Blog posts in category "Fat Grafting"
Fat grafting is one of the hottest topics in plastic surgery right now. It sounds great - get liposuction, remove that fat that bugs you, and get the benefit of a natural filler substance that feels great, requires no allergy testing, and can never be rejected. But there is a problem for some would be patients. They aren’t fat enough!
Fat grafting has exploded in popularity recently. In 2010, the number of fat grafting procedures increased by more than 26% over 2009 (ASAPS 2010 survey results). And why not? If you need an area plumped up, your own fat won’t be rejected by your body and has the added benefit of getting a little liposuction done at the same time.
So, are the recent claims true? That banking your fat for the future allows you to access your youthful cells even as you continue to age true? How exactly do you save your fat for the future? And what are the boring, dreary, geeky details related to it? I will stand at the lecture podium and tell you! And don’t nod off!
- How to harvest fat?
- How to freeze fat?
- What to freeze it in?
- How long will it last while frozen?
- How viable is it after you thaw it out and stick it inside me?
How to harvest fat?
It’s important to harvest the fat gently, with liposuction. There isn’t any documented research on how forcefully to suction it out, the optimal diameter of the liposuction cannulae, or any other surgical details. However, you generally do not want too much heat or too much trauma, because many surgeons believe that this will cause the fat cells to break up.
How to freeze fat?
Unfortunately, it’s going to be a little bit more complex and more expensive than just throwing your fat into a Coleman cooler before taking it home to your Whirlpool deep freezer. Fat cells need to be frozen in a controlled, careful and gradual process. There are several protocols, and to my extensive literature review, there’s not really a single protocol that’s too much better than another one - yet.
What to freeze it in?
There are several chemicals which have been shown to increase fat cell viability. Your fat should be preserved in these chemicals to get the most long-term viability after your frozen fat has been thawed out. The chemical names include DSMO and others.
I don’t think the question of whether these chemicals are actually safe for you, even in very tiny concentrations, has ever been addressed. When I liposuction fat and then immediately reinject it into the patient’s body, the only chemicals I use are numbing medicine and saline solution. Both of these liquids have a long, strong history of safety in the human body, and both have been shown to be processed and metabolized in the human body.
How long will it last while frozen?
It’s unclear exactly how long fat cells will last when they are frozen. Most studies have investigated fat viability in terms of months and not years. I am not aware of any study that is statistically significant that has looked at fat cell viability after, say, 5-10 years.
How viable is it after you thaw it out and stick it inside me?
Again, this is a bit nebulous. Animal studies show that “most” fat remains viable, with percentages ranging from 50% up to 90%. But these studies vary wildly depending on how old the fat is, what chemicals were used to store the fat, etc.
Banking your fat for future use is a nice idea, but its effectiveness and safety has not been fully evaluated. In the meantime, we’ve all got plenty of fresh fat at our disposal.
If you'd like more information on Fat Grafting, please contact Caroline, our Patient Care Coordinator. She can be reached at 415 362 1846 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Please feel free to leave any questions or comments below.
How a Plastic Surgery Face Lift Can Help You Look More Youthful and Vigorous
Gone are the days of plastic surgery face lifts that made patients look like they had just taken a ride in a convertible F-16 fighter jet. When people think feel nervous or anxious about how they will look after facelift surgery, they usually have a mental picture of a “bad” celebrity facelift. Think Kenny Rogers, Rupert Everett, Joan Rivers, Donatella Versace, etc. What most patients don’t realize is just how many celebrities have had great face lifts. That’s because the results are natural and leave them looking amazing instead of….well, weird.
Before considering a plastic surgery facelift, it’s important to find a facial plastic surgeon that specializes in facelift surgery and the newest face lift techniques. I can create a customized plan for you, including alternatives to a traditional plastic surgery face lift such as a “weekend facelift” or a “mini-lift” (keep reading to see if you might be a good candidate for these less invasive procedures).
Most patients will need a combination of treatments, but the following list might help you understand which treatments will .
Common symptoms of aging and which cosmetic treatments might best treat them:
Symptom: Forehead wrinkles
Symptom: Wrinkles between the eyebrows, also called glabella lines
Symptom: Cheeks not as full, fat that used to be on the cheek slides down the face
Treatment: Dermal filler, fat grafting and/or face lift depending on severity
Symptom: Jowling or loose skin along the jawline
Treatment: Neck lift and/or liposuction
Symptom: Hollow looking eyes
Treatment: Dermal filler, fat grafting and/or face lift depending on severity
Symptom: Eyebrow position too low
Treatment: Eye lift, also known as brow lift
Symptom: Loose skin in the upper and lower eyelid areas
Treatment: Eye lift, often in combination with a full face lift
Symptom: Loose skin around the neck
Treatment: Neck lift
Symptom: Double chin, extra fat under the chin
Symptom: Deep nasolabial folds, the lines running from the corners of the nose to the corners of the mouth (also called smile lines or parentheses)
Treatment: Dermal filler, fat grafting and/or face lift
Symptom: Sun damage, dark spots and sun spots on the skin or melsasma (dark skin blotching) from pregnancy
Treatment: Intense Pulsed Light (IPL), chemical peels, laser resurfacing
When to consider a “weekend” face lift? And At what Age?
Keeping in mind that a “weekend” face lift is not really a face lift, you should consider it when you have no “major” signs of aging and will be happy with subtle results.
A weekend face lift, also known as a liquid face lift, is clever marketing to help convince some patients that dramatic results can be achieved with no scar, no recovery and no significant price tag. In reality, it is simply the use of non-surgical facial fillers, Botox and laser resurfacing to achieve a younger look. It can be a great alternative for those patients who are younger than 40-45 years of age, don’t have the resources for a traditional face lift, or don’t have the time for a 7-10 day recovery.
When to consider a mini face lift? And at what Age?
A mini face lift (not a real medical term, but rather a reference to the length of the incision) is a good option for patients who don’t have much loose skin and who don’t need a neck lift. It can usually be performed in an office or operating room without the need for general anesthesia, and it offers a quicker recovery time.
Unfortunately, most people are not candidates for a mini facelift. They usually have more skin than the procedure can accommodate, they also need a neck lift, or they need more adjustment to their SMAS (superficial musculo-aponeurotic system) than can be accomplished with a mini lift. Typical candidates are 45-55 years old.
When to consider a plastic surgery face lift? And at what Age?
If your skin needs tightened and your face requires more fullness in your cheek and eye areas or if your neck and chin are sagging, you should consider a plastic surgery face lift. If your symptoms can’t be significantly improved or have a long-lasting result with diet and exercise or less invasive procedures, you should consider a plastic surgery face lift. Typical face lift patients are 45-65 years old. The benefits of a plastic surgery face lift are many, but the biggest reward is a youthful and vigorous appearance that is natural and long-lasting.
If you have any comments or questions, feel free to leave them below.
ASAPS's annual meeting was in Washington, DC, this past weekend. ASAPS stands for American Society of Aesthetic Plastic Surgery/ www.surgery.org, and as far as I can tell, it's one of the world's largest aesthetic surgery meetings in the world.
Juvederm and other dermal fillers typically come in syringes. 1 syringe holds 0.8 cc of Juvederm. When I inject various folds of the face and body, I usually think in terms of syringes- how many does my patient need to fill the area to his/ her satisfaction?
What is a facelift? To you versus a plastic surgeon, there may be a big difference! To me, a facelift is a surgical procedure to tighten the structures under the face and the skin over the face. The face is defined as the area of the cheeks, the mouth, and in front of the ears.