How long do fat injections last?

In this video I talk more about Fat transfer, specifically, how long fat grafts last. If you frequent various plastic surgery blogs and portals, you might be aware there is a wide variation in the types of techniques that surgeons are using. Thus, there is a wide variation in their results, and a wide variation in their opinions about whether fat injections are permanent.

Fat injections are long lasting (permanent) if done correctly. When done incorrectly, they don’t last very long at all and the surgeon will have to do re-dos. That is my position and I stand by it!

The success of the Fat transfer depends on the right fat extraction methods, processing methods, and re-injection methods as well as the proper care following surgery. Correct extraction and processing of the fat are essential to preserve some of the good fat or stem cells. Patients must also follow a strict post operative protocol to ensure that the fat graft takes. For additional information, you might want to read about how fat injections can be used in the face or learn more about my recipe for permanent fat injections.

With the correct technique of extraction and processing and the proper post surgical protocol for the patient, I’ve found fat grafting provides excellent, long lasting results.


Hi. I’m Dr. Ricardo Rodriguez, and today I want to talk to you about Fat grafting; specifically, how long the fat grafts last.

Well, the short answer is, when done correctly, they last for good.

When done incorrectly, they don’t last very long and then you have to do redo’s.

So how do you do it correctly?
Well, first of all, you have to do it under the right extraction pressure. That means that you do it when you put suction on, it has to be very low suction.

I like either a Tulip syringe or doing it under very low suction pressure on the machine. Anything other than that, like a Vaser machine or a high energy output like laser, ultrasound and all of those, they’re gonna kill your cells.

Once you have extracted the cells, you want to purify them. Now, some people wash them. I don’t like that because it washes away the stem cells from it. The best way is to centrifuge the fat, and you have to do it at the right speed and for the right amount of time. If you spin it too much, you might kill some of the good cells. If you don’t centrifuge it enough, you might keep some of the other stuff that you don’t want in.

Once you have your cells isolated, the next step is then to inject them and then you have to inject them in really small quantities. That’s why the procedure takes such a long time, it takes 6 sometimes 8 hours. If you inject the fat in very small quantities, you give time for the blood vessels to grow into every single one of those little fat cells so that they live. When you try to speed up things by injecting fat in bigger quantities, what happens is you don’t give enough time for the blood vessels to grow into those little fat cells at the center of the big column that you injected. When those fat cells die, they create an inflammatory response and that even digests some of the other fat cells that might have lived.

So then, let’s say you have done everything correctly; you extracted them correctly, you injected them correctly, now you have to take care of them and that means usually not sitting for two or three weeks.

Now, why is that important?
Well, when you sit you can generate pressures of up to seven hundred pounds per square inch over the sit bone. So, obviously, that pressure is enough to disrupt the vasculature and the blood vessels or even the fat cells themselves. So you have to give time for the surrounding matrix of tissue to create a scaffold strong enough to support sitting pressures on all the trauma that that engenders.

We feel very confident about fat grafting to the buttocks. When done correctly, it is one of the most sure things I do. If you do it correctly, you don’t have to do it again; you don’t get resorption. Believe me, this procedure has brought a lot of satisfaction to a lot of our patients.

If you have any questions, just give Kelly an email at Kelly at If you have any further questions about blog posts, write them to us and we’ll be happy to make a blog post about it.

Have a nice day.

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