Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Fat Injection – A boon for the Plastic Surgeon

Fat Injection - Boon for the Plastic Surgeon

This procedure is also known as Fat Injection, Autologous Fat Transfer, Lipo-filling and a few other names.

Plastic Surgery procedure to remove unwanted fat and improve body shape use suction based techniques – called as liposuction. This led to the idea of using the same fat in another area that has become flat or sunken over the years. This is how fat transfer/injection came into being.

Autologous Fat Transfer involves using/taking fat from one part of your body in, a delicate way, to improve dull looking areas – dull due to thinning, flattening or just simple decrease in size. Most common areas where this is useful includes the face, back of the hand and buttocks – the very areas where the sunken looks suggest advancing age. 


sunken cheeks giving an 'old dull look' to an otherwise young lady

Old look to hand with veins visible all over

Autologous Fat Transfer has become an established medical procedure for volume augmentation.At present, this technique is considered to have an unrivaled potential for restoring a fuller, more youthful look.

However, sometimes the fat doesn't remain in the injected area, but is slowly absorbed by the body and the benefit of injection may decrease. In short, the initial outcome appears to be a success, but it doesn't stay the same for long.

Fortunately, newer advances in this procedure use the new technique of stem cell therapy and has shown to yield better results. In this method fat is still taken from elsewhere in the body but is now combined with stem cells. Moreover, technical refinements have led to a much more consistently successful technique that can provide a gradual, controlled restoration of the youthful shapes of the face and other parts of the body.

The other great advantages of course that the material transferred being from your own body, it is perfectly well tolerated in the long-term.

Fat transfer can be done under either general or local anaesthesic depending on the extent of the area to be treated. During the procedure the surgeon uses a thin needle called a cannula to harvest cells from a fat-rich area of your body like the abdomen or hips. The fat cells are then centrifuged (processed) to separate intact cells from those that have been damaged. The live fat cells are then injected into the areas to be treated using a very fine cannula and multiple passes for every milliliter of graft.
Appearance of aspirated fat before (R) and after processing (L)
In the face, the cheeks and lips can be significantly improved by this procedure, just as with the back of the hand, as seen in the pictures below. Recently this procedure has been used even for the buttocks and breasts, where large volumes of fat need to be transferred. 

Note the improvement in the upper lip position following fat injection. The lady was unhappy with her thin lips. chin correction with implant was also done at the same time.

 Sequential images to show the dramatic benefit to the cheek area in an Indian Lady

Improved appearance of back of hand to restore an youthful look

Dramatic change in bust line and body figure by Fat Injection to Breast.
Thus, Fat injection procedure is a simple safe and extremely natural way to achieve subtle changes in shape of body parts, that can not only be dramatic and cost - effective but also long lasting. Being simple with minimal downtime, it can be done as a day care procedure on most occasions.