If you guessed a facelift, Botox or wrinkle fillers, you’d only be partially right. These treatments all can do an excellent job to help restore a youthful appearance, but they’re really just the tools we use to help achieve what our faces had when we were younger: naturally smooth skin and, perhaps most importantly, a full and soft shape.
For most of us, facial aging primarily involves a loss of volume. While we each are born with facial contours that is uniquely “ours,” these features will be plumper and softer when we are young. Over time, we retain our natural features, but that youthful softness is replaced by a hollowed or “harder” appearance as our faces lose volume.
In my 19 years of practice, I have found that replacing this lost volume to restore shape is what truly makes a person look younger. In my experience, facial fat grafting has proven one of the best and most natural ways to help recreate a facial shape that’s remarkably similar to what a patient had at a younger age.
To help you see what I’m talking about, let’s take a look at this patient’s photos, showing her at three different stages.
At age 18, we see full, round cheeks and a soft, curved jaw-line extending to her chin. By age 65, after normal aging has taken its course, we see sagging underneath the eyelids, slightly sunken cheeks, and mild jowling—mainly due to lost volume.
Now, look at the third picture, which shows her 9 months after her facial fat grafting procedure. By harvesting healthy fat cells with water assisted liposuction and injecting them precisely to restore volume to her upper & lower cheeks, I was able to soften her features and help her look naturally younger. As you can see, her facial shape now is much closer to what we see in photos of her as a teenager. Although the changes are subtle, the overall effect creates a dramatic improvement.
I have long championed the benefits of fat grafting for facial rejuvenation, as it allows a surgeon to address facial rejuvenation from the standpoint of reshaping. Other treatments, such as a facelift, can help address jowling and smooth out wrinkles—things we typically think about as solutions to “looking younger.” However, without also restoring lost volume to regain a youthful shape, it is difficult to achieve a truly natural result. In my experience, fat grafting can fulfill this need effectively, whether performed on its own or in conjunction with facelift, neck lift or eyelid surgery. Grafted fat also contains stem cells that can trigger changes in the skin too, helping restore “lost elements” for an improved complexion.
I recently had the opportunity to speak about my years of experience using fat grafting with my colleagues in plastic surgery and dermatology at the European Anti-Aging Conference held in Berlin, Germany. In fact, I showed them these same patient photos, and it was fascinating to see how fat grafting comes the closest to providing the “magic” effect of a more youthful facial shape.
If you have been wondering how you might achieve a more youthful appearance, please give my office a call. Like any facial procedure, fat grafting requires surgical expertise and precision to achieve natural looking results that last. I will be happy to go over this “secret weapon” for looking younger, as well as all of your procedure options, at a personal consultation.