Facelift surgery has gained popularity and acceptance for a diverse population of patients. No longer is it the exclusive territory of celebrities in need of a cosmetic boost. One of the most common reasons cited by patients who elect for facelift surgery is that it can counteract the effects of aging such as wrinkles and hollow cheeks.

There are several types of facelift surgery, but all of them include the following steps.

  1. You are given general anesthesia or intravenous sedation to ensure your comfort during the procedure.
  2. An incision is made, its size varying depending on whether you want a full facelift, a limited one or a neck lift.
  3. During the procedure you might receive one or all of the following: soft tissue augmentation to reshape your facial structure, wrinkle reduction via injection of fillers, or resurfacing techniques that improve the texture of your skin during the facelift procedure. Another great option is to receive photorejuvenation treatments after your surgery. This simultaneously reduces undesirable red and brown spots on your skin.
  4. When the operation is done, the incision is sutured.

As facelifts gain in popularity, and the “baby boomers are getting older,” there continue to be innovations in the field. One such development is the increased use of fat grafting in conjunction with other techniques.

Don’t let the name intimidate you. Fat grafting simply means that small amounts of fat are taken from other parts of your body, generally your abdomen or thighs, and carefully injected into the places you want to be “plumped up” such as your cheeks, below your eyelids, or the folds between your nose and the corners of your mouth.

Fat grafting is not a replacement of traditional facelift procedures. It is an addition to one’s desired goal – to look more youthful and natural. Most surgeons combine fat grafting with some of the more traditional volume-adding techniques that they have been using for years. The results have proven to be lasting, with patient satisfaction rates high. If a touch-up is needed, it can usually be accomplished four to six months after the initial procedure.

Fat grafting has several advantages. For one, it uses your own fat tissue, reducing the chances of allergic reactions. The procedure to obtain the fat is also safe and relatively non-invasive. It can reduce an undesirable bulge. Finally, the results can last for quite a long time.

On the downside, fat transfer can often be more costly than surgery with synthetic dermal fillers. In addition, it is usually more time consuming to prepare your own body fat for transfer than to simply insert a prepackaged dermal filler. You may also require more than one procedure; however, this is usually only the case when using fat grafting for breast or other types of body augmentation.

As with other aspects of facelift surgery, the decision to use fat grafting is up to you and your doctor. Dr Kulick will carefully discuss any questions or concerns you may have. And don’t be afraid to ask to speak to other patients who have received this procedure. Whether you choose fat grafting or another facelift procedure, the most important thing is that you are happy with the results you receive.