Fat, the much despised three-letter word in the modern lexicon, can wipe years off your face with its rejuvenating magic. Or so claims a new study.
Surgeons have discovered a “deep fat pocket” in the cheeks and say it represents a breakthrough in understanding how facial ageing can be treated in a much better way.
Volume loss in cheek fat is what causes “hollowing” of the face, a major factor in the ageing of the “mid-face”. When volume was restored, by using fat, tissue fillers or an implant, there was an immediate improvement.
The discovery that adding volume to particular facial compartments results in highly specific, predictable and immediate results, brings plastic surgeons closer to fighting facial aging in a step-by-step way, the study said.
“Adding volume rather than lifting is not a revolutionary concept in plastic surgery. But the idea that restoring volume to deep cheek fat will affect so many areas of the face is a breakthrough in our understanding of how to better treat facial ageing,” said Joel Pessa, the study's co-author.
According to American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS) statistics, nearly 8,000 cheek implants were performed in 2007. Besides 47,000 fat injections and 1.1 million injections with acid fillers were performed last year.
In the study, 14 cadavers were injected with dye to identify the deep cheek fat compartment, located below the fat under the skin.
After latex was injected into the compartment, boundaries of the fat compartment, as well as the compartment's relationship with adjacent muscles were located.
The findings of the study are slated to appear in the forthcoming issue of the journal Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery.