Fat Transfer: What is it and why I should I want it!
Fat transfer is simply the removal of fat via liposuction from one area of the body and then transferring it to another area of the body. Fat for transfer is collected somewhat differently than standard liposuction. The fat is collected under lower pressure and we avoid using any lasers during it’s harvesting. It is then separated from the tumescent fluid or anesthetic fluid, and then is carefully under sterile conditions transferred into the desired areas of the body. Some uses of fat from fat transfer include fixing liposuction defects, breast fat transfer or natural breast augmentation, fat transfer to buttocks or Brazilian butt lift and facial fat transfer. Each of these that transfer areas requires different amounts of fat and different techniques to get the best results.
Fat Transfer: Stem Cells
The other thing to know about that transfer is that it contains a lot of stem cells. Stem cells are cells that can turn into any other cell of the body. These cells are the holy Grail of rejuvenation procedures as they can be turned into new skin, fat, bone et cetera. Fat also contains 500 times more stem cells than the most common source which is bone marrow. Bone marrow stem cell harvesting is very difficult and very painful. Obviously we all have very readily accessible amounts of fat for stem cell harvesting. When we put these r stem cells into the new areas it appears that some of them do turn into new cells and give the longevity of fat transfers. It is currently not known how to activate these cells but it could be helped by using platelet rich plasma. Platelet rich plasma or PRP comes from blood platelets and contains growth factors that may stimulate these stem cells in the fat. This is why we offer platelet rich plasma as an addition to our fat transfer procedures for stem cell activation.
Fat is an ideal component for use in increasing volume of breasts. There are no artificial implants or any worry of foreign objects. However fat transfer breast has limited ability to increase size. Maximum increase in size with breast fat transfer can be half to a full cup. But the increase is also more natural as it follows the natural curves of the breast. The fat is injected throughout the breast to gradually build up the breast in small amounts. The fat is a natural component of the breasts and will take root in there if properly placed and not placed under pressure. It’s important that the breast envelope or the Breast skin have enough room to accommodate increased volume via the fat. Fat under pressure will die. This is why the procedure is ideal for post-pregnancy patients who enlarged breasts that have now deflated. The extra skin allows increase of size with the fat and this allows the fat to survive. Stretching procedures such as Brava which also help stretch out the skin. The other thing to remember about breast augmentation fat transfer is that it does disrupt the architecture of the breast. There has never been any studies showing breast-cancer caused by fat transfer however screening for breast cancer can be affected. This is why we ask for a mammogram to be completed before a breast fat transfer. Mammograms look at the architecture of the breasts via x-ray. When we do breast fat transfer some of this architecture of the breast is disrupted and this could lead to misleading diagnoses and tests. It is important to know this before going into the procedure and to have a baseline mammogram.
Fat Transfer to Buttocks or Brazilian Butt Lift (BBL)
Fat transfer to buttocks is ideal for buttocks augmentation. The buttocks already contain a great deal of fat and are a great environment for the fat to survive. Shaping of the buttocks can easily be done using liposuction and appropriate fat transfer to buttocks. The Brazilian butt lift involves more than just fat transferred to the buttocks. The Brazilian butt lift also involves extensive Liposuction and body sculpting of the lower back and flanks. The lower back and flanks affect the appearance of the buttocks. A much smaller and flatter back and flanks makes the buttocks to project more and appear larger. This is a crucial element of the Brazilian butt lift. The transferred fat is then placed judiciously in the buttocks to accentuate the areas that need it most. The combination of body contouring of the lower back and flanks and increase in size of the butt produces a shapelier and larger butt. After the procedure the patient cannot sit on the buttocks for three days and as little as possible for the first week. This is to promote survival of the transferred fat and a compression garment will have to be worn around the chest for about a month. Some of the fat will die naturally and refills of the fat may be necessary subsequently down the line to improve the projection of the buttocks.
Face Fat Transfer
Another great area for fat transfer is the face. As we age, the face loses fat, muscle and bone and a great deal of the facial skin. The fat also sags down to the lower face. This causes the volume of the upper face which makes patients appear younger to transfer to the lower face where older patients have most of their volume. This is most often seen as jowls. Face fat transfer can then be used to rebalance this ratio and put fat into the mid face and and upper face. Redistributing fat to the upper face makes a huge impact in terms of rejuvenation. Our new NeoJuvenescence Lift combines fat transfer with other procedures for great results.
Fat Transfer Cost
As fat transfer requires liposuction, most of the fat transfer cost is covered by the liposuction costs. As a result, the fat transfer cost can be quite reasonable as an addition to a liposuction procedure.