Although people think that all cosmetic surgeries have as main objective remove all the fat tissue, it is not completely true. There is a very common technique called fat grafting, fat injection or autologous fat transfer, which has as objective using the fat from some areas of the body (like the abdomen and thighs) to fill other parts of the body that may look with some lack of volume (like the face, hands, butt, and breasts).
The fat transfer is a more common procedure every day because it allows improving the aspect of two (or more) parts of the body with the same procedure at the time that offers other advantages.
The experts recommend undergoing a fat transfer procedure when the patient wants to fill some parts of the body but obtaining a more natural and permanent correction than the provided by temporary fillers. Likewise, using the patient's fat as a filler is safer because the patient will not have the side effects that may appear using external fillers, like allergic reactions or contraction of some infections (like HIV or hepatitis).
The use of fat in cosmetic surgery is especially recommended in the following cases:
- Patients with creased and sunken areas of the face.
- Patients who wish to hide scars and rejuvenate his/her hands.
- To increase the volume of the breasts or the butt without using artificial implants, or even as a complement of the implants because the fat allows smoothing the edges of the breast or butt implants.
The 3 Steps Procedure for The Use of Fat
To use the fat in any cosmetic procedure it is necessary to perform a three steps procedure, including fat extraction, fat preparation and fat re-injection. It is often performed as an outpatient procedure and it is not necessary using a specialized operating room.
The first step (or fat extraction) consists in extracting by liposuction the excess of fat tissue in some part of the body (called the donor site). The most common donor sites are the abdomen, buttocks, arms, hips, and thighs, but it always depends on the patient's physical characteristics.
The surgeon will perform a very slight liposuction to collect the required amount of fat cells that will be used as fill.
The second step is the preparation and isolation of the obtained fat cells. This step is determinant in the quality of the result, so the plastic surgeon must be very careful while performing it.
The obtained fat tissue is processed in a centrifuge and decanted to separate the liquid and the natural contaminants (such as damaged cells and rests of blood vessels walls). The intact, without damage and clean fat cells are selected to be used in the fat transfer.
The last step is the fat re-injection, which consists of injecting the selected fat cells in the parts of the patient's body that need to be corrected (eliminating volume imperfections) or to create a new contour.
As always, the patient must visit a qualified plastic surgeon to achieve the best results of the procedure. Likewise, only a qualified surgeon can extract, process, and re-inject the fat tissue without producing damage in the patient's appearance or health.
Last update 2nd of January 2017