Facial fat grafting: a new way to look better

Tuesday, October 30, 2012
If you study a youthful-looking face and compare it to its older counterpart, one of the things you'll notice is that the younger face has fullness in the cheeks, and the older face doesn't.  The older face often loses volume - in the temples, in the cheeks, in the lips.  And until recently, plastic surgeons have struggled to reverse these changes.  While we were good at tightening up cheeks and necks with facelifts, replacing lost volume in the face was a different matter entirely

After a number of years of work, I'm pleased to say, the techniques of fat grafting to the face have advanced to the point where many of these problems can be significantly improved in a much more reliable way.  The concept, like many great ideas, is simple:  harvest a little bit of fat from an area of the body where it is unwanted, purify it, and inject it, a droplet or two at a time, precisely where it is needed.  It's almost like miniature liposuction in reverse.  You can almost think of it a sculptural process.

I've been working with fat grafting over the years too - and in the early days, there were frustrating technical problems with the harvest and re-injection portions of the procedures.  These have been largely solved with the inroduction of more refined instrumentation.  Our understanding of how and where to put the fat has also improved.

Now, we're starting to combine fat grafting with facelifting.  This is a winning combination, as each procedure does different things to restore the look of youth, and they both work together well.  The facelift repositions and tightens the tissues of the cheeks, jawline and neck.  The fat grafting fills in the hollows and plumps up the curves where needed, allowing contouring we never could achieve before, particularly in the midface.

And the recovery from facial fat grafting by itself is much easier than a full facelift.  If you would like to learn more about facial fat grafting, please come and see me for a complementary consultation.

Thomas Fiala, MD 10/30/2012

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