This is for a facial fat transfer.
Does Freezeing Fat for a 2nd Fat Transfer Work or All the Cells Usually Dead ?
Doctor Answers (9)
Fat transfer is a very technique dependant procedurefor it to be successfull.
Fat is very sensitive tissue and can not be stored for later use with our present technology.
Best storage place is your body
Freezing fat has not been effective for augmentation. In my experience the faster the fat is implanted the better the results.
I do not know of any labs doing this with FDA approval. Thank you for your question and good luck with everything.
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Using Fat that was stored in the freezer...
Having fat injections is a great non-invasive procedure to smooth out that the nasolabial folds. Your doctor will take out your fat and then process it for your first injection and then freezer storage. Fat stays "fresh" in the freezer for one year so enough is taken out to use throughout the year. Subsequent injections are normally done every 8-10 weeks. After each injection your fat will build up more and more to create a long lasting result, smoothing out the folds over the year. Make an appointment with your plastic surgeon to see if you are a candidate for this procedure.
Advise Against Freezing Fat for Transfer
Fat grafting has revolutionized facial and breast reshaping. Critical to this process is harvesting the fat. Our approach to fat harvesting turns the operating room into a laboratory. The fat is harvested with a low pressure system. A centrifuge is then used to separate the fat from its contaminants. This harvested fat is then further processed in order to improve the likelihood that the grafted fat will survive. In our experience, when the fat is frozen and injected at a later date, its viability is compromised. I would advise against freezing fat for later transfer.
Freezing fat for grafting at a later date
Freezing fat does not give good results. If any fat does survive (which is unlikely without a -70 freezer) it would be at a much lower percentage. A volume effect can be achieved with non-viable fat cells, but it will be temporary and may result in significant calcifications and/or oil cysts. I do not recommend storing fat at this time. We may develop a reliable way to store fat for grafting in the future, but one does not exist today.
Don't freeze fat
Fat transfer is an excellent technique to naturally augment your facial features with your own tissue. I do not save fat cells for second use nor do I recommend freezing fat cells. Patients may require a second or third fat grafting session for optimal results and the fat should be harvested at each session for best graft take.
Frozen Fat Works
Fat-grafting is a great way to naturally improve areas where we need a little more volume. Fat is delicate and a living substance. When it is transferred, it has to re-establish a blood supply in order to survive. Before this happens, a portion of the fat is re-absorbed by the body. Typically 30% to 50% is re-absorbed. Suprisingly, frozen fat can be used for grafting. Survival is not quite as good as the first time around, but survival has been shown. There is some debate as to whether the fat cells survive or whether the stem cells discovered amongst the harvested fat develop into new fat cells or a combination of the two occurs.
To freeze or not to freeze
Fat grafting is a wonderful procedure that can have significant rejuveative effects on the face. It requires expert care and delicate treatment in order to achieve great, consistent result. Because of this I am not a fan of storing fat for a second treatment. Take as much as you need and if and when more is needed harvest some more. Storing the fat outside the body puts you at risk for less fat survival, but also for potential infection.
All the best.
Dr Remus Repta
These answers are for educational purposes and should not be relied upon as a substitute for medical advice you may receive from your physician. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911. These answers do not constitute or initiate a patient/doctor relationship.