Face lift surgery has been around for quite a while but now a new component is being added to face lift procedures; it’s called fat grafting. Plastic surgeons are taking fat from one area of your body where you don’t need it and injecting the fat in places where it is needed. Fat injections are a new way surgeons are making face lifts look more natural.
“Fat grafting has been one of the most dramatic improvements in facial rejuvenation over the last decade,” says Dr. Pat Sullivan, a board certified plastic surgeon and leader in the field of facial rejuvenation. Dr. Sullivan says there are three main reasons why fat injections can be a great addition to face lifts.
Three Reasons Fat Injections Work
“First, facial aging involves more than just skin laxity and falling of the soft tissue. While face-lifting may help with repositioning of the tissue, it does not add the volume that has been lost,” says Sullivan.
Restore Facial Volume
When skin loses volume it’s called facial deflation, and this, says Sullivan, is part of the natural aging process. “Deflation can also come about through weight loss; even someone who works out and is in great shape can experience marked facial deflation. Fat injections can help restore the facial volume in these key areas and bring back a more natural, enhanced appearance,” explains Sullivan.
Balance the Face
Fat injections also can be used to help bring about more balanced contours of the face in areas of deficiency. For example, Sullivan says someone who has a weak jawline or chin can benefit from fat injections to shape the lower face to better match the features of the upper face.
Turn Your Frown Around
Because of aging and facial deflation, many people can give the appearance of looking sad and stern. “The way the corners of the mouth turn down can sometimes be misinterpreted as a frowning appearance. Thus, the combination of lifting the lax tissue in the facial area and adding fat injections at the corners can take away the frowning appearance, says Sullivan. He says it’s important not to overstretch the face, or give a constant smiling appearance that can be seen with certain types of face-lifting techniques.
Not all Face Lifts are Created Equal
“The type of face lift I perform is a multi-layer lift that lifts up the deeper, soft tissues and brings them back into the position they once were. This helps to restore beautiful lines in the cheekbone area, jawline and the neck area,” says Sullivan. However, he says not all face-lifting procedures are created equal, and this is why it’s important to choose your surgeon carefully. “It’s unfortunate that some face-lifting procedures bring about a stretched and operated appearance. Check credentials, and ask to see a lot of before-and-after pictures of the surgeon’s patients,” says Sullivan.
Facial rejuvenation is done under intravenous sedation with an overnight stay in a recovery facility. There will be some bruising and swelling after the procedure but this will typically fade significantly in about 2 to 3 weeks. The final results from face lift surgery will be most apparent after 4 to 6 weeks, with continued improvement for several months.