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Structural Fat Grafting for the Nose

Structural fat grafting is a procedure that takes fat from one or more areas of your body and places it elsewhere. It can be used for cosmetic or reconstructive purposes.

The procedure can be used on the nose to enlarge or fill in irregularities. Possible uses include:

  • Softening scars and defects from skin cancer treatment
  • Correcting abnormalities left behind by previous nose procedures
  • Filling out the upper nose if it loses fullness from aging
  • Providing a stronger or more defined nose
  • Disguising visible irregularities or correcting a pinched nasal rim

Is Structural Fat Grafting Right for Me?

The structural fat grafting procedure can correct many problems with your nose. If have cosmetic problems such as visible scarring or dents on your nose, you may consider this procedure.

What Are the Risks of Fat Grafting?

Complications with structural fat grafting are rare, but there are some general risks:

  • Bleeding
  • Infections
  • Scarring
  • Irregularities
  • Placing too much or too little fat
  • Swelling
  • Bruising

The surgical team will work to reduce the potential for such problems.

Before the Procedure

On your first visit, a staff member will review the structural fat grafting procedure and your own medical history. You also can view photos of previous similar structural fat grafting procedures to see results.

We ask that you bring photos of your younger self so we can see the look you want to restore. If there is another person whose nose you want to emulate, you should bring photos of that person.

We also will take several photos of you. Your surgeon will use those photos to create the surgical plan, including harvest and graft sites.

Structural Fat Grafting Procedure Details

On the day of the procedure, the surgical team will use colored pens to mark the donor and graft sites. Because the amount of fat used for facial procedures is usually quite small, usually not many donor sites are needed.

After the fat is harvested, the surgical team uses a centrifuge to remove unwanted components like oil, water, and blood. The resulting fat is refined and concentrated, ideal for grafting.

Your surgeon then will place the fat, tiny amounts at a time, in its new location and sculpt it for an ideal look.

How Long Does the Procedure Take?

Procedure time varies, depending on the amount of fat taken and placed. Structural fat grafting generally takes between two and five hours, with smaller procedures on the low end.

Type of Anesthesia for Fat Grafting

Surgeons usually use general anesthesia for structural fat grafting, but local anesthesia can be used for smaller procedures.

Recovery from Structural Fat Grafting

Recovery time varies depending on how much fat is transferred. More minor procedures usually have smaller recovery time.

You likely will have bruising and swelling in both the donor and graft sites. The graft sites usually heal more quickly, within two to three weeks. It can take anywhere from three to six months for swelling to completely subside in the donor sites.

What Results Can I Expect from Structural Fat Grafting?

Fat can be volatile tissue. However, structural fat grafting uses fat from your own body, which has shown better results. There are no current studies for fat survival rates in humans, but the procedure has been used for various problems.

In general, you can expect some success from this procedure in correcting irregularities on your nose.