Autologous Fat Transplantation in the Craniofacial Patient: The UCLA Experience

Division of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, David Geffen School of Medicine, Los Angeles, California, USA.
The Journal of craniofacial surgery (Impact Factor: 0.68). 07/2012; 23(4):1061-6. DOI: 10.1097/SCS.0b013e31824e695b
Source: PubMed


Patients with congenital craniofacial malformations present with complex challenges for reconstruction. Successful management requires individualized treatment often involving rebuilding the facial skeleton de novo, as well as correcting the overlying soft-tissue deficiencies in the final stages. At the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) Craniofacial Clinic, serial autologous fat transplantation performed during staged reconstruction is the preferred method.A total of 27 patients with a diagnosis of either craniofacial microsomia/Goldenhar (CM) (n = 19) or Treacher Collins syndrome (TC) (n = 8) were treated at the UCLA Craniofacial Clinic by autologous fat transfer between July 1999 and February 2009. Two-dimensional analysis was conducted on standardized preoperative and postoperative photographs to determine facial symmetry for every patient. Results was grouped based on pathology and analyzed by comparing adipocyte donor site (abdomen vs other).The mean ages at the time of first fat transfer were 17 years for the CM group and 15 years for the TC group. The average numbers of fat transfers per patient were 2.05 (CM) and 2.12 (TC). A mean of 3.74 procedures other than fat grafting was performed in each CM patient, whereas 4.38 other procedures were performed in each TC patient. In CM patients, less than 10.5 months between procedures resulted in improved symmetry. There was an average 6.63% improvement in facial symmetry in the CM group, and a 7.67% improvement in the TC group.Based on the UCLA experience, the durability of facial asymmetry and contour correction with fat transplantation is attainable in the craniofacial patient but may also require concomitant skeletal correction in the most severe cases.

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