Ask a doctor

Is Water Assisted Lipo Better for Breast Fat Transfer Survival?

Hi I have read that Water Assisted Lipo helps fat to survive better than Smart Lipo for Breast Fat Transfer. Is this true? Also, does the addition of stem cell or PRP also help? Or do none of these things really matter. Thank you for your time!!

Doctor Answers (3)

The Liposuction Machine is not NEARLY as important as who's using it on you...

+1

Hi there-

While I definitely think that the water-jet based liposuction technique you ask about is better for harvesting fat that is intended to be grafted than any laser based device, there is a larger point to make...

With regard to the machines, remember that any laser is going to kill the fat cells. This is why it would be my LAST choice. The water based suction unit would be my second choice, but even better would be a more physiologic (more natural) fluid based suction technique using saline solution or lactated ringer's (tumescent technique). Water, because it does not have the same electrolyte balance that is in the fluid inside of our cells, can cause the cells to burst as the internal elements of the cell are flooded with the water used...

Bottom line- if you want the most fat cells to survive, I think water-jet is better than laser, but the best is probably a technique using a more physiologic fluid like saline or lactated ringer's.

The even larger issue here, however, is that I wouldn't want you to get lost in the details of the technique and not realize that WHO you allow to do the procedure on you, and their training, credentials, experience, ethics, and morals are going to have an infinitely greater effect on your outcome and experience than which machine they prefer.

Stated differently- If you choose the right surgeon, in the right way, the details of the technique will never be anything you need to concern yourself with.

Finally, I would feel irresponsible if I did not also point out to you that grafting of fat into healthy breasts is still extremely controversial in the plastic surgery community. While it is generally accepted that women who have had their breasts removed for treatment of cancer are acceptable candidates for this procedure, as recently as a few months ago, The American Society of Plastic Surgeons published a position piece in which significant concerns were raised and caution expressed about the use of this technique to augment healthy breasts. This is because it is still not clear that scar tissue within the breasts that results from the fat grafting procedure can be distinguished from the signs of cancer that we look for on mammograms.

Therefore the risk is that in the future, some of the women who have undergone fat grafting to make their breasts prettier will have to deal with the stress and trauma of (at least until it is proven otherwise) thinking they have breast cancer- when really they just have scar tissue from their fat grafting procedure.

In this critical detail, fat grafting to the breasts is fundamentally different than grafting to the face for improvement of wrinkles or to the buttocks for shape enhancement- the fact is that every year, 1 in 8 women is diagnosed with breast cancer in the United States... we do not have the same problem with facial cancer or buttocks cancer.

I would be very careful about this- implants are not perfect, and there is no doubt that they require maintenance. But at least with implants, we clearly have proven that they do not increase the incidence of breast cancer, they do not lower our ability to find it, or treat it, or survive it. These are critical differences.


Orlando Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 102 reviews

Water jet can give good quality fat for fat transfer

+1

The fat that been treated with laser lipo(smart lipo) is not good for fat grafting because of the lipolysis. The Fat that harvested by the water jet system is good quality and can be used for the fat grafting to the breast. The main issue for the fat grafting to the breast is the surgeon's experience and his/her technique of harvesting,preparing and injection. The other main issue is the patient selection and indications for the fat grafting. I would suggest that you do your homework. I have started a fat grafting course to exchange ideas and teach techniques fatgraftforum.com

Kamran Khoobehi, MD
New Orleans Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 56 reviews

Water assisted fat injections

+1

The jury is still out on the effects of PRP with fat cells, and the studies on whether stem cells help are being done right now. To claim at the present time that they help is extremely premature and just hype. As to water assisted liposuction fat being better for fat injections, it is true that as much blood should be removed from the fat prior to injection so it might save you some time if that is your intent.

Julio Garcia, MD
Las Vegas Plastic Surgeon
4.0 out of 5 stars 6 reviews

You might also like...

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.