Fatal Fat Embolism After Penis Enlargement by Autologous Fat Transfer: A Case Report and Review of the Literature

J Forensic Sci. 2017 Sep;62(5):1383-1385. doi: 10.1111/1556-4029.13403. Epub 2017 Jul 27.


Fat embolism is an incidental finding in cases of long bone fractures or other trauma, but it is also associated with liposuction and autologous fat transfer, a procedure where fat from liposuction is injected back into the same patient's face, breast, buttocks or penis. We here present a case of sudden death by fat embolism in a healthy young male, caused by a simple penis enlargement procedure, in which fat was injected into the penis shaft. We suggest that the risk of fat embolization might be higher when pretraumatized tissue is subjected to fat injection, like in this case, where a penis elongation was performed before the fat injection.

Keywords: fat embolism; fat transfer; fatal; forensic science; liposuction; plastic surgery.

Publication types

  • Case Reports
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adipose Tissue / transplantation*
  • Adult
  • Cosmetic Techniques / adverse effects*
  • Embolism, Fat / etiology*
  • Embolism, Fat / pathology
  • Fatal Outcome
  • Humans
  • Lung / pathology*
  • Male
  • Penis / surgery*
  • Transplantation, Autologous