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Why is fat grafting sometimes used in conjunction with facelift procedures?

Stuart A. Linder, MD
Plastic Surgery
Concurrent fat grafting can be combined with a facelift procedure to increase volume to specific areas of the face that have atrophied with the aging process. In fact, fat grafting under the eyelids, around the mouth, and in the nasolabial folds may rejuvenate the face alone. As we age, there is gravitational descent of facial tissues, and loss of fatty volume to the face. Midfacial atrophy may lead to a hollow appearance and jowls may develop lateral and below the oral regions.
Erik A. Hoy, MD
Plastic Surgery
Recently, plastic surgeons have re-examined the results they achieve with conventional facelift procedures. No only do patients develop more wrinkles as they get older, but the balance of fat deposits in their body shifts as well. Just as fat accumulates or sags in other parts of the body, it can shift position or undergo volume changes in the face as well. The fat pads of the lower face, the cheeks, and the lower eyelid region all descend with age. This appears to be due in part to the combined effects of gravity and the forces of the facial muscles. Face lifting involves repositioning these fat pads. But, simply repositioning the soft-tissues is often not enough. In these cases, plastic surgeons can use the patient's own fat, usually harvested from the abdomen with a liposuction cannula, to augment or "plump-up" the cheeks, lips, and other areas of volume loss. This replacement of facial volume can help to restore a more youthful appearance in conjunction with the resuspension effect of the facelift.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.