INTRODUCTION: Fat grafting as a filling method for the rejuvenation and enhancement of facial contours was demonstrated by some authors to be an excellent alternative method for redefining facial contours, based on the premise that the donor tissue used in the correction of the deformities has similar characteristics as the recipient tissue. The objective of the present study was to clinically evaluate the efficiency of structured fat grafting when redefining facial contours.
METHODS: A retrospective evaluation was performed in 39 patients who underwent structured fat grafting to redefine their facial contours between 2002 and 2012. The patients selected included those who underwent corrections of deformities, asymmetrical features, contour smoothing, and increased bone projection. Patients who underwent facial contour rejuvenation were excluded. The clinical outcome assessment was performed by the patient and surgeon, with the aid of preoperative and postoperative photographic documentation. The clinical outcome was rated by the patient and surgeon, using a scale ranging from 1 to 3, defined as follows: 1, the objective has not been achieved in any way; 2, the objective was partially achieved; or 3, the objective was fully achieved. In addition, a survey was conducted using the patients' medical charts to obtain the following data: age, weight change, volume grafted by area, number of grafting sessions performed, history of smoking, and complications.
RESULTS: The mean surgeon and patient assessment scores were 2.6 ± 0.6 and 2.7 ± 0.5, respectively, with a statistically significant correlation (P < 0.0001). No significant relationship was found between the assessments and age, weight change, graft volume, or smoking habit, with the exception of the cheekbone area.
CONCLUSIONS: Structured fat grafting proved to be an efficient adjuvant technique for redefining facial contours, and its efficiency was not affected by age, weight change, or smoking habit. However, the fat volume to be grafted should be adequate for the specific needs of each area.
Keywords: Adipose tissue/surgery. Transplantation. Lipectomy. Injections subcutaneous.