What To Do With That Annoying Fat?

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What To Do With That Annoying Fat?

-Win Pound, M.D.-

We live in America where being overweight is a problem. Although it is not intended as a weight loss procedure, liposuction is the number one plastic surgery operation performed in this country for body contouring. Once it is removed, what do we do with this fat?

In the past, fat was considered bad, something to be removed and discarded. Now, we find that fat is useful as a filler. After all, what could be better than to use your own tissue to add extra volume where it is needed? Once the transplanted fat cells grow new blood supply, the results are permanent, unlike fillers that are bought by the syringe and need to be replenished periodically.

Transplanted fat is very fragile material and needs to be pampered while it adjusts to its new home. Patients need to avoid putting pressure on transplanted fat or subjecting it to movement. Even under the best of circumstances, only about half of the transplanted fat can be expected to survive. The rest will simply be re-absorbed. Sometimes a second or even a third procedure may be required in order to get the desired results. In some instances, fat can be frozen for later injection, however, this fat has less chance of surviving than freshly harvested fat.

Fat is good for smoothing out deep depressions in the face or simply adding volume to an aging face that has lost volume over the years. It is also useful in producing fuller, more lustrous lips. More recently, fat has been used in larger amounts to augment the breasts and buttocks. Previously, large amounts of fat were difficult to transplant and would liquify and go away or harden, forming firm knots. With improved treatment of the fat cells, this risk has been decreased significantly.

In sum, what was once bad is now good. Fat that was once thrown away has now been proven to be a very useful and versatile filler material.

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Atlanta Plastic Surgeon