Facial fat grafting has been increasingly performed to create a more youthful face. Cigarette smoking might have potential harmful effects on fat graft survival. The aim of this study was to evaluate the effects of cigarette smoking on facial lipofilling.
Eighteen smoker patients (13 females and 5 males) with a mean age of 37.4 years (range: 21–53 years) who underwent facial lipofilling were enrolled in this retrospective study. The patients were followed up for an average of 19.3 months (range: 14–32 months). The fat-graft survival rate, degree of skin improvement, and presence and severity of surgical complications (fat necrosis, oil cysts, and infection) were evaluated. A 10-point Likert scale was used to assess patient satisfaction with facial fat grafting surgery.
The mean injected fat volume was 42 mL (range: 30–80 mL). Clinical and photographic evaluation by the surgical team led to an estimation of 40% for the mean fat survival rate. Four instances of fat necrosis, 2 oil cysts, and 1 infection were diagnosed and treated conservatively. Five patients underwent a second fat grafting surgical procedure; 3 of these had a third fat grafting surgery to obtain the desired facial fullness. Improvement of skin quality was better during the first months after surgery, but not long standing. Overall patient satisfaction in terms of aesthetic appearance, facial fullness, and rejuvenation was 74%.
Although cigarette smoking causes low fat survival rates and impairs the improvement of skin quality, successful results can be obtained with facial lipofilling in the smokers.