According to new research, the use of fat grafting during facelift procedures has become an accepted technique in the United States. In a recent random survey of ASPS (American Society of Plastic Surgeons) Member Surgeons, 85 percent responded that they are currently using fat grafting techniques and 70 percent reported that they have been performing facial fat grafting for the past two years.
Led by plastic surgeon, Dr. Sammy Sinno of New York University, researchers collected data on techniques used to transfer fat as well as usage and technical considerations in using fat grafting for facelift surgery. The technique involves harvesting a small amount (between 11 and 25cc) of fat through liposuction on a patient’s thighs or abdominal area, processing the sample and transferring it by injection into specific areas on the face. Most commonly, the fat is added to the cheek area, the area below the lower eyelids, the nasolabial folds and the corners of the mouth. The grafted fat adds volume, providing for a more rounded and fuller appearance of the cheeks.
It was reported that after four to six months, follow-up procedures are performed to improve the results. Although some of the fat is reabsorbed, plastic surgeons reported that most of the fat was present up to a year after the facelift.
From the results of the study, the researchers concluded that the combination of the addition of volume through a fat grafting technique along with facial fat repositioning appears to create a more youthful facial shape.