Patients routinely get fat grafts to the face, breast, and buttocks. However, some patients do not get the result they wanted because the fat graft did not ‘take.’ So, what happened? Why do fat grafts sometimes die or fail to take? In this post, I will explain one of the most important factors in creating a long-lasting fat graft. When the recipient tissue is normal, there really should be no need for a touch-up, or revision. Plastic surgeons have all of the tools they need to create a good fat graft on the first try!
Patients interested in having a procedure involving fat grafting should be familiar enough with the process to ask questions above and beyond the usual questions they might ask when consulting with plastic surgeons. The success of fat grafting is highly dependent on the skill and technique of the surgeon as well as the patient’s attention to detail and instructions during post-op. Here are 10 questions to arm yourself with prior to a consultation for any plastic surgery involving a fat transfer.
Fat grafts to the face are a great way to rejuvenate your face. As you age, your dermis thins, and your face will sag.You may lose volume in your cheeks and under your eyes. These areas appear to be hollow or not as defined as they were when you were younger. Additionally, some people have areas of their face lacking volume no matter what their age. Fat grafts will naturally fill those areas to restore your youthful appearance. Additionally, your own adipose fat contains adults stem cells. Adult stem cells have regenerative properties that can increase blood supply to your tissue and skin to make you look younger.
Find out why Dr. Rodriguez, a Yale trained Board Certified Plastic Surgeon, thinks fat grafting is a better technique for facial rejuvenation than laser resurfacing. Fat grafts have a population of naturally occurring adult stem cells which rejuvenate the ageing face.
The year 2010 ushers in a new decade where science , beauty, and your own fat make a marriage that promises to deliver one of the most disruptive medical technologies of the century. Dr. Ricardo Rodriguez, a Yale trained Plastic Surgeon believes that stem cells from your own fat will lead the cosmetic surgery trends.
Fat injections are long lasting if done correctly. That is my position and I stand by it! If you frequent various plastic surgery blogs, there is a big difference in the types of techniques that surgeons are using. Thus, there is a wide variation in their results, so many patients think that fat injections do not last. Fat injections are permanent if the following is done:
- correct technique of extraction and processing
- proper post surgical protocol for patient.
During the past decade, researchers have discovered that stem cells can also be extracted from your own fat tissue. These adult stem cells have the same potential as embryonic stem cells, except for the ability to differentiate into sperm or ova. Unlike embryonal stem cells, stem cells extracted from your own fat are abundant, easily available, and pose no ethical or political controversy.
Some of you may have read my posts on why I like to do Breast augmentation under IV sedation. I also do IV sedation for all major and combined procedures. Naturally, some patients are anxious because they don’t want to feel anything, but they are attracted to the idea of not undergoing general anesthesia. There is also some confusion as to what exactly is IV sedation. This is understandable because there are many levels of sedation. I will explain the different levels so you can make a more informed decision when discussing this with your surgeon or anesthesiologist. In cosmetic surgery, we often refer to the three distinct choices: local, IV or General anesthesia.
Your own fat has little fountains of youth built in. Dr. Rodriguez, Board Certified and Yale trained Plastic Surgeon, explains the role of stem cells in plastic surgery in his CosmeticSurg blog.
What can one do for bags under the eyes? For many years, patients would come to me asking to remove the bags under the eyelids, saying the bags made them look old and tired. I usually recommended a standard blepharoplasty or Eye lift. That involves making an incision right under the eyelashes, lifting skin and the muscle that is right under the skin. I would then remove the fat. It was the standard solution but it had several drawbacks.
Several people have asked me if fat grafts are permanent. They keep reading from other sources that fat grafts are not permanent or that they may need another procedure. In my experience, when done correctly, fat grafts are permanent, and I have yet to do a second procedure to add more fat in any of my patients. This is because of the way fat is harvested and the choice of sites for harvesting fat are crucial to the success of the Brazilian butt lift or any other fat injection procedure. In this blog entry I will detail how I harvest fat, process it, inject it, and care for the graft after surgery. In a subsequent entry I will describe how choice of harvest site matters.
Collagen, fascian, Restylane, etc., are wonderful options for tissue fillers, but their effect seems to be measured in months. If a patient repeats the procedure enough, the costs soon approach those of surgery. I found myself suggesting to more and more patients that they should just have surgery and make the result more permanent. Fat injections in the facial area do provide a longer lasting result than most fillers. However, fat injections are more of a surgical procedure rather than a quick injection. With fat injections, I use the patient’s own fat as a filler. The results can be dramatic and long lasting. Fat injections can be used in areas besides the face. I use a special type of fat injection is to fill out areas we never thought could benefit from large volume injections, such as the butt. I love doing fat injections, but there are a certain amount of pre and post op issues associated with it. So I look upon fat injections as a surgical procedure with a recovery time.
Most patients who come to my office don’t come in asking for a full facelift. Most come asking for a specific face procedure to “make them look younger”. If they are relatively young, they focus on the nasolabial folds the lines that go from the side of the nose to the corners of the lips). Or they may mention the lips, how they are getting thinner. If they are somewhat older, they will focus on the jawline and neck. I listen to them, because that is what they are concerned about, but then I have to ask: Do you want to look better to yourself or to others?