Good Fat vs. Bad Fat... And How They Affect Your Appearance


Mixed messages about diet, exercise, and skincare are everywhere. But one thing is clear: Fat is always the enemy, right?


Contrary to popular belief, fat is the key to a youthful looking face and body. However, fat has to be in the right place and in the right amounts. The presence or the lack of fat in different areas of the body and face often determines what makes us look old, and what gives us a youthful appearance. There are several solutions to effectively reduce fat in unwanted areas, or to move fat to naturally fill areas that need more volume.

Good Fat vs. Bad Fat:

For many plastic surgery procedures, reaching an ideal weight greatly enhances the final result. Operations such as breast reduction, breast augmentation, tummy tuck, liposuction and even a facelift are positively impacted by weight loss prior to surgery and maintenance afterward. Liposuction is not a weight loss tool, and if weight loss is planned and or desired, it is best to try to reach that goal prior to surgery. When weight loss is accomplished, your surgical results will be improved.

Although weight loss can help reduce unwanted fat and increase health, many people have at least one area where fat is stubbornly resistant. Men may have excess deposits in their chest (gynecomastia), waist area, and buttocks. Women will usually carry extra fat in their breasts, hips, waist, and thighs. Liposuction or other methods of non-invasive fat reduction can manage these areas.

Do you still have unwanted bulges even when you are at your “skinny” weight? Many times it comes down to genetics. If you still can't get rid of your problem areas, no matter how many miles you've put on the treadmill or how many desserts you have skipped, then liposuction may be right for you.

Liposuction is one of the most popular cosmetic surgeries in the United States. This procedure can rid you of those hard-to-lose pockets of fat in your buttocks, thighs, abdomen, upper arms, or back. Note that smaller areas such as the neck or “double chin,” bra rolls, and lower legs can also be well managed by liposuction.

The right candidates can also benefit from body contouring with minimally invasive or non-surgical procedures. For those who qualify, fat can be melted away with the minimally invasive radiofrequency procedure, ThermiTight. ThermiTight also results in a tightening of the overlying skin of the treated area. ThermiSmooth is a non-surgical option that can effectively “smooth out” areas that have excess fat, cellulite, or even wrinkles.

So, we've lost weight, removed excess fat with liposuction, melted away fat and tightened skin with ThermiTight, and smoothed out fat, cellulite, and wrinkles with ThermiSmooth. So where does the GOOD fat come in?

Fat transfer is popular as a body contouring solution because it acts as a natural filler. It's also commonly combined with other procedures to fine-tune results. During fat transfer, unwanted fat is removed via liposuction, and this same fat is then redistributed to areas of the body that need more volume. Fat that is BAD for one area can be repurposed as GOOD fat for another area. For example, an aging face can benefit from transferring a small amount of fat to areas that have sunken. Choosing to transfer fat to your breasts or opting for a Brazilian butt lift (fat transfer to the buttocks) will result in new assets that are truly all your own.

Article by
Fayetteville Facial Plastic Surgeon