Fat Grafting Instructions


  • If possible, avoid medications and supplements that may thin your blood. This includes aspirin, ibuprofen, naproxen, Vitamin E, and fish oil for 2 weeks before surgery. 
  • Do not smoke for 4 weeks prior to and 4 weeks after surgery. Nicotine and tobacco smoke delay healing and can adversely affect fat survival
  • Plan to take 7-10 days off work and at least 3 weeks before any major social events. You will look swollen for 7-10 days.

Shopping List

  • Frozen peas or icepacks
  • Acetaminophen (Tylenol)
  • Optional: makeup to cover any bruising


  • Do not eat or drink anything, including water, the morning of surgery if you are having IV sedation. Essential medications may be taken with a sip of water only by the anesthesia provider’s order.
  • Wear comfortable, loose-fitting clothes that button or zip. Avoid slipover clothing.
  • Leave your valuables at home; do not wear jewelry or piercings.
  • Avoid all makeup, hairspray, and nail polish.
  • Do not wear contacts, you may wear glasses if needed.
  • Bring your ID with you.


  • You may notice some mild pressure and tightness in your face after this procedure. Very few patients have issues with controlling pain after surgery. For mild discomfort, acetaminophen may be used.
  • Keep your head elevated for the first 48 hours. A recliner is best. Sleeping with extra pillows works as well. This will minimize swelling and help avoid rolling during sleep.
  • Apply ice packs or cool compresses to the face as much as possible for the first 48 hours. Our suggestion is to ice for 15 minutes, remove for 15 minutes, and repeat.
  • You may notice some discomfort in the area where the fat was harvested (typically, thigh or abdomen). You can apply ice to this site and take acetaminophen for discomfort
  • You may notice that your face seems more swollen or lumpy around 2-3 days post procedure. This is normal and will resolve in the first few weeks.
  • Try to limit sodium intake to reduce swelling.
  • YAvoid strenuous activity and activities that require straining or bending as it may increase swelling.
  • You may start wearing makeup the date after the procedure (if other procedures are performed at the same time, refer to that instruction sheet for information on wearing makeup).
  • You should avoid significant weight gain after fat transfer as this may increase the fullness of your face after fat grafting.
  • Resuming physical activities: 
    • Light activity (preparing meals, walking around the house) is encouraged immediately to prevent blood clots but no heavy lifting greater than 10 pounds, bending over, or straining until cleared by Dr. Harbison. 
    • Strenuous exercise: 2-3 weeks 

    Please call our office at 402.739.8144 at any time with questions or concerns. After hours, you may call our office and follow the prompts to speak to the on call nurse. If you are experiencing a life-threating emergency, please go to the nearest emergency department.