Is fat the new facelift?

Article medically reviewed by Dr. Gavin Chan (MBBS, cosmetic physician, liposuctionist)

Templestowe Lower and Berwick Clinics

Dr. Gavin Chan has a background in intensive care, anaesthesia, and emergency medicine. Since 2004, Dr. Chan has provided cosmetic procedures, including anti-wrinkle injections, dermal fillers, liposuction, fat transfer, skin needling, and laser treatments. He is a doctor trainer for various dermal fillers and anti-wrinkle injections. Read More

Traditionally, the primary mechanism for facial ageing was gravity leading to facial descent. Hence the logical answer to this problem was to combat this with a variety of surgical procedures such as a facelift, browlift or blepharoplasty (removal of the upper or lower eyelid skin).

A paradigm shift has occurred, and the way we think about ageing and reversing the ageing process has now progressed. Pioneers like Dr. Sydney Coleman have lead the way of this change, and believe that volume loss, in the form of soft tissue, bone, and fat loss are key factors in facial ageing rather than simply just facial descent/droop. An analogy is that a young person’s face is like a grape, full of volume and no wrinkles. As this person ages, their face becomes more like a sultana. To revolumise the face is therefore the most important part of reversing the ageing process, rather than stretching the skin.

Revolumising can be performed in a number of ways, including fat transfer from another part of the body, or simply with dermal fillers. Dermal fillers offer the advantage of being a minimally invasive procedure with little or no downtime. They can be used to reshape and revolumise the face and return the youth to a face.