Remarkable advancements continue to be made in the world of plastic surgery. Among the most recent techniques that have been tested, approved and are having great success is fat grafting during part of a facelift procedure. Now, instead of simply tightening and lifting the skin, we can literally restore youthful fullness to the face while simultaneously improving the tone and texture of the skin.
The typical facelift involves pulling and tightening the skin. A metaphor found on the American Academy of Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery site offers a metaphor that makes the procedure more understandable. The author writes, “when we are young we are a full, ripe grape and as we become older we deflate into a raisin. The question then is why should we cut and pull the raisin into a pea, when we should think about re-inflating it back into a grape.” This makes it clear that only when the loss of volume in the face is the issue, fat grafting becomes a desirable option. (www.aafprs.org/media/media_resources/fatGrafting.html)
The technique of fat injection is often referred to as a “stem cell facelift.” This name came about because of what stem cells do when they are injected into different parts of the body. Stem cells that are injected next to bone make more bone. Stem cells injected next to cartilage make new cartilage. While there are not many stem cells in the face, the fact is that injecting fat into the face during a facelift does generate the desirable youthful fullness and the improved texture and tone of younger skin.
Always do your research before any cosmetic surgery procedure. Especially with a technique as new as fat grafting, be certain to work with a board certified surgeon who has experience with the technique. Ask for references from patients on whom the surgeon has performed the specific procedure you desire