Structural fat grafting is a surgical process through which fat from one part of the body is removed to augment the face as an anti-aging technique. Volume loss is a significant factor in the aging face.
This procedure offers the benefit of long-lasting, natural augmentation for patients looking to recapture a youthful appearance. Structural fat grafting is also referred to as facial fat grafting.
Age-related fat atrophy can lead to reduced fat deposits in certain areas of the face. Aging changes the facial skeleton, muscles, and connective tissues in the face, leaving facial skin sagging and unsupported. The injection of tiny droplets of fat used in structural fat grafting helps restore youthful contours and volume to the face.
Dr. Greco has successfully used structural fat grafting therapy for over 25 years. It has become an important part of treating the aging face, including the nasolabial folds and marionette lines. Both of these areas also complement a facelift result.
Fat grafting has also become a popular technique for natural lip enhancement and cheek augmentation, aiming to combat thinning lips and age-related flattening or deflation of the cheeks.
Structural fat grafting provides longer-lasting, natural-looking results than other popular facial rejuvenation options. Although chemical peels and laser treatments are fairly popular options for facial rejuvenation, they only work for mild to moderate cases of wrinkles and volume loss.
Structural fat grafting helps replace lost fat in the face, giving the face a plump, fuller appearance associated with youth. Benefits of structural fat grafting include:
- Contouring and shaping the face to give it a youthful appearance.
- New volume and definition to the cheeks, eyes, and jaw make the face look fuller.
- Natural-looking, youthful, and healthy appearance.
- Negligible chance for rejection since fat grafts come from your body.
- Long-lasting results.
Facial fat grafting can be performed on patients as young as their 20s to help augment any natural hollowing or lack of facial volume. Fat grafting is particularly beneficial for postmenopausal patients. You are an ideal candidate for facial fat transfer if you have any of the following conditions:
- Loss of fat in the midface area and hollowing in the cheek and temple areas.
- A sharp fold line on the cheek, running from the eyelid to the mid-cheek region (nasojugal fold).
- A sharp outline of the orbital bone shows through the thin eyelid skin (tear trough).
- Post-surgical or post-radiation defects resulting in depressed scars or deformities.
- Presence of adequate fat in the abdomen or thighs for fat grafting.
Facial fat grafting works best for areas with a healthy blood supply, making it possible for the fat graft to survive as well. This means that the midface, tear trough, and temples are all suitable for fat grafts.
The under area or the region around the eye socket is another place that can benefit from fat grafts. When you lose fat around the eye socket, it makes your eyes look hollow or can also give the appearance of dark circles under your eyes. Fat grafts help make your eyes look rejuvenated by restoring volume to these areas.
Structural fat grafting is carried out in three steps.
- The fat graft is harvested from the abdomen or thigh through a small incision using a small liposuction cannula. The incision used is very small and is easily hidden inside the belly button or flanks.
- The fat is processed and separated from any body fluids that were extracted with it.
- The fat is placed into the identified areas of the face with very fine blunt cannulas. Fat can be placed at various depths into the facial tissues.
Fat transfer is performed under twilight anesthesia. The procedure may take a couple of hours from start to finish.
Recovery after structural fat grafting is relatively quick compared to other cosmetic procedures. Patients can expect to return to normal activities or to work within one to two weeks.
Note that you may be advised to avoid excessive animation or massaging of your face on the days after surgery. Dr. Greco and his team will provide you with detailed post-operative instructions. Please follow the instructions as closely as possible to ensure the best results.
If you had the fat grafting procedure along with other facial rejuvenation procedures, such as a facelift, your recovery might take a little longer.
Dr. Timothy Greco is Philadelphia’s leading facial plastic surgeon, skilled at all types of cosmetic procedures that help counter the effects of aging. He is double board-certified by the American Board of Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery (ABFPRS) and the American Board of Otolaryngology/Head & Neck Surgery (ABOto).
Dr. Greco focuses solely on plastic and reconstructive surgery of the face, head, and neck at his in-office, state-certified aesthetic surgical center. If you're looking for a younger, fresher appearance customized to your facial structure, Dr. Greco can help!
Get in touch today to schedule a consultation with Philadelphia’s leading facial plastic surgeon. For appointments, call (610) 664-8830 or check the doctor’s schedule online.