Modern Fat Grafting Techniques to the Face and Neck : Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery

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Modern Fat Grafting Techniques to the Face and Neck

Azoury, Saïd C. M.D.; Shakir, Sameer M.D.; Bucky, Louis P. M.D.; Percec, Ivona M.D., Ph.D.

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Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery 148(4):p 620e-633e, October 2021. | DOI: 10.1097/PRS.0000000000008405


Learning Objectives: 

After studying this article, the participant should be able to: 1. Understand age-related changes to the face and neck and pertinent anatomy and discuss important aspects of fat graft harvesting, processing, and infiltration. 2. Recognize key differences between common techniques for fat processing and infiltration and develop a plan for patients based on site-specific facial anatomical zones. 3. Appreciate the utility of fat grafting as an adjunct to other facial rejuvenating procedures such as face lift and blepharoplasty procedures and list the potential complications from fat grafting to the face and neck.


Fat grafting to the face and neck aids in volume restoration, thereby addressing soft-tissue atrophy associated with the aging face, acquired conditions, or congenital malformations. Often, fat grafting may sufficiently restore facial volume alone or in conjunction with other facial rejuvenation procedures. Facial/neck fat grafting requires a systematic and thoughtful approach, with special care to atraumatic technique. This CME article covers the principles and techniques for modern facial fat grafting to the face and neck. Increasing data support the ability of autologous fat to produce significant and sustainable appearance-related changes. The authors follow the general principles of the Coleman technique for facial fat grafting and have observed tremendous success over the years. Other techniques for facial fat grafting are also discussed including microfat and nanofat processing. As the understanding of facial fat compartments continues to evolve, the authors may better predict fat grafting outcomes following augmentation. Finally, the technique described as “lipotumescence” has been successfully used in the breast and other regions of the body that have radiation damage and is discussed in this article specifically for the face and neck.

Copyright © 2021 by the American Society of Plastic Surgeons

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