There are plenty of branded facelift techniques out there, each with its own set of modifications and unique names. However, when it comes to achieving natural and subtle results, Dr. Jonathan Zelken, a board-certified plastic and reconstructive surgeon in Newport Beach, California, believes in tailoring his facelift procedures to meet the individual needs of his patients. One crucial aspect of his facelift practice that has significantly improved his results is facial fat grafting.
In the past, facial fat transfer was often considered a secondary component to facelift surgery, taking up time and potentially causing bruising without providing substantial long-term benefits. However, Dr. Zelken recognized the importance of fat grafting and incorporated it into his practice with remarkable results.
As Dr. Zelken explains, the facial aging process involves not only loose and sagging skin but also a loss of volume, particularly in the midface and around the eyes and lips. This loss of volume contributes to a sunken or deep-set appearance in these areas. While eyelid surgery has adapted to address this volume loss conservatively, facelift surgery has been slower to catch up. Dr. Zelken’s mentors encouraged him to focus on fat grafting, and their support has led to significant improvements in his patient’s outcomes.
Contrary to popular misconceptions, a facial fat graft is not merely an add-on to a facelift procedure. Dr. Zelken spends approximately one-third of his facelift surgery time on fat grafting because he recognizes that as we age, predictable volume loss occurs in specific areas, such as the cheeks, chin, and temples. By precisely targeting these areas during consultation and incorporating fat grafting into the facelift procedure, Dr. Zelken can achieve not only artistic sculpting but also potential volumization and regenerative effects on compromised skin quality due to factors like sun exposure or past smoking habits.
Dr. Zelken acknowledges that some patients may express concerns about additional volume, especially those who have previously undergone filler treatments. However, he believes that facial fat transfer presents a valuable opportunity to enhance the natural appearance of the facelift. Additionally, if a patient has had a significant amount of fillers in the past, dissolving them beforehand can reveal the true extent of facial atrophy and allow for more effective correction with the long-term benefits of the facial fat graft.
Facial fat grafting not only provides a safer and more long-term solution for facial volume loss, but also offers a powerful artistic tool for achieving natural results. Despite initial concerns about added volume, the distribution of fat throughout the face creates subtle transformations over time.
Dr. Zelken’s approach to facelift surgery goes beyond focusing on a single technique. He combines deep plane and traditional methods, ensuring that each patient receives a customized facelift tailored to their unique anatomy and needs. By maximizing the jawline, preventing the return of neck bands, and adding volume to the mid-face, Dr. Zelken aims to help his patients age gracefully while maintaining their individuality.
The incorporation of facial fat grafting has revolutionized Dr. Zelken’s facelift practice, significantly improving his results. By addressing volume loss and utilizing the regenerative potential of fat grafts, he not only sculpts the face but also enhances the overall quality of the skin. With a commitment to customization and subtlety, Dr. Zelken prioritizes his patients’ specific needs to deliver natural and long-lasting outcomes in facelift surgery.
Book your consultation today to discover how a facelift with fat grafting can enhance your look and define your facial contours.