Dr Shraddha Deshpande

Correction of Cheek Deformity Using Your Own Body Fat!

The patient suffered from a condition called lupus panniculitis leaving a hollowed-out appearance, fat grafting helped her overcome the deformity Lupus panniculitis can be described as a rare abnormality of connective tissue causing loss of subcutaneous fat and persistent, tender and hard nodules that tend to be localized on the face, arms, shoulders, breasts, and buttocks. Dr. Shraddha Deshpande, consultant plastic surgeon at Wockhardt hospital gave 35-year-old Mumbai woman with this rare deformity, a new way of life.

‘First impression is the best impression.’ But, this wasn’t exactly so in the case of Malathi ( name changed), who is a housewife. Malathi was deeply disturbed when she noticed a deep scar over her left cheek which became more prominent over 5 years.  She refrained from venturing out of the house or even attending weddings or parties and was confined to her household duties. This left her anxious, lonely and depressed. Later, it was revealed that she suffered from a condition called lupus panniculitis. However, Dr. Shraddha Deshpande helped the patient overcome her deformity, and enhance her appearance.

Dr Shraddha Deshpande, consultant plastic surgeon, Wockhardt Hospital, Mumbai Central said, “The subcutaneous fat in her left cheek got absorbed leaving a hollowed-out appearance. She underwent a procedure known as fat grafting which helped her tackle the deformity easily with minimal downtime. This technique involves harvesting fat from one’s own body and using it to enhance or correct some other part of the body. The fat is harvested commonly the lower abdomen and medial thighs as they are rich in adipose-derived stem cells. It is then allowed to sediment and is centrifuged to allow separation of fluid and oil. This pure fat is injected by a specialized technique in the desired areas with the help of tiny cannulae.”

She added, “Fat is usually considered an unwanted part of our body and many of us just want to get rid of it. But, it can be used to correct contour deformities on the face due to accidental injuries, improve the appearance of scars, lines, and wrinkles over the forearms and hands, and also for facial rejuvenation. Large volume fat grafting can be used for enhancing breasts or buttocks, while at the same time slimming the waist and thighs to give an hour-glass appearance and correct contour abnormalities. It is readily available, easily obtainable, with low donor-site morbidity, repeatable, inexpensive, versatile, and biocompatible. Moreover, this is a permanent procedure, and unlike fillers need not be repeated every 2 years,” highlighted Dr Deshpande.

Complications like bleeding at the surgical site, necrosis of the fat grafts or infection at the surgical site can occur, but they are usually self-limiting. But, virtually no scars and no stitches are involved in this technique, so recovery is quick and hospital stay is minimal.

“Post-procedure, swelling in the operated area is expected, but it usually subsides within a week. The patient can resume his regular work in a couple of days to a weeks’ time depending on the amount of fat grafting done,” said Dr Deshpande.

“The deformity would make me conscious about my face and many people would keep staring at the scar.  I stopped attending social events and marriages of even relatives who were close to me. I would avoid looking in the mirror. I love doing makeup but unfortunately, I couldn’t do it. But, after the fat grafting procedure, I feel confident and I have started stepping out of the house. I thank Wockhardt Hospital for helping me live life the way I want to,” concluded patient Malathi.

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