Fat grafting and a cheek lift procedure each address specific concerns about the cheek and the cheek-eyelid interface. Seek a fellowship-trained specialist in facial plastic surgery to help determine the most appropriate approach for you.
Fat Grafting Versus a Cheek (Midface) Lift: Which Procedure is the Most Appropriate for Me?
Dr. Jeffrey Harmon
The Extended Deep Plane Facelift Can Provide a Cheek Lift
The extended deep plane facelift and deep plane facelift are unique among facelift procedures, because these procedures can lift the cheeks up to a more youthful position. The effect of a cheek lift can be an improvement in the folds around the upper lip (melolabial folds) and lower eyelids (tear troughs) and a more heart-shaped appearance to the face. In fact, a cheek lift can enhance the effects of lower eyelid surgery by smoothing the transition from the lower eyelid to the cheeks.
Fat Grafting Can be Used Selectively
Fat grafting, also called fat volumization or fat augmentation, involves the isolation of fat from other areas of the body that is then injected into different layers of the face to improve the appearance of the melolabial folds and tears troughs and to restore a more heart-shaped appearance to the face.
Fat grafting can be an excellent option for patients who have lost volume in their face with age. It can also be a good option in small volumes to enhance the effectiveness of the cheek lift.
A Cheek Lift is Superior to Fat Grafting for Most Individuals
However, fat grafting the face without performing a midface lift in an individual with adequate facial volume can make the face look overly inflated and unnatural. This is because of the persistent volume in an area of the face that normally has less with age. As a result, adding volume around the drooping cheeks can make the face look unnaturally large. Also, the fat grafted to the face can be unpredictably absorbed. The larger the volume added the higher the risk of lumps and other contour irregularities developing, especially if the fat is placed close to the surface of the skin. Fat placed deeper is much less like to result in such abnormalities. A a detailed history and physical exam should always be performed prior to making the decision as to whether fat grafting or a cheek (midface) lift is most appropriate.
Trust Your Face to a Facial Plastic Surgeon
It is important to seek a fellowship-trained specialist in plastic surgery of the face and neck when you have concerns about your cheeks.
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