Michael Law, MD, a board certified plastic surgeon, in Raleigh, NC, is performing a new type of fat grafting technique that promises more natural-looking results.

"Fat grafting has changed the results of facial plastic surgery dramatically," says Law. "Traditional facelifts simply do not provide the natural result of microfat grafting."

Fat grafting has been performed by plastic surgeons for decades. There is no question that fat is the ideal material for soft tissue augmentation, and that the results obtained with fat grafting are the most natural-looking. However, one problem with this procedure in past years has been resorption (breakdown) of the grafted fat, so that the resulting improvement is not permanent. The grafted fat must gain its own blood supply in its new location in order to persist long-term, and this generally is not possible when large amounts are injected at once and when specialized instrumentation and techniques are not employed.

A relatively new technique, which Law performs, called structural fat grafting, lipostructure, or microfat grafting, involves the microinjection of small amounts (less than 0.1 cc at a time) of fat in a series of discrete layers to gradually "build" new soft tissue structure. Because of the space between each microinjection, new blood vessels are able to grow into the grafted fat, allowing it to persist.

Structural fat grafting can be performed on eyelid hollows, to fill sunken cheeks, for filling sunken tear troughs under the eyes, and is used for blepharoplasty correction when too much skin and or fat has been removed in an eyelid surgical procedure. Some people who have experienced fat loss as a result of procedures such as IPL or Thermage can also benefit greatly from permanent fat injections.

[Business Wire, July 23, 2008]