The New Autologous Fat Grafting Techniques and "Butt Cheeks"

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A New Meaning to “Butt Cheeks”

I’d like to start out with a “Mia Culpa” from the Plastic Surgery community. Until recently, the industry standard was to tighten loose facial skin. Although this eradicated the wrinkles, it often led to a wind-blown, stretched, and sometimes unnatural appearing result. After re-examining our results, we found that the problem wasn’t all due to gravity, gradually over the years sagging the skin, but also a loss of volume and structural support of the facial tissues. We found as a person ages, muscle, fat, and bone are gradually lost from one’s face. A great analogy about the aged face is wearing a size 6 dress (skin) on what is now only a size 4 body (face). It’s now perfectly clear how to correct this problem. You need to replace the lost volume, to get back to that size 6 body so the dress fits properly.

There are several ways to replace volume. Dermal fillers such as Restylane, Juvederm, Radiesse, and Perlane are routinely used to fill in the smiles lines (parenthesis), enhance lips, tear troughs and sagging cheeks. These are great for people needing up to about 5 cc of correction. The problem is; What if you need 10, 20, or even 40 cc of volume correction. It becomes cost prohibitive to use the dermal fillers commercially available. Also, what if you want a long lasting result? Most fillers will last 1 year or 18 months maximum. There is now a very viable alternative, using your own fat, which will last the rest of your lifetime.
Autologous fat grafting is the term used for moving fat from one part of your body to another. The concept is not new, but the process has finally been perfected. Previous methods of harvesting the fat resulted in damaging the fat to the point that there was only 20-30% viability. Not only were most of the fat cells dead, the harvested solution also contained old blood and connective tissue which would ultimately be digested by the body upon its injection and not contribute to any correction . To compensate for the low yield of fat, the physician had to over-correct by 20-50% during the initial correction. These patients would look swollen for weeks, until the body’s immune system degraded the extraneous tissue, leaving only the healthy grafted fat cells. Most of the process was left up to chance – How much of the transferred material was going to ultimately take?
With the latest techniques, Body-Jet using German Technology, the harvested fat is free from impurities, and 90% viable. Body-Jet’s gentle water assisted liposuction collects the fat with its integrated “Lipocollector”. There is no need to manipulate the fat with centrifuging or other separation techniques, which can destroy viable fat cells, because there is no associated blood or other tissue with the fat. The fat can be taken from the abdomen, thighs, or love handles in a 30-45 minute procedure under local anesthesia and there is minimal to no pain. When injecting Body-Jet harvested fat, the patient’s swelling is minimal, because there is no need to over-correct. Also, the body doesn’t have to degrade non viable or other tissue, which results in less post procedure swelling as well.

A recent discovery has found that fat cells have a very high concentration of stem cells. So when injecting fat into the face, the skin and surrounding tissues will get the added benefit of rejuvenation from these age defying cells.

Other than the face, fat has become a nice volumizer for the hands, buttocks, and even breasts. Natural breast augmentation with fat results in about 1 to 1.5 cup size enhancements. About 400-500cc of fat are required for breast augmentation, so a svelte female is not a candidate.

Due to recent technological advancements, we are entering a new era of facial, body, and breast volumization with autologous fat. We are just now exploring the benefits of Adipose Derived Stem Cells (ADSC) and that frontier might further elucidate techniques for prolonging beauty and youthfulness.
 

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Panama City Facial Plastic Surgeon