Fat grafting can play a role in primary rhinoplasty, a new study suggests.

The findings will be presented at the American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS) annual conference, Plastic Surgery: The Meeting in New Orleans.

In the study, 59 patients underwent primary nose reshaping with fat grafting for nasal volume restoration and contour adjustment. Fat grafting was repeated one to three times in various anatomical areas including the nasal tip, bridge, and base, and the forehead for projection. Twelve nose reshaping patients had fat grafting alone, while 47 patients had combination fat grafting/traditional nose reshaping. Improvement was observed in those who had only fat grafting, but was more effective when the defect is more planar. Thirty-five of the patients who had combination fat grafting/traditional nose reshaping saw significant improvement.

“Fat grafting is usually a tool used in revision nose reshaping procedures on patients who were unhappy with the results of their initial procedure,” says study author Houston, Texas-based plastic surgeon Eser Yuksel, MD, in a news release. “In this study, we utilized fat grafting solely or in combination for primary nose reshaping. We found that even when used with traditional nose reshaping techniques, fat grafting allows for minimized dissection and improved skin quality.”

Still, “fat grafting alone may not be appropriate or the correct course of action for every nose reshaping patient,” said Dr. Yuksel. “Volume shifts due to gravity may occur in some cases, though it can be avoided by using specific external splints in the early postoperative period.”