Three-dimensional topography of facial soft tissues for the safer and effective threading procedures

Kang Woo Lee, Jeung Hyun Yoon, Ji Soo Kim, Kyung Seok Hu, Hee Jin Kim

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Introduction: To reduce complications caused by the procedure, the target layer for thread lifting should be the superficial fat or superficial musculoaponeurotic system of the face. The aim of this study was to establish the thicknesses of the facial skin and superficial fat using a 3D scanning system to provide basic clinical data for thread lifting. Material and methods: Thirty fixed Korean and Thai cadavers (male: 17, female: 13) were used. The depths of the skin and superficial fat were measured using a three dimensional (3D) structured-light scanner. Facial images of both undissected and removed skin and superficial fat were taken with the 3D scanner. The paths from the temple and the front of the tragus to the infraorbital, perioral, cheek, and mental areas were displayed on the 3D image. The thickness along the path was measured by calculating the difference between the undissected and dissected 3D images. Results: The means and standard deviations of thicknesses of the skin and superficial fat were 2.1 ± 0.4 mm and 5.2 ± 1.9 mm in the 11 pathways. The facial skin became thicker going toward the lower aspect of the face from temple to infraorbtial and perioral regions. The thickness of the superficial fat around the marionette line showed the biggest change. Conclusions: The present findings indicate that a 3D scanning system can yield crucial anatomical information about the thickness of the facial skin and superficial fat for use in various minimally invasive clinical procedures including thread lifting.

Original languageEnglish
JournalClinical Anatomy
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 2021

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The authors are grateful to the cadaver donors and their families who participated in the donation program. We would like to show our gratitude to the N‐finders for sharing expertise during this research. This work was supported by the National Research Foundation of Korea (NRF) grant funded by the Korea government (MSIP) (NRF‐2019R1F1A1062016).

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021 American Association of Clinical Anatomists

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Anatomy
  • Histology

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