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Does Age Affect Fat Grafting Results?

Fat grafting has become a key way to create curves in areas that are lacking, but does this augmentation last as long for the majority of the population using it? Ideally, taking fat from one area of the body and moving it to another area sounds like a win-win situation, and while early results are promising, new studies have been completed that show it may not last as long for older patients as it does for younger ones. Because we recognize the importance of staying current in all cosmetic procedures, we at the Laser Lipo and Vein Center have been following these studies in order to keep our patients aware of all possibilities when considering a fat grafting procedure.

The Methods & Results of Fat Grafting

This study was primarily meant for correction of facial deformities, either through genetic causes or accidents, but as fat grafting becomes more popular in cosmetic surgery practices, it may very well help determine the viability of its use in those areas as well. The study was conducted using three groups of mice of different ages: preadolescent, middle-aged, and senior. As mice life spans are different than humans, their age groups were comparable to humans, not an exact match.

Using fat grafted from healthy, middle-aged female donors, the three groups were studied over a period of 8 weeks to determine how well they retained the volume from the fat grafts. By the end of the 8 weeks, group A had 73.3% retention, group B was measured at 45.3% retention, and the geriatric group C had a mere 35.4% volume retention. In addition, it was discovered that the grafts were healthier in the younger recipients, which may have led to the better volume retention.

What Does This Mean for Augmentation Patients?

As stated earlier, this study was primarily meant for reconstructive surgery purposes, and in those cases, it was determined that when there is a choice between performing the procedure at a younger age versus doing it while they are still young, choosing sooner rather than later may be the better option. Doing so changes the order in which reconstructive surgeries are normally performed; previously it was though that fixing the problems with the skeleton first and then moving on to the soft tissue issues was the ideal order, but this study shows otherwise. For patients seeking fat grafting for cosmetic surgery purposes, i.e. butt or breast augmentation, the jury is still out, and we will be continuing to study whether age is a factor in fat transfer procedures.

Every Patient is Different

In any case, if you are considering fat grafting, give us a call and we’ll set up an appointment to determine if this procedure will work for you! Like snowflakes, every patient is different, and what works for your neighbor, for example, may not be the best solution for you. We’ll work together to determine what will, no matter what your age!