Fat grafting, also referred to as fat transfer or fat injections, is the surgical process by which fat is transferred from one area of the body to another area. The surgical goal is to improve or augment the area where the fat is injected. The technique involves extracting adipose fat by liposuction, processing the fat, and then injecting purified fat into the area needing improvement. Since the 1990's Plastic Surgeons have reliably used fat grafting as a way to improve and enhance the cosmetic appearance of the face, breast, hands, feet, hips, and buttocks. However, more recently, clinicians have documented the therapeutic benefits of fat grafting in the healing of wounds and scars, as well as fat's ability to repair damage to breast tissue following radiation treatment.
Extraction of the fat from the desired area with liposuction
Decanting, centrifugation, and processing of the fat
Reinjection of the purified fat into the area needing improvement
Fat grafts have increasingly captivated the attention of Plastic Surgeons not only due to their aesthetic capabilities, but also because of their regenerative properties. The regenerative properties are due to the high concentration of mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) resident in the fat tissue.
In the first step, fat is extracted from a donor area using liposuction techniques. This is best accomplished by using advanced smart-lipo devices, choosing the proper liposuction cannulas for the areas where the fat is going to be removed from . At PureMD MedSpa, the doctors are not using laser, radiofrequency or ultrasonic liposuction before the fat transfer and that's because these might destroy the fat cells. In order to have long lasting or permanent results the fat needs to be preserved in its highest quality level.
The next step is processing the fat - this means just decanting and centrifugation to separate debris, excess fluid, and dead cells from the viable adipose fat cells. An alternate method is to wash the fat with a sterile saline solution. The fat that is discarded are the fat cells which will likely not survive in the graft and they can even create problems for the good cells.
In the final step, the fat is injected in small droplets throughout the subcutaneous tissue of the recipient area. This is to ensure good blood supply to every fat droplet so that the fat graft can survive.
At PureMD MedSpa, the doctors are overfilling the areas where the fat in transferred to and that's because about 30% of the transferred fat will die, this way the patients will have the final desired results.
When to Consider Fat Transfer
After Fat Transfer there is a detailed instruction about your postsurgical care, including information about:
Your doctor will advise you how to care for the sites from which fat was extracted. Recovery from fat injections is variable and perception of that recovery is even more highly variable. Here is some general recovery information related to fat tranfer procedures:
You can expect the areas to which the fat was transferred to appear softer and fuller, giving you a refreshed and rejuvenated appearance. You may even notice an improvement in skin texture.