The objective of this study was to evaluate the safety and efficacy of fat grafting to the facial region for the reconstruction and aesthetic enhancement of facial contour.
A systematic literature review of the National Library of Medicine (PubMed), MEDLINE and Cochrane databases was performed. Studies involving the outcomes of autologous fat grafting to correct or enhance contour defects of the face were included. Extracted data included patient demographics, harvest and injection sites, graft harvesting and injection technique, mean injected volume, retained volume percentage and complications.
Forty-three articles met the inclusion criteria, resulting in 4577 patients with various facial contour defects treated with autologous fat grafting. Injection sites were categorized by anatomic facial regions as upper (32.5%), middle (53%) and lower face (14.5%). The mean volume of injected fat was 16.9 ml. The mean weighted volume retention of non-enriched grafts was 41.63% at the time of follow up (mean 13.9 months). A total of 104 (2.27%) complications were reported including asymmetry (74), skin irregularities (14), prolonged edema (4), graft hypertrophy (4), fat necrosis (3), infection (2), erythema (1), telangiectasia (1), and activation of acne (1).
The present study represents the first systematic review of fat grafting in the facial region, a widely-performed procedure within plastic surgery practice. Importantly, it presents pooled important data such as retained grafting volume and complication rates in this anatomical region, providing clinicians with more accurate information with which to guide their decision-making and patient education.

© 2018 The Authors.