Anatomy of the Facial Fat Compartments and their Relevance in Aesthetic Surgery

Sebastian Cotofana, Nirusha Lachman

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

1 Scopus citations

Abstract

Objective: There has been a significant shift in the understanding of facial anatomy during the last decade. Newer minimally invasive therapeutic options for facial rejuvenation procedures are increasing the need for a better knowledge of anatomy. Material and Methods: The current literature is summarized, analyzed and presented along with the experience of the author for this narrative review, which summarizes the current understanding of the superficial and deep facial fat compartments and their relevance for minimally invasive facial procedures. A schematic facial model was created in order to facilitate a better understanding of the complexity of facial anatomy. Results: The face is arranged in five layers as follows: layer 1: skin; layer 2: subcutaneous fat including the retinacula cutis (composed of fibrous connective tissue); layer 3: superficial musculo-aponeurotic system (SMAS); layer 4: deep fat; and layer 5: periosteum or deep fascia. This arrangement varies between facial regions, especially when the line of ligaments is incorporated into the model. The facial fat compartments are located in layers 2 and 4; each layer has unique characteristics and spatial relationships with the surrounding tissues. Conclusions: The concept of the layered arrangement is a new way to understand the spatial relationship and functional interplay of the soft tissues of the face. Understanding the layers, the precise location of the superficial and deep facial fat compartments and their boundaries is crucial for the conduct of safe and effective minimally invasive facial procedures.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalJDDG - Journal of the German Society of Dermatology
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 2019

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Dermatology

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