Fat transfer to face is now considered a well-established facial rejuvenation technique instead of an afterthought or an insignificant adjunct procedure of facelift, says leading Los Angeles plastic surgeon Dr. Tarick Smiley.
Facial fat transfer, which is also referred to as structural fat grafting, involves transferring living fat cells from one part of the body to the face in order to improve its volume and contour. While this is a common procedure for patients with age-induced soft tissue shrinkage, younger individuals with inherited gaunt appearance can also benefit from it.
Just like facelift, fat transfer to face has gained notoriety due to some celebrities whose visage “screams” plastic surgery. Of course, this is an inequitable perception since good [natural] results are always indiscernible unless the patient reveals the surgery to others.
Simply put, bad results are highlighted by the media, while good results look natural that the patients can basically attribute their younger countenance to healthier lifestyle, better diet, or beauty rest.
Fat transfer to face demands great attention to detail and profound understanding of beauty ideals. Without these key elements, the surgery will leave patients feeling disappointed or even depressed.
The first and most critical step to achieve satisfying results from fat transfer is to find the right surgeon—i.e., he must be board certified in plastic surgery and has been doing fat transfer and its ancillary procedures (facelift, eyelid lift, brow lift) on a regular basis for a minimum of five years.
Unnatural results and asymmetry are often caused by overzealous injection of fat. It should be noted that the axiom “too much of a good thing is not a good thing” applies to any form of facial plastic surgery.
The surgeon’s fat transfer to face before and after pictures can reveal a lot about his artistic skills. After all, the procedure is a perfect marriage of science and art, says Dr. Smiley who shares some photos of his actual patients.