Does Fat Injections To The Tear Troughs Cause Lumps?

Q: Dr. Eppley, I have some questions about the fat grafting procedure to correct the tear trough. I’m 20 years old and have had hollowness under my eyes causing dark circles for my whole life. The skin under my eyes is pretty thin, so all around my eyes looks purple, and there is a depression under my eyes causing shadow. This is exaggerated by my pale skin. I’m strongly considering fat injection for a more long term solution. I’m wondering how much of a risk I would have of developing lumps or cysts or scarring if I get this procedure. Are you very skilled at this procedure? How many of your  patients return with complaints about lumps, cysts, etc after getting the surgery? Are most of the side effects I’ve read about on the internet the result of less advanced techniques that are used?

A: Fat injection grafting in into the tear trough and lower eyelids is a common facial augmentation procedure. No matter what technique that is used for fat injections, there is always the risk of developing some unevenness or small lumps. Usually these are relatively minor and not a long-term problem. The key is to placed the fat deep along the infraorbital bony rim and not superficial under thin eyelid skin. The formation of cysts or scarring are not complications that I have ever seen with fat injection anywhere on the face.

Dr. Barry Eppley

Indianapolis, Indiana