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Fat Injections Fill In or Fill Out!

 Twin City Plastic Surgery May 02, 2014
Submitted by Chad Tattini, MD, Twin City Plastic Surgery

It is not uncommon to overhear women talking about how they wish they could move fat from their waist or thighs and put it somewhere else. Truth is… it’s possible!

Fat injection, or lipofilling, diminishes wrinkles and creases and plumps up areas that have lost fullness as a result of surgery, injury, aging, or other causes. Transplanted fat that originates from the patient does not carry a risk of allergic response or rejection. Other advantages comprise of a short recovery time and generally long-lasting results if it has been performed correctly.

Fat injections are a popular short-term solution to temporarily improve the appearance of hollow cheeks, thin lips, an aging forehead, eyes, and scars. They can also be used on a limited basis to enhance breasts in a process called breast augmentation fat transfer. There is no need for concern about a foreign substance in your body since the fat used in the injection is taken directly from another area of your body.

As you age, the dermis under your skin thins out. This can leave the face looking too thin and has the effect of making the skin look like it sags. This happens to women of all body types: small, medium, and large frame. A fat injection adds fat to the area beneath the skin and has the effect of “filling out the face” to a more youthful state. In addition to filling out wrinkles in the face, highly purified fat injections can also enhance the blood circulation in the tissues. There are some studies that suggest that this is because there are stem cells that are collected and concentrated during the fat processing, and, therefore, present during injection.

Fat grafting to the breasts is sometimes a nice adjunctive surgery during breast reconstruction, to “fine tune” breast reconstruction after lumpectomy or mastectomy and to disguise the edges or rippling of existing silicone gel and saline implants. Fat grafting to the breast consists of two procedures performed on the same day: harvesting the fat and then placement of the fat into the breasts.

Some patients are concerned that the fat injections will not last; however, this is most likely not the case. When done properly, some percentage of the injected fat cells survive and are permanent. However, since some fat cells are lost, the effect of the transfer is not as dramatic after a few weeks. Most physicians will overcorrect, or inject more than needed, knowing that after a few weeks the final result will be more to the patient’s liking. If less is initially injected, patients will be happy with the immediate outcome, but disappointed over time as the results fade.

Fat transfers are also used for the buttocks, sometimes referred to as a Brazilian butt lift. Fat is first liposuctioned from the stomach or flank area and then processed prior to transferring or injecting into the buttocks. Using fat transfers for butt augmentation gives a very flattering, sensual, and natural look.

Whether you are looking to fill in, fill out, or contour defects or deformities from other surgeries, the use of fat injections is on the rise and can be a healthy, safe alternative to synthetic fillers and injectables. As always, it is in your best interest to consult a board-certified plastic surgeon when exploring any cosmetic or reconstructive procedure.

For more information regarding cosmetic and reconstructive plastic surgery, contact Dr. Chad Tattini at 309-664-1007, Dr. Laura Randolph at 309-664-6222, or Dr. Paige Holt at 309-664-4444 at Twin City Plastic Surgery or www.twincityplasticsurgery.com. The office is located at 2502 E. Empire, Suite C, Bloomington, Illinois.

Photo credit: monkeybusinessimages/Thinkstock
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 Twin City Plastic Surgery| May 02, 2014

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