Role of Autologous Fat Transfer to the Superficial Fat Compartments for Perioral Rejuvenation

Plast Reconstr Surg. 2015 Sep;136(3):301e-309e. doi: 10.1097/PRS.0000000000001506.


Background: Autologous fat transfer to the deep compartments of the face has proven to be a powerful adjunct to volume restoration during rhytidectomy. However, to treat all components of volume deflation in facial aging, the perioral superficial compartments must be addressed. Various fillers have been used to augment these compartments; however, few studies have assessed the efficacy of autologous fat transfer to these areas. This study is the largest series to date to assess the utility of autologous fat transfer to the perioral superficial compartments.

Methods: A retrospective chart review was conducted on an individualized component rhytidectomy database. Patients who underwent autologous fat transfer to the perioral superficial fat compartments were identified; patients who did not undergo autologous fat transfer served as controls. All patients had follow-up images that had been obtained a minimum of 1 year postoperatively. Three independent observers reviewed preoperative and postoperative images using the Modified Fitzpatrick Wrinkle Scale.

Results: Sixty-five consecutive patients underwent rhytidectomy without perioral rejuvenation (group A), and 65 patients underwent rhytidectomy with autologous fat transfer to the perioral superficial compartments (group B). Group B had a two times more significant improvement in perioral aesthetics than group A.

Conclusions: This study is the largest review to date demonstrating safety, longevity, and success of autologous fat as an ideal filler of the perioral superficial compartments. In light of the aesthetic improvements with autologous fat transfer to the perioral region, this surgical adjunct should be a fundamental component to achieve global facial rejuvenation during rhytidectomy.

Publication types

  • Evaluation Study
  • Video-Audio Media

MeSH terms

  • Humans
  • Lipectomy
  • Mouth
  • Outcome Assessment, Health Care
  • Rejuvenation*
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Rhytidoplasty / methods*
  • Subcutaneous Fat / transplantation*
  • Transplantation, Autologous