FAQ: Deep Plane Facelifts and Fat Graft Facelifts


As we age, our face and neck go through a transformation. The first signs of ageing are often seen in a loss of the fullness (volume) that characterises a youthful face. Our “baby fat” disappears, giving our face a slimmer profile and more defined contours. This is when many of us are happiest with our appearance.

Unfortunately, ageing does not stop at that point. As the process continues, we lose more volume and the structural integrity of our skin and muscles begins to decline. Our face may develop hollow or sunken areas and the ligaments that once held our tissues taut grow weak. Skin sags. Jowls form. Wrinkles and folds become more pronounced. Eventually, what we see when we look in the mirror may be a poor reflection of how young and vibrant we feel.

Dr Ellis Choy offers a variety of treatments to enhance facial definition and improve signs of ageing. Two options, deep plane facelift surgery and facial fat grafting, are especially successful for comprehensive anti-ageing. However, these procedures are very different, and it’s important to learn more about both of them before deciding which approach is right for you.

What Is a Deep Plane Facelift?

Early facelift techniques relied solely on tightening the skin to reduce sagging and smooth wrinkles, while the underlying tissues were left untouched. This often resulted in an unnatural “pulled” or “windswept” look that made it readily apparent that surgical enhancement had taken place. Skin-only facelifts were later replaced by the SMAS facelift, a technique that tightens the muscular layer of the face as well as the skin. A deep plane facelift is the most advanced approach to facial rejuvenation. In this technique, the skin and underlying tissues are kept in alignment with each other, and the entire system is repositioned as a single unit. The results are long-lasting and more natural.

What Is Facial Fat Grafting?

Fat grafting involves removing some of the patient’s own fat from strategic areas and transferring it to new areas. This technique is growing increasingly popular in facial rejuvenation. In a fat graft facelift, tiny amounts of fat are harvested (typically from the abdomen or thighs), processed in a centrifuge, then injected into targeted facial areas with a precise micro droplet technique. Fat grafting is a desirable alternative to a deep plane facelift for some patients because it is minimally invasive and does not require incisions. It also appeals to patients who are seeking a longer-lasting alternative to dermal fillers.

Which Technique Produces More Natural Results?

A fat graft facelift can be an excellent choice for patients who desire beautiful and natural enhancements to their appearance. Fat grafting is “natural” both in how it looks and in how it is accomplished. The procedure is performed using material taken from the patient’s own body — there is nothing foreign or artificial involved, as there is with dermal fillers. The transferred fat cells perfectly replace the facial fat cells that have been lost over time. This gives a subtle and elegant result.

Which Technique Produces More Dramatic Results?

In the hands of a skilled surgeon like Dr Choy, a deep plane facelift can deliver a beautifully natural and subtle result, just like fat grafting. However, this technique can also provide more dramatic enhancements for patients who require more extensive correction or who want a more comprehensive transformation. The deeper nature of the procedure requires a longer recovery period, but also means it can address a wider range of issues effectively and with greater longevity.

Which Facelift Technique Is Right for Me?

This depends on multiple factors that will be discussed in your consultation. Some of the considerations are:

  • The specific nature of your concerns
  • Your desired degree of improvement
  • The quality of your skin
  • Your tolerance for scars and downtime
  • Whether you want a subtle or dramatic result
  • How long you want your results to last

Dr Choy takes a customised approach to facial rejuvenation procedures. He will design a surgical plan that is tailored to your age, facial structure and aesthetic goals to ensure a satisfying outcome.

Can a Deep Plane Facelift and Facial Fat Grafting Be Combined?

Dr Choy regularly combines these techniques to optimise his patients’ cosmetic results. Deep plane facelift surgery lifts, tightens and repositions the skin and muscles for a rejuvenated overall appearance. Facial fat grafting restores fullness to the face, enhances facial contours and further softens wrinkles and folds. Addressing all of these issues simultaneously gives the most holistic and balanced result.

Addressing the Unique Beauty of Every Face

Cosmetic surgery is a field of constant innovation. As one of Australia’s most renowned experts in plastic and cosmetic surgery, Dr Choy prioritises continuing education and utilises state-of-the-art techniques to achieve exceptional results for his patients. He will carefully analyze your unique ageing pattern in order to determine the most effective way to rejuvenate your face. The right type of facelift will produce a natural and beautiful result you can enjoy for years to come. If you are interested in learning more about these revolutionary cosmetic techniques, call Dr Ellis Plastic Surgery in Sydney NSW on +61 2 8962 9388 to schedule your consultation today.