Autologous fat grafting is a valuable tool in the correction of facial soft tissue asymmetry and volume deficits. Pubertal growth and fluctuations in body mass present unique challenges to achieving satisfactory results after autologous fat transfer in the pediatric population. Few studies exist describing the outcomes and complications of pediatric facial fat grafting. The objective of this study is to identify the complication profile and outcomes after autologous fat grafting for the correction of facial asymmetry and volume deficits in the pediatric population.Methods
Retrospective chart review was performed identifying 19 patients having undergone autologous fat grafting to the face for correction of facial volume deficits or asymmetry. Intraoperative variables were analyzed including blood loss, tumescent volume, lipoaspirate volume, graft volume transferred, donor fat processing technique, and donor site. Patient growth parameters were evaluated using body mass index (BMI) at the time of grafting and most recent follow up. Outcomes were evaluated based on adequacy of the graft, number of revisions or corrections, and complications.Results
A total of 19 patients were identified. The median age at the time of primary fat graft was 17 years. The average change in BMI from preoperative to the latest recorded date was +0.60 ± 1.90. The average time from primary procedure to most recent follow up was 1.7 years. Abdomen was the most common donor site utilized. Adequate correction was achieved with an average of 1.4 graftings. Complications included contour irregularity (n = 1) and persistent overcorrection (n = 3). One patient required lipoaspiration for treatment of overcorrection. An unpaired t test demonstrated no significant difference in preoperative BMI (P = 0.58), postoperative BMI (P = 0.28), or change in BMI after grafting (P = 0.56) between adequately corrected and overcorrected patients.Conclusions
Fat transfer is a safe and viable method for the correction of facial asymmetry in the pediatric population. Repeat fat grafting procedures may be required to achieve adequate correction; however, postoperative overcorrection is unlikely to resolve spontaneously in the pediatric population and is unrelated to changes in BMI. Care should be taken to minimize the degree of primary overcorrection when treating facial asymmetry in the pediatric population.