The Boomerang Lift: A Three-Step Compartment-Based Approach to the Youthful Cheek

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Abstract

Summary:

Autologous fat grafting is an important tool for plastic surgeons treating the aging face. Malar augmentation with fat is often targeted to restore the youthful facial contour and provides support to the lower eyelid. The existence of distinct facial fat compartments suggests that a stepwise approach may be appropriate in this regard. The authors describe a three-step approach to malar augmentation using targeted deep malar fat compartmental augmentation, termed the “boomerang lift.” Clinical patients undergoing autologous fat grafting for malar augmentation were injected in three distinct deep malar fat compartments: the lateral sub–orbicularis oculi fat, the medial sub–orbicularis oculi fat, and the deep medial cheek (n = 9). Intraoperative three-dimensional images were taken at baseline and following compartmental injections (Canfield VECTRA H1). Images were overlaid between the augmented and baseline captures, and the three-dimensional surface changes were analyzed, which represented the resulting “augmentation zone.” Three-dimensional analysis demonstrated a unique pattern for the augmentation zone consistent across patients. The augmentation zone resembled a boomerang, with the short tail supporting the medial lower lid and the long tail extending laterally along the zygomatic arch. The upper border was restricted by the level of the nasojugal interface, and the lower border was defined medially by the nasolabial fold and laterally by the level of the zygomaticocutaneous ligament. Lateral and medial sub–orbicularis oculi fat injections defined the boundaries of the boomerang shape, and injection to the deep medial cheek provided maximum projection. This is the first description of deep malar augmentation zones in clinical patients. Three-dimensional surface imaging was ideal for analyzing the surface change in response to targeted facial fat grafting. The authors’ technique resulted in a reproducible surface shape, which they term the boomerang lift.

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