What Can Be Done to Fix The Fallen Fat Graft On The Side Of My Face?

Q: Dr. Eppley, I had fat from my hip added to the left side of my face. I had a hollow side due to radiation, it’s been about 7 to 8 years since I had this done. And the fat has dropped and looks terrible, what can I do about this? It sticks out and hangs down.

A: You undoubtably had a dermal-fat graft taken to reconstruct the soft tissue atrophy on one side of your face due to the radiation. While dermal-fat grafts are an excellent means of subcutaneous fat reconstruction, they are notorious for ‘sliding off the face’ or falling down to the jowls if they are not anchored securely to the cheek bone and along the zygomatic arch bone. What could be done now is a resuspension of the dermal-fat graft back into the desired position with permanent sutures. This would be very similar to the original procedure to place the graft minus the harvest site. It is, in essence, like a one-sided facelift procedure. It is clear that the dermal-fat graft has taken  but it probably developed descent before it completely healed, thus falling down to the jowl line.

Dr. Barry Eppley

Indianapolis, Indiana