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What you need to know about the potential dangers of micro fat grafting

Couple searching for information on micro fat grafting, a surgical procedure not recommended by Dr. James Oestreicher, a leader in the field of eyelid surgery with positive physician ratings and doctor reviews
Learn why this web page is must reading for anyone considering micro fat grafting for the lower eyelid, a procedure not recommended by Dr. James Oestreicher because it can lead to multiple problems, including a retracting ectropic eyelid, meaning the eyelid is pulled down by the
weight of the fat.

It is normal for anyone searching for information about eyelid surgery to visit the websites of various surgeons who perform this service. Most offer fair and balanced information about the most commonly used procedure – blepharoplasty. This means you will see before and after pictures of patients who have had a blepharoplasty (upper, lower, both) and you will understand:

  • why and how a blepharoplasty procedure is performed
  • the potential risks associated with any form of surgery
  • what to expect during your recovery
  • what to expect after the healing process is complete

You will also note that there is general agreement about the merits of blepharoplasty.  Both cosmetic surgeon and eyelid surgeon specialists agree that blepharoplasty is a good option for most patients. There are, however, a few cosmetic surgeons who recommend micro fat grafting in place of blepharoplasty or as a procedure to repair a blepharoplasty performed by another surgeon.  Micro-fat grafting is a three step process that typically involves:

  • harvesting of fat from one part of the patient's body
  • processing of the fat, typically through a centrifuge
  • reinjection of the fat into the lower eyelid

The proponents of micro fat grafting for lower eyelids suggest it is superior to blepharoplasty for five reasons:

  • less invasive
  • creates a more "natural" look
  • longer lasting results
  • represents the latest advancement in eyelid surgery
  • involves minimal risk  

It all sounds good, but don't make a decision until you read on and get the whole story.

Must reading for anyone considering
lower eyelid micro fat grafting

Dr. James Oestreicher, who has performed more than 20,000 eyelid procedures since 1990 and is recognized worldwide as a leader in the field of eyelid surgery, does not recommend micro fat grafting.   

"The problem is that micro fat grafting can lead to a retracting ectropic eyelid, meaning the eyelid is pulled down by the weight of the fat, or by internal (middle lamellar) scarring with inadequate horizontal support" explains Dr. Oestreicher.  "I know this because I am often retained by patients (See Gallery) to correct a retracted eyelid caused by micro fat grafting." Scarring, lid retraction and the creation of unsightly and unnatural lumps and bumps are also common.   

Dr. Oestreicher also cautions patients to be skeptical about how long micro fat grafting can last. "The patient may be happy initially, but in 12-18 months the visual improvement can almost completely disappear. These are not my opinions, these are medical facts.  I present them not to be critical of any surgeon, but to help potential patients make an informed decision about what is best for them."

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Dr. James H. Oestreicher, M.D., F.R.C.S. (C)    1033 Bay Street, Suite 309, Toronto, Ontario  M5S 3A5   Canada     Phone: 416-962-5005   Fax: 416-962-5856

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