A Q & A with Frederick N. Lukash, MD, FACS, FAAP
Q. Most people think about face lifts or temporary injections when they think of facial rejuvenation. What is revolumization with fat transfer and why does it work so well to achieve a natural look?
A. Injections are more temporary solutions to creating a natural, youthful volume in the face. When you use your own fat in a surgical fat transfer, you are not limited to the very small amounts of expensive filler used in the temporary procedures. Also, a little natural fat (usually taken from the abdomen or flank) goes a long way. Cheeks, temples (a zone that really ages due to loss of volume) and under-eye hollows can all be filled in naturally with one procedure with fat from the donor.
Q. Why doesn’t a face lift alone take care of this issue?
A. Face lifting is repositioning of tissue. It’s only one aspect of clinical rejuvenation. Taken as a whole they are the four “Rs”: repositioning (face lift), removal (of extra skin, etc.), revolumization (fat transfer to needed areas) and finally resurfacing (removal of surface issues like brown spots). Not every patient needs all these solutions but in order for a lasting, natural look to be achieved, the issue of volume should certainly be addressed. A great lift for a patient with hollow cheeks and a lot of loss of facial volume won’t be enough to achieve a rested, natural and youthful look.
Q. How long do fat grafts in the face last?
A. They last longer than temporary non-surgical volumizers and can provide up to 10 years of youthful and natural looking volume–remember, this is your own fat tissue, just like the fat that was beneath your skin when you were 20 or 30.
Q. Can facial revolumization be done on an ambulatory basis?
A. Yes, we can do some surgeries on an ambulatory basis but if you are having other issues corrected and have other potential health issues to deal with, a short in-hospital stay may be considered.
Q. Why is facial revolumization one of the procedures that you find has the highest patient satisfaction?
A. Because faces are not two dimensional. If they were, a lift would be enough to convey the youthful look people want. They are three dimensional, sculptural forms. That’s where volume comes in. We are able to use our surgeon’s skills as well as our knowledge of proportion and aesthetics to bring a persons’ face back to the look they feel is more “them”–the face they grew up with and identify with. The fat filler is so natural that you don’t get that frozen look you may see on some “done faces.” Our technical skills with the procedure have also gotten so good that we rarely ever find a patient who isn’t thrilled with the result.
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