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Fat Grafting a Reliable Technique for Chin Augmentation

For patients seeking chin augmentation, a fat grafting technique provides reliable and lasting improvement in the patient's profile, reports a study in the December issue of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery®, the official medical journal of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS).

"Fat grafting is a reliable and inexpensive alternative to chin augmentation, allowing chin surgery to be performed without implants," comment Filipe V. Basile, MD, and Antonio Roberto Basile, MD, plastic surgeons in Ribeirao Preto-SP, Brazil, the authors of the new study.

Patients' Own Fat Used to Increase Chin Volume

The researchers performed a prospective study evaluating their approach to chin augmentation using fat grating. Chin augmentation (enlargement) is a common cosmetic procedure. It was performed in about 17,000 US patients in 2016, according to ASPS statistics.

Chin augmentation is typically done using implants. Drs. Basile and Basile evaluated an alternative technique transferring a small amount of the patient's own fat—taken from the belly area by liposuction—to improve the appearance of the chin.

The study included 42 patients: 32 women and 10 men, average age 28 years. The average amount of fat transferred was just 7.5 milliliters. The researchers used a 3D imaging technique to measure the amount of increase in chin volume and the amount of forward (sagittal) projection.

Four weeks after fat grafting, the chin volume increased by an average of 8 milliliters. While there was some resorption of the transferred fat cells, after six months the average increase in chin volume was still 7.4 milliliters. On average, about 82 percent of the injected fat survived.

The 3D measurements showed a similar pattern of improvement in chin projection, with an average increase of about 9 millimeters at four weeks and 7 millimeters at six months. Complications were uncommon and mild. Three patients returned for additional injections to gain a further increase in chin projection.

In recent years, fat grafting has been used for a widening range of cosmetic and reconstructive plastic surgery procedures. Although fat grafting for chin augmentation has been reported previously, the new study is the first systematic evaluation of the outcomes. The online version of the article on the Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery website includes a video illustrating key aspects of the technique for plastic surgeons.

Based on their experience, Drs. Basile and Basile write that fat grafting has become an "important tool" for improving the profile of cosmetic surgery patients. It can be performed on its own or in combination with other cosmetic procedures, such as facelift or rhinoplasty. The authors note that some patients who hesitate to undergo chin augmentation using implants are more likely to accept fat grafting.

The study shows that fat grating for chin augmentation provides "consistent and predictable results." They believe that the 3D imaging technique used in their study might be useful in evaluating the outcomes of fat grafting in other areas of the body as well.

Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery® is published by Wolters Kluwer.

Click here to read "Prospective Controlled Study of Chin Augmentation by Means of Fat Grafting"

Article: "Prospective Controlled Study of Chin Augmentation by Means of Fat Grafting" (doi: 10.1097/PRS.0000000000003895)

About Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery

For more than 70 years, Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery® has been the one consistently excellent reference for every specialist who uses plastic surgery techniques or works in conjunction with a plastic surgeon. The official journal of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery® brings subscribers up-to-the-minute reports on the latest techniques and follow-up for all areas of plastic and reconstructive surgery, including breast reconstruction, experimental studies, maxillofacial reconstruction, hand and microsurgery, burn repair, and cosmetic surgery, as well as news on medico-legal issues.

About ASPS

The American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS) is the world's largest organization of board-certified plastic surgeons. Representing more than 7,000 Member Surgeons, the Society is recognized as a leading authority and information source on aesthetic and reconstructive plastic surgery. ASPS comprises more than 94 percent of all board-certified plastic surgeons in the United States. Founded in 1931, the Society represents physicians certified by The American Board of Plastic Surgery or The Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada. ASPS advances quality care to plastic surgery patients by encouraging high standards of training, ethics, physician practice and research in plastic surgery. 

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