Fat Storage After Liposuction?

Can the excess fat that is withdrawn from my back following a liposuction procedure be saved for future cosmetic procedures? http://www.dailymail.co.uk/femail/article-2037819/Plastic-surgeon-opens-bank-save-fat-removed-liposuction-future-cosmetic-procedures.html

Doctor Answers 9

Good data is lacking about safety or efficacy of Fat Storage.

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The valid scientific literature shows that the current standard methods for storage of fat in office or ambulatory surgical facilities are inadequate to preserve unctioning fat cells for reinjection. In addition there are multitude of potential problems: maintaining sterility, the increased potential complication of infection, and the possibility of mislabeling and erroneously injecting someone else’s fat into a patient.

Collecting and storage of tissue, including fat, for later procedures falls under the FDA Code of Federal
Regulations 21 CFR1271.15 that requires special licensing as a tissue bank. Almost all of the offices that
currently offer fat freezing are not licensed in this manner and are in violation of the FDA.

There are a few licensed fat banking centers that offer this service, but there are many unanswered
questions. To name a few: safety of storage, reliability and safety of transport back and forth of the
fat, whether defrosting the specimen destroys the cells, what is the ongoing cost and reliability of the
storage, will these start-up banking centers remain in business long term?

As techniques improve, it may offer a possible realistic option, but it is currently not recommended.

La Jolla Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 22 reviews

Fat storage after lipo - No Way

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I can not understand why there are doctors out there actually promote this.  The fat cannot be stored in a room temperature or refrigerator, it must be stored in a special environment to prevent cell death. The second major problems comes from defrosting the fat in a way to prevent rupture of the cells.  So you might as well be injecting debris as opposed to healthy fat immediately harvested.  I am also concerned about the sterility and the fact that storage of fat no creates a tissue bank.  In some states you need separate licensing for tissue banking.  If you want lipoinject, have the fat harvested and immediately injected.

Fat Storage after Liposuction

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Thanks for your question.

Storage of fat after Liposuction should only be  done in specialized and certified facility.

Fat that is stored at room temperature or in freezer should not be used as it most likely devitalized.

best wishes,

Dr. Sajjadian

Ali Sajjadian, MD, FACS
Orange County Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 205 reviews

The Fat storage should be done in liquid nitrogen

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The storage of the fat at the freezer will destroy all the fat cell because of the crystal formation during the freezing process. The correct way to store the fat is the same way the embryo and other tissue are stored. There are certified centers that offer this service. The process cost about $1600/year.

Kamran Khoobehi, MD
New Orleans Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 154 reviews

Fat storage after liposuction

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Fat  storage after liposuction at least in the studies I have read have not seemed to be reliable in terms of using viable fat later on. In addition, there is a risk that the fat from one patient gets accidentally used for another patient.

Steven Wallach, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon
4.2 out of 5 stars 30 reviews

Fat storage after liposuction

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Great question. I was just contacted by a former resident of mine, who then became an OB, who is working for a startup firm storing fat after liposuction. I suspect that they are marketing the service to the public. However, I agree with my colleagues that this is neither advisable nor proven by independent clinical studies and would not participate in such an endeavor. There are too many concerns about the storage process, the effect of defrosting on the fat cells and the viability of their subsequent reinjection.

Fat Removed After Liposuction Cannot Be Saved For Further Use

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There have been recent reports that some surgeons are freezing fat removed after liposuction for potential use in the future, but this is definetly outside the standard of care and not recommended.  The problem is that in freezing that fat cells to an acceptable level to preserve them, most of them will die as the frozen cell wall bursts due to the change in structure.  That means that of that fat that is re-injected at a later date, most will not be viable.  There is a great deal of investigation going on at this time to see what can be done in these areas, but as of right now it is not advisable.  I hope this helps. 

Storage of Fat Following Liposuction

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While some surgeons do freeze fat following liposuction for future uses, this is not common practice or really the standard of care.  

Fat transfer is a relatively new area in plastic surgery and is still under a great deal of investigation.  While there is no one commonly accepted and scientifically proven best method of harvesting and transfering fat, most practitioners agree that freezing fat is not advisable.  The freezing process kills a significant number of fat cells, likely increasing the complication rates associated with later transfer.

In my practice, I only use freshly harvested fat for transfer.

Jaime Perez, M.D.

Liposuction and Fat Transfer Specialist in Tampa, FL

Plastic Surgery Center of Tampa, FL

Jaime Perez, MD
Tampa Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 81 reviews

Yes, fat may be stored by freezing the fat.

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Fat can be frozen and stored for future fat transfer.  This is a common procedure even though there is some controversy regarding the viability of frozen vs. fresh fat.

Mark Taylor, MD
Salt Lake City Dermatologic Surgeon
4.2 out of 5 stars 18 reviews

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.