Autologous fat transfer to the deep compartments of the face has become a powerful adjunct to the facelift in volume restoration. To treat all components of volume deflation in facial aging, however, the perioral superficial compartments must also be addressed. Various fillers have been used to augment these compartments, but few studies have assessed the efficacy of autologous fat transfer to these areas.
To fill that gap in the literature, researchers at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, Dallas, undertook what they say is the largest review ever to demonstrate the safety, longevity and success of autologous fat as an ideal filler of the perioral superficial compartments.
The researchers conducted a retrospective chart review based on an individualized component rhytidectomy database. Patients who underwent autologous fat transfer to the perioral superficial fat compartments were identified, as were those who did not (control group). Follow-up images on all patients were obtained a year or more after their procedure. Three independent observers reviewed pre- and post-op images using the Modified Fitzpatrick Wrinkle Scale.
What They Found
A total of 65 consecutive patients underwent rhytidectomy without perioral rejuvenation (group A), while another 65 (group B) underwent rhytidectomy with autologous fat transfer to the perioral superficial compartments. The study showed that group B exhibited two times more significant improvement in perioral aesthetics than group A.
“The most important aspect of this study is that it showed that to obtain optimal results in the perioral area in facial rejuvenation, you need to restore the volume lost with aging around the mouth, lips and especially the commissures, as they make a person look aged and very tired,” study co-author Rod J. Rohrich, M.D., professor and founding chairman of the department of plastic surgery at UT Southwestern, tells Cosmetic Surgery Times. “This is truly an essential part of a complete facial rejuvenation, using the lift-and-fill facelift for the central face and neck, but the addition of fat in the superficial perioral compartments completes the facial rejuvenation in a natural manner.”