new look for many years to come. Arguably the most important thing you can do to prolong the results of your fat transfer procedure is to avoid significant weight fluctuation. A large amount of weight gain or weight loss will cause the transferred fat cells to swell or shrink, just as they do in the rest of the body. This can severely compromise your results and lead to the need for a second or subsequent procedure in the future. 

To ensure your fat transfer results last as long as possible, follow these tips in the short and long term:

  • Do not gain weight on purpose before your fat transfer
  • Adhere to your surgeon’s post-operative instructions closely and completely
  • Avoid direct pressure to the newly transferred fat cells
  • Maintain a stable weight
  • Eat a healthy diet
  • Exercise regularly 
  • Avoid significant weight fluctuations, including pregnancy


Fortunately, most men and women can be considered for a fat transfer procedure. Ideal candidates for fat grafting are healthy, do not smoke, and have enough excess fat on their body to be used in the transfer. 

The best way to determine if you may qualify for a cosmetic fat transfer procedure is to be evaluated by an experienced and certified plastic surgeon. Call our state-of-the-art Beverly Hills facility to schedule your one-on-one consultation with Dr. Jaime S. Schwartz today, and learn more about how a fat transfer can be the natural, safe, and effective alternative you have been searching for! 



Beverly Hills Office

240 South La Cienega Boulevard
Suite 200
Beverly Hills, CA 90211

Phone: 310-882-5454