Plastic surgeons have discovered the benefits of incorporating fat grafting methods as part of the protocol for operative facial rejuvenation surgery. In a recent issue of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, a medical journal published by the American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS), they revealed some interesting data in how this technique is enhancing the world of facelift surgery.
In fact, it has swiftly become a common component to the surgery be it a limited incision facelift or a more comprehensive procedure.
The study which unveiled this information was championed by Dr. Sammy Sinno, a board certified plastic surgeon at New York University, along with the assistance of his colleagues.
Wolters Kluwer of Medical Xpress cited, “The researchers surveyed a random sample of ASPS members regarding their use of fat grafting for facelift procedures. In this technique, the surgeon performs liposuction to obtain fat cells from another part of the body—such as the abdomen or thighs—and carefully injects them to provide additional volume in selected areas of the face.”
More than 300 ASPS member surgeons took part in the survey.
Leaning on ASPS member surgeons provides an accurate base point. Those who are part of this organization are highly regarded for their education and expertise in their field of medicine.
The response from the study revealed that 85 percent of the respondents stated that they indeed utilize fat grafting during operative facial rejuvenation procedures, otherwise known as facelifts. It was suggested that the increase of this particular technique occurred within the last decade.
While operative facial rejuvenation addresses wrinkles, facial fat grafting is an excellent modality in addressing the loss of facial volume such as in the cheek area. This modality can be of great benefit to reverse this.
Leading up to fat grafting, the following occurs:
- The collection of fat via gentle hand-harvesting (i.e., liposuction tool)
- Process of purification
- Delivery and transfer techniques
The study indicated that the common site where fat was harvested was the abdominal area. The amount of fat transferred into the facial area varied. The survey revealed that this small amount gathered ranged from 11 to 25 cubic centimeters, also known as cc’s.
While a degree of some fat from the transfer does have the potential to reabsorb, ASPS member surgeons agreed that the majority of the transfer was still visibly present one year postoperatively.
The common areas of fat grafting include the following:
- Lower eyelids
- Nasolabial Folds
In some instances, the study pointed out that fat grafting follow-up treatments were sometimes performed again four to six months after surgery to redefine specific areas. Nonetheless, both patients and their doctors were pleased with the aesthetic outcome.
Toward the end of the study, Dr. Sinno surmised, “The results of our survey demonstrate most surgeons currently believe that facial fat repositioning in combination with volume addition increases the ability to utilize these two complementary techniques to restore the volumetric highlights noted in youth, thereby enhancing facial shape.”
Frankly, volume restoration by way of fat grafting has added another level to facial rejuvenation and has invariably improved a youthful appearance for many patients. This additional phase has transformed into a more prominent role in facial rejuvenation surgery.