I recently read a little bit about lipostructure and fat grafting. Can you please describe what these terms mean? How do I know if I am a candidate?
Lipostructure refers to the idea of rejuvenating the face by adding fat. It is well known that as people age, they begin to loose fat. The facial aging process begins with the loss of skin laxity and elasticity as the amount and quality of collagen decreases. The aging process continues with the loss of facial fat. With time, and with the help of gravity, certain areas of the face begin to descend. In the midface, the malar fat pad, or cheek, begins to drop. This is seen in the depth of the nasolabial fold. In the lower face, the jowls become more prominent. The neck muscles, or platysma, begin to hang, as noticed by the two bands that form in the neck. Fat grafting is a procedure that can be used in addition to face or neckilfting to fill in the areas that have loss volume. The fat is typically added in the nasolabial folds. Some surgeons also add the fat to other areas, such as the tear troughs or the pre-jowl areas. Fat grafting to the tear troughs is very delicate and should only be done by someone with a high level of expertise. Even then, there are serious possible complications. The fat is harvested form the abdominal area and then processed, and injected. About 50% of the fat that is injected will survive. It is possible that you may need a second treatment a year later. It has been speculated that the fat cells that are grafted may have a beneficial effect to the overlying skin. The thought is that some of these cells have stem cell qualities that influence the skin cells. Most people that are starting to show the signs of aging are candidates for fillers. Fat grafting is a procedure that can be used to fill in these areas.
Posted by Dr. Bustillo