BACKGROUND: Congenital hypoplasia of facial bones has traditionally been treated by orthognathic surgery. However, the inherent invasiveness of orthognathic surgery often leads to a high complication rate. Facial fat grafting could be a less invasive method to correct facial deformities.
OBJECTIVES: The aim of this study was to evaluate the results of microfat grafting for facial contouring.
METHODS: This retrospective chart review evaluated 166 patients who were treated with microfat grafting for maxillary and/or mandibular hypoplasia. Pretreatment and posttreatment photographs were compared regarding improvement of facial contour, and complications were recorded.
RESULTS: The follow-up period ranged from 4 months to 10 years (mean, 2 years 7 months). Thirty-eight percent of the patients had a refill procedure 6 or more months after the first procedure. A majority of the evaluated patients stated that they benefited from the microfat grafting, with ratings of excellent (50%), sufficient (48%), and poor (2%). Complications included visible fat lobules under the lower eyelid skin (7%), which was seen during the first 4 years and was resolved by changing the injection cannulae and technique, and fat resorption, which was seen in all patients, with a clinical range from ±15% in the immobile malar area and chin region to ±50% in the mobile lip area.
CONCLUSIONS: Facial microfat grafting is a valuable alternative to more complicated advancement osetotomies being performed in patients solely for aesthetic reasons. The low morbidity and rapid recovery make facial microfat grafting a welcome tool in the armamentarium of the modern facial aesthetic surgeon.