Fat Transfer Is Key Part of Facelift, Seattle Plastic Surgeon Says
A patient's own fat, sometimes referred to as "liquid gold," is an important component in most facelift surgeries, says Seattle-area plastic surgeon Dr. Braden C. Stridde of Puget Sound Plastic Surgery.
(January 2014) — Dr. Braden C. Stridde of Puget Sound Plastic Surgery (www.psplasticsurgery.com) says the innovative use of a patient's fat during facelift surgery at his Seattle-area surgical center represents a complete approach to facial rejuvenation that lifting alone can't accomplish.
"Fat is enjoying a new appreciation for the benefits it provides in facial rejuvenation procedures, particularly in combination with facelifts," Dr. Stridde says. "I am using fat transfer for virtually all of my patients coming from Tacoma and Seattle for facelift surgery."
Dr. Stridde says plastic surgeons now know that a combination of 3 factors results in changes to our faces that make people look older: sagging, wrinkles, and volume loss.
"Facelift operations traditionally addressed only sagging and wrinkles by lifting and tightening facial tissues," Stridde says. "That provided patients with smoother skin, but it didn't address the loss of volume that in some cases gives patients a sunken or gaunt appearance. The results could be pleasing or at times appear unnatural or overdone."
Fat transfer is becoming increasingly popular in many forms of plastic surgery, both in Seattle and nationally. Also known also as autologous fat grafting, the technique involves using liposuction to remove fat from one area of the body, such as the abdomen, thighs, or buttocks. The fat tissue is then processed and transferred to an area where volume is desired. It is often used in breast reconstruction surgery, in addition to some cosmetic breast augmentation procedures. Not only does the transferred fat help restore lost volume, but the quality of the overlying skin improves as well. Plastic Surgeons believe that this likely has something to do with stem cells which get harvested along with the fat, but specifically how this occurs remains unknown. This is an area of active research, which is being led by plastic surgeons.
According to The American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery, there has been increasing interest in and use for autologous fat grafting. One of the reasons for the increase is improved processing and injection techniques that have increased the reliability of fat grafting.
Although fat transfer is an accepted technique, Dr. Stridde says it's important for patients to select a plastic surgeon with extensive experience performing the procedure because, as with any cosmetic technique, fat grafting can be overdone and result in an unnatural appearance.
"Surgeons need excellent aesthetic judgment about how fat is applied to each person's unique anatomy," Dr. Stridde says. "When performed properly, it truly helps improve the results of facial rejuvenation surgery."
Interested in learning more about how fat transfer can help your facelift results? Request a consultation online to meet personally with Dr. Stridde, or call his office at