Does Fat Grafting Help In Linear Scleroderma Of The Face
Q: Dr. Eppley, In elementary school I was diagnosed with Linear Morfia but I have also heard the doctors call it scleroderma as well. I am now in college and it effects the right side of my face. I notice it on my forehead, under my eye continuing down to my cheek and a little on my nose, on the corner of my lip, and also some places under my chin and on my neck. The places on my neck are barely noticable so I’m not sure if they are even fixable but all other places I think would be able to be improved. I’m not sure what procedures would be needed but I’ve heard a lot about fat grafting. I would love to hear from you on what you could possibly do for me to make me feel better about it. I am attaching a picture of the left side of my face to compare to the picture of the right side of my face. Thank you for your time.
A: Fat grafting is the best treatment that we currently know for the soft tissue atrophy that linear scleroderma causes. Since fat loss is a big part of the tissue thinning effect it creates, it is logical that fat replacement would be a key part of its treatment. Harvesting fat by liposuction and then processing it for concentration is how injectable fat grafting is done. Injectable fat grafting is very versatile so it can be placed almost anywhere on the face.I have done this many times for linear scleroderma and it is certainly the one treatment that can help. While historically any treatment for linear scleroderma was recommended to be done once the disease processhad burnt itself out, my feeling is that fat grafting should be done even if the atrophic process is ongoing. It may help abort further tissue atrophy. Sinjce fat grafting is harmless since one’s own tissues are used, there are no adverse effects with its use and it can be repeated as many times as is necessary for optimal soft tissue volume restoration.
Dr. Barry Eppley