Structural fat grafting takes fat from one or more areas of your body and places it elsewhere. The procedure can be used for cosmetic or reconstructive reasons.
Your neck, upper chest, jaw line, and chin usually are among the first places on your body to show aging and/or sun damage. You may experience wrinkles, loose skin, redness, or dark spots on your neck and upper chest. You also may lose definition on your chin or jaw line.
With structural fat grafting, you can:
Structural fat grafting can help provide cosmetic improvements or reconstruction, with minimal risk. You might be a candidate for the procedure if you’d like to improve the look of your chin, jaw, neck, or upper chest.
Structural fat grafting has fewer risks than implants or other procedures, and complications are rare. However, there can be side effects:
Your surgical team will work to reduce those risks during the procedure.
Before undergoing structural fat grafting, you’ll meet with our staff. A staff member will review the procedure and your medical history with you, and you can see photos of similar past procedures.
You also should bring photos of yourself from when you were younger. Our surgical team will review the photos to get an idea of the look you hope to restore. You also can bring photos of others if you want your chin or jaw line to look like theirs.
We also will take several photos of how you look now. Your surgeon will use those photos to create a plan for the procedure, including harvest and graft sites.
The surgical team first will mark your skin with colored pens in the donor and graft sites. The number of donor sites will depend on the amount of fat needed for transfer.
The surgeon uses liposuction to harvest the fat. The surgical team will put the fat through a centrifuge, purifying it by removing substances like oil, water, and blood.
After the blood is refined, the surgeon will place it in the new location, with tiny amounts at a time. Doing so allows your surgeon to sculpt as the procedure goes, allowing for a better result.
The time of the procedure depends on how much fat is being transferred. It can last anywhere from two hours for minor procedures, to five hours for more extensive work.
Doctors usually use general anesthesia for structural fat grafting, but more minor procedures can take place with local anesthesia.
Recovery time depends on the extent of the procedure. That includes how much fat is transferred and how many donor sites were used.
You probably will experience swelling and bruising in both the harvest and graft sites. The swelling and bruising usually subsides in the graft locations more quickly, generally within two to three weeks. It can take longer for the swelling to completely go away.
Recovery can take longer in the donor sites, with swelling taking anywhere from three to six months to completely subside.
There is no current study on the success of fat transfer in humans, and fat is a volatile tissue. However, structural fat grafting has shown positive results. The use of your own fat lowers risks such as infection and scarring, and it can be sculpted to your ideal look.
Placing fat under the skin of your neck and upper chest can add support to those areas, reducing wrinkles, loose skin, and sun damage. It can give you a sharper, more defined, or more prominent chin and jaw line. It can also reduce some of the effects of aging.