Procedures involving Volume Fat Sculpting—Fat Grafting to Add Volume and Buccal Fat Removal to Sculpt the Cheeks
Perhaps the most modern facial plastic surgery techniques today involve changes to the volume of the face. It is recognized that volumizing of the face provides a more youthful appearance in most patients; while sometimes particular areas of excess fat can be addressed to create a more sculpted attractive appearance. Below is a description of some of these techniques.
About Fat Transfer
Fat grafting or fat transfer, also known as fat injections, is a procedure where fat is taken from a site elsewhere in the body and transferred to the face. In the older adage of facial aging, the thought was that we aged because gravity simply took its course. But, in fact, if you were to look at an old photograph of yourself, you will notice that much more is involved than simply the sagging of skin. It is now recognized that with age we tend to lose a youthful volume to our faces. Over time our faces not only sags but also deflates. In fact, it is now well recognized that this volume loss plays a significant role in our perception of aging.
It is important to recognize and treat the multiple facets of facial aging. Fat grafting is a technique employed by Dr. Epstein’s associate, Dr. Anthony Bared, to help restore a more youthful facial volume. It is usually performed under twilight sedation, sometimes at the same time as a facelift or other facial rejuvenation procedure (such as browlift or eyelid surgery) is being performed. Fat is removed with liposuction from other areas of the body like the abdomen, hips, thighs etc. and micro-droplets are carefully injected into certain parts of the face. Dr. Bared will carefully listen to your concerns during your consultation, and after a thorough physical exam discuss with you if you are a good candidate for facial fat transfer.
About Buccal Fat Removal
Removal of buccal fat is an office based procedure designed to remove the baby fat that in many patient persists through adulthood, creating a fuller rounded facial appearance that many patients seek to have eliminated. Taking less than 45 minutes in most cases to perform, it involves the removal of the collection of fat through a small incision made inside of the mouth. Rather than liposuction, the fat is gently teased out, allowing it to be removed as one large collection of fat, as shown in the photo below. Several sutures that dissolve are placed to close the incisions, and healing is within a matter of a few days, with minimal to no discomfort nor bruising. This is a procedure than can be performed stand-alone, or at the same time as a facelift to provide a more sculpted facial appearance, in particular helping to enhance the definition of the cheekbones.
Before and four weeks after buccal fat removal. Patient intra-op photos above.