Patients Use Own Fat to Fill and Sculpt
From body fat reduction to harvesting fat to enhance other parts of the body, the data shows new cosmetic procedural trends related to the role of fat in body shaping.
"One trend we are seeing with fat involves an increase in fat grafting procedures. Plastic surgeons harvest a patient's unwanted fat from their abdomen using liposuction and then inject it to lift and rejuvenate other areas such as the face, buttock and even the breast," said ASPS President Debra Johnson, MD. "Because the material injected is the patient's own fat the results typically last longer than fillers."
Newer, non-invasive fat reduction and skin tightening procedures are gaining popularity among patients:
-Injection-based procedures that target fat pockets in specific areas such as under the chin, increased 18%
-Non-invasive fat reduction procedures that use special technology to "freeze" fat without surgery increased 5%
-Non-invasive skin tightening procedures that target fat and tighten sagging areas increased 5%
What is Fat Grafting?
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 reinjecting 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.
Common areas of Fat Grafting
A summary of common fat grafting applications and the associated volumes of fat injected is as follows:
Face (10cc – 100cc, total)
- Restores youthful appearance by adding volume to hollowed out or wrinkled areas such as the area below the eye and the nasolabial folds
- Helps repair scars
- Adds volume to the cheeks to create the appearance of higher cheekbones
- Improves the texture and appearance of the skin
Breast (25cc-400cc, each breast)
- Increases the breast size by one or two cup sizes
- Corrects breast asymmetry
- Repairs radiation tissue damage and can treat breast implant capsular contractures
- Helps correct scar deformities from lumpectomy or breast reconstruction
Hips (100cc-300cc, each side)
- Adds volume to achieve a more feminine profile and better waist-hip ratio
Buttocks (200cc-1300cc+, each cheek)
- Makes buttocks appear perkier
- Augments buttocks size (aka Brazilian butt lift)
Hands and Feet (5-10cc, per extremity)
- Reduces wrinkles and rejuvenates appearance
- Provides padding for bony feet
Fat grafting process
The process of fat grafting involves three steps:
The amount of fat injected is measured in cc's and ultimately varies according to patient case specifics and the area of the body where the processed fat is being injected.
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