Background/aim: Even though new techniques are emerging to overcome the inconsistent long-term viability of fat grafts, current methods for increasing fat graft survival are not routinely adaptable to all clinical environments. The purpose of this study was to determine the efficacy of microneedling as an adjunct to fat grafting to the face. Materials and methods: Twenty-two patients that underwent fat grafting to the face with adjunctive microneedling were evaluated in terms of improvement in facial skin quality and facial volume and their results were compared to those in 18 patients that underwent fat grafting without microneedling. The evaluation was conducted with a modification of the Global Aesthetic Improvement Scale at the postoperative third month. Results: All patients that underwent fat grafting and microneedling demonstrated "much improvement" in skin quality and volume at the postoperative third month while "improvement" was noted in patients that underwent fat grafting alone. The difference between skin quality and volume improvement scores was found to be significantly in favor of the patients that received adjunctive microneedling. Conclusion: Fat grafting to the face with adjunctive microneedling is a practical and potentially mutual-acting technique that can be used both for its significant effect on increasing fat graft survival and improving skin quality.
Keywords: Dermaroller; fat graft; fat graft survival; microneedling; percutaneous collagen induction; skin quality.