Autologous Free Dermal Fat Graft: Reconstruction of Facial Contour Defects

Richard E. Davis, Robert A. Guida, Ted A. Cook

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

70 Scopus citations


Objective: To examine the use of autologous free dermal fat grafts (FDFGs) in the reconstruction of soft-tissue facial contour defects, an 8-year, retrospective, computerized medical chart review was conducted for 21 patients who underwent reconstruction with FDFGs. Setting: Section of Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, Department of Otolaryngology, Oregon Health Sciences University, Portland, or affiliated hospitals. Patients: Twenty-one patients identified in the chart review were included in the retrospective evaluation. Follow-up periods ranged from 11 to 94 months. Five patients were unavailable for follow-up at the chart review, but all five had satisfactory results at their last evaluation. Design: Soft-tissue augmentation was performed using autologous FDFGs harvested from the abdomen following in situ de-epithelialization with a high-speed dermabrader. Facial contour defects resulted from tumor extirpation, congenital deformity, trauma, or degenerative disease. Main Outcome Measures: Outcome was considered satisfactory when the patient and the surgeon were pleased with the long-term results at the last evaluation. Results: Complications, including graft resorption (five patients) and epithelial cyst formation (two patients), were observed in seven patients and resulted in an unsatisfactory outcome. The remaining 14 patients demonstrated satisfactory results as determined by the patient and the surgeon at the last evaluation. Conclusions: Successful long-term augmentation of facial contour defects may be achieved with autologous FDFGs in an appropriate patient population. Careful patient selection and proper surgical technique are essential for satisfactory long-term results. Guidelines are provided for the augmentation of facial contour defects with autologous FDFGs.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)95-100
Number of pages6
JournalArchives of Otolaryngology--Head and Neck Surgery
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1995

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Otorhinolaryngology


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