Can Microliposuction Remove Lumps From Facial Fat Injections?

Q: Dr. Eppley, can micro iposuction remove lumps from fat injections or it can only help removing the natural fat that is already there? The problem in that I have fat lumps (10 lumps n both cheeks varies which vary size between 5-10 mm) mainly found near the mouth, along the nasolobial folds and two lumps in the bottom of the cheeks. If these lumps can’t be removed by micro liposuction, what would be the way to remove them? Does radiofrequency help melting the fat? I already took 3 sessions and will take three more (machine is Endymed, temp used was 40C and 37 Watts) Would it be effective in melting the injected fat whether it’s lumpy or soft?

A: Certainly removing undesired fat collections (lumps) is more challenging than the original fat injection procedure. Any technique for facial fat removal (small cannula liposuction or any energy-based external therapies) are more effective for general fat removal rather than discrete fat lumps. Either surgical and non-surgical methods have their advantages and disadvantages. Small cannula liposuction (aka microliposuction) can access all your involved more central facial areas from small incisions inside the corners of the mouth. It would also be somewhat effective at breaking up the harder fatty lumps and likely removing some of their mass effect. (probably more effective at breaking them up than removing them) Conversely, topical energy-based devices are non-surgical and require no incisions but they will have a heat field effect, meaning they will create an overall fat reduction in the fat not necessarily just the lumpy area. I would be somewhat concerned with these energy-based devices that you might trade off one problem for another.

Another option would be injection therapy right into the fatty lumps if they can easily be felt from the outside. Very low dose steroids and old-style ‘lipodissolve’ (deoxycholic acid) solutions can be effective and I have used them successfully in the past for the exact problem that you have. The better ‘lipodissolve’ solutuion, ATX 101, has recently been FFA approved for facial fat reduction (technically submental/neck fat) and would be the best injectable solution as soon as it becomes commerically available later this year

Dr. Barry Eppley

Indianapolis, Indiana