While forehead fat graft techniques are not exclusive to South Korea, the country’s surgeons have influenced the trend for forehead augmentation with fat.
Alternatively known as lipostructure, lipomodelling and lipofilling, the popularity of fat injections in forehead enlargement has drawn attention to the forehead’s importance in facial rejuvenation. As we age, the forehead loses its convexity and becomes less round. Concurrently, the temples lose volume, becoming more concave and emphasising a depressed, tired look to the upper third of the face. The forehead can also appear flat in profile due to a congenital ‘sloping’ of the forehead bone, which fat injections in forehead can camouflage.
Forehead fat graft techniques
Firstly, fat is liposuctioned from the body using hand pressure syringes. It is important to ensure that your surgeon does not intend to use laser liposuction to extract the fat, as this will damage the fat cells prior to transplantation. If dead fat cells are injected into the forehead, this could cause ‘fat necrosis’, where the dead fat cells harden into firm lumps or cysts under the skin.
Small, blunt needles called ‘cannulas’ are used to transfer fat into the forehead muscles. It is vital that fat injections in forehead augmentation are placed into the deeper tissue layers, as depositing the fat too superficially can lead to visible irregularities that are difficult to remedy.
It is also important that application techniques are employed meticulously. In order for fat injection forehead augmentation to render aesthetically pleasing results, the very careful application of fine fat threads must be utilized. Although some doctors may advocate forehead fat grafting in multiple different layers of tissue, this approach is not advisable in the forehead due to the presence of thin skin.
Given that a portion of the transferred fat will often reabsorb, some doctors may add more transferred fat than necessary when performing fat graft forehead rejuvenation. However, it is better to err on the side of caution and only request as much fat as needed. It is better to anticipate a top up than to end up with an overly augmented or uneven forehead, given that it is impossible to accurately predict the rate at which transplanted fat will survive.
Benefits of fat injections in forehead augmentation
Fat grafting forehead rejuvenation aims to elevate the soft tissue away from the forehead, lifting the brow and correcting loose skin by filling it out from underneath. Flat foreheads – a sign of age – can be enhanced and an overall rested appearance from the front and profile views can be obtained.
2. Facial balance
Some people have congenitally poor forehead aesthetics. Often, this is due to the presence of a bone structure deficiency in the upper face. In such instances, forehead fat transfer can camouflage a weak forehead, making female foreheads rounder or adding projection to the frontal bossing (brow ridge) area in men.
3. Accidents and depressed scar repair
Fat injections in forehead enlargement can be very useful in helping to repair indentations and scars of the soft tissue, musculature and even bone. Certainly, using the technique of fat injection in forehead augmentation surgeries for reconstructive purposes is less traumatic than attempting to restore lost bone.
Complications of forehead fat graft procedures
Lumpiness, asymmetry and uneven absorption are the most common complications associated with forehead fat injections. Protruding lumps of dead fat (fat necrosis) can be extracted, as can watery oil cysts. It is advisable to do this in the early post-operative period before the fat grafts establish a blood supply. Persistent lumps can be camouflaged with more fat or filler, or treated with injections of dilute steroids such as Kenalog in order to atrophy the fat and (often times) the scar tissue that forms alongside it. Superficial injections are at greater risk for leaving permanent lumps; the injected fat survives better when injected into the blood-rich dermis, and given the forehead skin is often very thin, irregularities can be very visible. More serious complications include skin necrosis and even blindness.
The most common side effect of fat grafting in forehead augmentation procedures relates to infection. Mycrobacterial infections following fat grafting must be drained and treated immediately; the resultant skin discolouration and/or atrophy of the soft tissue may require secondary treatment with lasers and fillers. In order to avoid such complications, many surgeons will prescribe their patients antibiotics in the immediate post operative period.
Undesirable aesthetic results relating to too much fat injection in forehead augmentation (‘bubble head’) can be treated with laser liposuction methods such as the AccuSculpt, or through direct excision via a coronal (ear to ear) incision.