Smart Lipo Fat Transferred to Breast

I had Smart Lipo a few days ago on my thigh and lower abdomen area, then had the fat transferred to my breasts. I asked the nurse the day before if the fat was liquified because I had heard that wasn't good for fat transfer, and she assured me it wasn't and that it would be mixed with my plasma and injected. Now I'm reading things that are starting make me doubt my decision. Should I be worried??

Doctor Answers 12

Fat grafting with Smart Lipo ? Bad idea.

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I think most surgeons in the 'fat grafting community' would agree that the principle of minimally traumatic fat harvesting is a good idea. The use of laser lipolysis for fat harvesting defies this principle. Perhaps your surgeon used a gentler suction method to procure fat prior to contouring your body with Smart Lipo. Perhaps not.

SmartLipo and Fat Grafting

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Fat harvested after SmartLipo (or any Laser assisted Lipo) is not of as good quality.  To remedy this, in my practice I harvest the fat first and then return to the area and treat with the laser which works well.  Even if the fat was treated first with SmartLipo, it is likely that the vast majority of the cells recovered where still viable, since the laser only destroys a relatively small percentage of the cells in the treated area.  I'm sure you will still have an adequate result.

Leif Rogers, MD, FACS
Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 26 reviews

INjecting SmartLipo removed fat is imprudent and worthless

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It is rare to have a unanimous consensus in plastic surgery - but you just did and the answer, therefore, should be quite clear. If the "fat" that was injected into your breast was the fat that was treated with SmartLipo - you were injected with nonviable, destroyed cells. This in essence means that this was an unnecessary, imprudent and worthless procedure - at best.

Was this performed by a board certified plastic surgeon or someone just attempting to perform cosmetic surgery?

Steven Turkeltaub, MD
Scottsdale Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 33 reviews

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Smart lipo fat transfer

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your body will probably resorb the material that was placed.  however it also may become hard or cause infection.  not a great idea

Jonathan Saunders, MD
Newark Plastic Surgeon

SmartLipo fat used for grafting is DEAD and will not work as living graft.

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SmartLipo works by utilizing laser energy to disrupt (rupture the cell membrane) the fat cells, allowing the lipid "slurry" to be easily aspirated via small cannulas. The laser energy is said to be "strong enough" to stimulate subdermal collagen synthesis and contracture, "tightening" the overlying skin. The latter may be bunk, since there is a very fine line between skin tightening and creating scar, but destroying fat cells is "how" SmartLipo works. If you doubt it check out SmartLipo's website (link listed below) which describes how the laser energy "liquefies" and "actually ruptures fat cells," which means that any of this "oily, liquid substance" that is transferred back into you is DEAD, and WILL NOT SURVIVE. It takes your body a while (weeks) to remove the dead transferred fat, more than enough time for the unscrupulous (or maybe just plain uninformed) doctor to abscond with your money! Look at your doctor's advertising about SmartLipo, or ask him how it works, and you will have the direct answer as to why grafting with SmartLipo aspirate is not the standard of care (by any specialty that practices liposuction).

You should ask for a refund for whatever you paid for the so-called fat transfer. BTW, mixing the dead fat with your plasma did not "revive" the ruptured cells! A complaint to the state medical board may also be in order--this is just plain wrong, and demeans what reputable surgeons do!

Richard H. Tholen, MD, FACS
Minneapolis Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 263 reviews

Smart Lipo Fat Transferred to Breast

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Most likely the harvested fat cells have lost their cellular integrity if  harvested with the smart lipo technique.

Hopefully the injected fat was harvested with the regular suction technique prior ro using the smart lipo.

Erel Laufer, MD
Dunedin Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 35 reviews

Smart Lipo fat is debris

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I am hoping that the fat that was injected into the breast was fat harvested by normal tumescent liposuction.  If it was fat harvested by "Smart Lipo" ( which I am not a fan of), all you did was inject debris and dead cells into the breast.  I am hoping that a board certified plastic surgeon would not perform that, but I doubt you will see any results a month down the road.  Good luck, but that procedure makes no sense to me.

Breast augmentation with injected fat

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This defies logic. The laser in SmartLipo destroys the fat cells which leak their contents and make liposuction easier. The fat removed would then contain more free fat outside cells and less intact fat cells. The goal of free fat grafting is to inject intact fat cells transferred from other areas of the body. Injecting fat that once was inside cells alone without any intact cells will give you a very temporary result. Mixing this fat outside of cells with plasma for re-injection makes even less sense.

It sounds like you are describing Selphyl. This involves taking a small sample of blood from the patient mixing it in a test tube to separate blood components, which takes about 20 minutes and then injecting some of the components into the area to be filled. Your body then makes collagen to fill the depression or fold. The process takes about 3 weeks from the date of injection to become visible. The advantage is no foreign material or animal derived chemicals are injected. It is supposed to last 12 or more months. It is designed to be a dermal filler and it would be difficult to produce the quantities necessary for breast enlargement.

If live intact fat cells are transferred each globule of fat injected must be quite small to increase survival and decrease the risk of complications.

My response to your question/post does not represent formal medical advice or constitute a doctor patient relationship. You need to consult with i.e. personally see a board certified plastic surgeon in order to receive a formal evaluation and develop a doctor patient relationship.

Aaron Stone, MD
Los Angeles Plastic Surgeon

Laser lipo fat is no good for transfer

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The whole point of using a laser as with Smart Lipo and other brands is to disrupt the fat cells and stimulate the collagen in the connective tissue through heat, which is also not good for the fat cells. Even without the use of lasers, the techniques for using fat for grafting to the breast are still being worked out. There are some results being reported that seem promising, but I haven't seen any on the use of fat from laser lipo and I have to admit it doesn't make a lot of sense to me.

Richard Baxter, MD
Seattle Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 59 reviews

Smart lipo fat transfer not a smart idea

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Many forms of liposuction including laser lipo such as Smart lipo will disrupt the fat cells and make them nonviable. Transfer of the aspirate mixed with your own 'plasma' into the breast is not a very smart idea as the material is not likely to contain living fat cells. Such a decision should not have been yours to make.

Best of luck,


Peter E. Johnson, MD
Chicago Plastic Surgeon
4.0 out of 5 stars 44 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.