Finishing Touch to Facelift Surgery

Facelift & Fat Grafting

Fat grafting gives the finishing touch to facelift surgery.

Having fat grafting done at the same time as the facelift offers several advantages for facial rejuvenation. While Facelift surgery will reposition the soft tissues of the face to counteract the effects of gravity, the procedure alone will not add volume the face for a more youthful appearance. The new, and more understood approach to surgical facial rejuvenation consists more and more of an attempt to restore facial volume and contour, in an attempt to emulate youthful facial features. Fat grafting is increasingly becoming performed at the time of face lifts simply because of the surgical convenience and one recovery time.

The fat grafting procedures being practiced today are proving helpful for adding a youthful volume, fullness and roundness to certain areas of the face after a face lift, experts say, and most U.S. plastic surgeons use “fat grafting” to enhance the effects of facelifts, a new study reports. Most plastic surgeons agree adding fat grafting to your facelift will give you a 3 dimensional lift and not just a lateral pull. The ultimate goal of fat grafting is to reposition the volume back where it was when we were young.

The fat grafting technique involves transferring small amounts of fat from one part of a patient’s body to another. The fat can be obtained from the belly or thighs through liposuction or even less invasive methods. The fat is then injected into specific areas of the face to provide more volume. Newer harvesting, purification, and injection techniques have shown to improve durability compared with older techniques that could compromise transplanted fat longevity.

The researchers surveyed a random sample of just over 300 members of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons about their use of fat grafting for facelifts.  The researchers found that 85 percent of the surgeons polled reported using fat grafting during facelifts. Meanwhile, more than 70 percent of the doctors surveyed said they began using fat grafting to the face within the past decade.

The fat that was often collected from the belly was injected into the face in tiny amounts which was typically no more than a few teaspoons. Fat grafting was commonly used in the cheeks and below the lower eyelids or in the folds between the nose and the corners of the mouth, according to the research team that was led by Dr. Sammy Sinno, a plastic surgeon at New York University.

Although some injected fat is reabsorbed by the body over time, the surgeons surveyed believed that most of the fat was still in place up to one year following a facelift. Follow-up procedures were also performed to refine the results around four to six months after the initial procedure. The doctors surveyed said their patients were satisfied with their results according to the Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, news release on June 29, 2015.

There are two approaches to fat grafting , injection of fat cells versus fat-derived stem cells, they have similar effects in reversing the cellular-level signs of aging skin, reports a study in the April issue of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery®, the official medical journal of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS).

Since the facial rejuvenation results are the same, the simpler approach using fat cells plus the “stromal vascular fraction” or SVF has advantages over the more time-consuming stem cell fat technique. Dr. Gino Rigotti of Clinica San Francesco, Verona, Italy, directed a research team. Both fat grafting approaches “appear very promising for facial anti-aging surgical techniques,” the researchers conclude. Given the similar results, the researchers believe that fat cells plus SVF are preferable to stem cell injection. That’s because the fat processing step is less expensive and faster, avoiding the need for stem cell expansion means the fat cells can be harvested, processed, and injected on the same day.

If you are seeking more information on facial and body reconstruction and plastic surgery you should make an appointment with a board certified plastic surgeon like Dr Aguiar. At Aguiar Plastic Surgery, we offer state-of-the art, safe, and effective cosmetic procedures, plastic surgery, reconstructive surgery, and Med Spa services in Tampa, Florida. We can discuss your concerns and give you an honest consultation that is designed and tailored to create an appearance on the outside that will reflect how you feel on the inside.

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