Facial autologous soft-tissue contouring by adjunction of tissue cocktail injection (micrograft and minigraft mixture of dermis, fascia, and fat)
Facial aging is both a physiologic and anatomic process characterized by changes in the skin and supporting tissues. The aging process produces an outer envelope that gradually expands while its contents gradually involute and the underlying structure weakens. This process results in an excess of skin that tends to create folds, grooves, and deepening furrows. Contour augmentation and filling depressions with autologous tissue or heterogeneous materials are widely used in face rejuvenation as an adjunctive procedure. There is unanimous agreement on the advantages of autogenous tissue grafts over alloplastic materials and heterogeneous transplants. It is also well known that the revascularization of a small graft (fat, dermis, and/or composite graft) is better than a large graft. For this reason, fat injections consisting of small particles have recently become popular. According to different authors, a graft take may vary from 30 to 50 percent. Nevertheless, it has been thoroughly documented that a graft consisting of dermis or fascia is superior to a fat graft in both the graft take rate and quality of the tissue. Strips of dermal graft have been used successfully for several years to fill lip contour and nasolabial folds. However, the main disadvantage of this technique is that utilization is restricted only to certain areas where there is a need for a small incision. To overcome this obstacle, the author developed a simple technique to obtain an injectable mass from a mixture of dermis, muscle strips, fat tissue, and fascia to use in body contouring (especially in the facial region) in large areas. The author describes the use of the technique in 450 patients. Follow-up in these patients from 6 months to 10 years showed that the application of the "tissue cocktail" procedure in select patients improved the author's results and created a marked increase in the number of satisfied patients with no complaints. The take and durability of this kind of graft were superior to the author's results using fat grafts. The tissue cocktail graft remained stable for several years, as effectively seen in the chin region. The sole complication from the procedure was some bruising, which was resolved in several days. No single infection or inclusion cyst was observed in this series.