You might hate your love handles or the muffin top but believe it or not all your unwanted flab is laced with a potential to bring forth youth and beauty. Yup you heard it right, your unsightly spare tires can come in handy any time to buoy up your mission to defy aging or simply to enhance your facial/body contours when you feel like fitting-in perfectly with the mold called the “Golden Ratios Of Beauty”. Fat grafting is a simple procedure where we take fat from an area where it is unwanted and graft/inject into an area where you need volume or contouring. In the recent years the procedure has seen a sharp rise in demand as natural vs. artificial choices are becoming popular with the aesthetic consumers.
A Short Recountal Of “Fat Transferring”
The first evidence of fat transfer was recorded in the 18th century, but it never became widely accepted until modern liposuction techniques were developed. Too many complications as well as unpredictable results (how much fat would “live” after the transfer) prevented the procedure from gaining mass acceptability. The trend began to change when in the early 1990’s Dr. Sydney Coleman, a New York City based Plastic Surgeon, began publishing papers describing standardized techniques for fat extraction, processing, and injection. Since that point in time the procedure’s popularity has increased tremendously along with a wider variety of clinical applications.
Currently aesthetic surgeons around the world agree that fat grafting is an ace up any surgeon’s sleeve and in aesthetic inner circles we lovingly call it liquid gold.
The Grafting Process
The process of fat grafting involves three steps: extraction of the fat from the donor area with liposuction, cleaning/processing of the fat, and finally reinjection of the purified fat into the area needing improvement. Fat is taken from the donor area (stomach, hips, and thighs) using special liposuction techniques with thin cannulas. The fat is either “decanted” or “washed” to separate out the viable adipose fat cells to be used in the graft. Depending on the areas to be injected it can take anywhere from 30 minutes to 2 hours to complete the procedure.
Common Areas of Fat Grafting
Simply put, fat can be used anywhere dermal fillers or implants would be used. Previously neglected areas including women and men’s shoulders, breast, pectorals, hips, legs and stomachs can be easily injected to create definition.
I mostly use it for facial rejuvenation to restore a more youthful appearance by adding volume to the areas below the eyes or nasolabial folds, cheeks, nose, temples, lips, jawline and even the forehead. Breasts are the new frontier; the breast size can be enhanced by one or two cup sizes using fat. It can also correct breast symmetry, repair radiation damage and correct deformities from lumpectomies or breast reconstruction. The demand for buttock enhancement, also known as a Brazilian Butt Lift is skyrocketing with a reported 84% increase in 2015. Buttock augmentation can change the size and shape of the buttock while sculpting the hip-waist ratio for a more feminine (or masculine) silhouette. Hand rejuvenation is becoming more popular to not only plump up the volume and padding on the hand, but also improve the texture and appearance of the skin.
How Long Does The Results Last?
Fat over time has proven itself to be truly a versatile material that allows us to reframe and reshape different body parts with long lasting results. Looking at fat distribution in body and how it changes over time one interesting fact has been lime lighted through research - as we age we lose fat from hands, face, breast and buttock but we don’t lose it where we want to lose it from– waist, inner outer leg and love handles. This fact works to our advantage to remove fat from where it will never disappear and put it where we need it. As research has backed the fact that fat cells follow a certain genetic predisposition and the fat taken from these new areas should live forever.
High Demand, Few Experts
It is important to note that extracting fat is a very technique dependent procedure. Applying the fat is the ultimate artistic procedure. Demand is high, but the results vary from one injector to another. Few practitioners are considered experts, so it is critical if you’re considering the procedure done choose doctor with the experience, training and eye of a sculptor. In my humble opinion a conservative approach involving delicate handling of fat while extracting and multiple fat grafting sessions over several months gives the best results.