Did you know that your own fat has the best source of growth factors and stem cells for tissue healing? According to the world physician experts who presented recently at the San Diego Academy of Regenerative Therapies (SDART) 3rd annual conference, fat is far better than dermal filler for all cosmetic applications and is the best healer of joints when combined with your own platelet rich plasma (PRP).
Fat harvesting in the office
Autologous fat transfer is a two-part procedure. Fat is harvested from body areas such as your abdomen, hips, thighs, or back by a “mini” liposuction technique. Everyone has a pocket of fat somewhere on their body. Then, your fat is processed and re-injected where you need it.
Sounds painful, however, all that is needed is local anesthesia using the tumescent infiltration technique. To begin the tumescent anesthesia technique, an entry point is area is created where it is first numbed by injecting buffered lidocaine with epinephrine through a tiny needle, so pain is very minimal. Once numbed, the entry port is created using a 16- or 18-gauge needle so blunt tip infiltrator canula can be introduced, and large amounts of the tumescent anesthesia fluid is gently distributed all throughout the area of fat to be harvested. This also helps soft and prepare the fat to be harvested after a 20-minute wait time for the anesthesia to take effect.
Now the fat area is completely numbed and the blunt tip harvester cannula can fit through that same entry port into your soft fat below. Only then does the doctor go to work moving this specialized cannula back and forth under constant suction in a small fan-like pattern, slowly collecting liquified fat.
While you wait, your collected fat, has to be cleansed from the oils and also the liquid anesthesia that is mixed in the initial sample. This occurs by placing the syringe upright while the separation occurs by simple gravity effect. The tumescent anesthesia fluid is drained off from below, and the oils (with no cells or growth factors) is pushed off the top. Now you will have “structural fat.”
This structural fat is further liquified into micro-fat using a small device. The structural fat that is first harvested and cleansed could be re-injected into larger body areas such as breasts and buttocks, although leading edge doctors will process it to micro-fat to prevent breast microcalcification and cysts.
Fat transfer breast enhancement reshapes and gives a modest size increase to breasts. This is especially great if you want to avoid breast augmentation using synthetic implants. Most patients gain from half to a full cup size increase, although some surgeons are now teaching that full mounds can be created. The amount of fat needed to harvest is 200-400 ml.
Fat is similarly harvested and then grafted in even layers to enhance buttock size and reshape. This provides a more natural appearing buttock profile compared to silicone implants, and can even achieve the desired size increase without the extended recovery period.
Micro-fat is also great for larger face areas needing lift and correction of age-related volume loss such as temples, cheek hollows, jaw, lower face, and even lips. After injection, it immediately produces subtle, natural enhancement.
Healing time from fat transfer to the face is approximately two weeks. However, you have almost no social down time (i.e. could be seen in public comfortably the next day). Fat transfer to buttocks can take several months. For this, a compression garment is used for a few weeks following the procedure to facilitate healing and optimal results.
The micro-fat is further liquified and processed into nano-fat using a similar device, to be injected to smaller, more delicate areas that need filling and regeneration (remember this fat contains stem cells and growth factors, the perfect substance to generate health to any tissue where it is placed). These areas include under eyes (tear trough), nasolabial folds, lip lines (a.k.a. “smokers lines”), lip contouring, or the even the back of your hands. All this is done using a blunt tip canula.
Nano-fat is even better when mixed with your own blood’s platelet rich plasma (PRP). Therefore, after nano-fat is introduced into these areas using the blunt tip canula, PRP fluid is also introduced through the same canula by switching off the syringe. Remember that it provides long-lasting volume compared to synthetic fillers that only last 1-2 years.
Fat transfer better than dermal filler
In addition to reducing unwanted body spot fat areas, fat transfer can enhance the sagging areas of your face better than any dermal filler can. That’s because for example, just 20 ml of fat will make several cosmetic improvements in one procedure, whereas such amounts of filler would be unthinkable.
Fat produces more natural-appearing changes and lasts many years longer than filler. That’s because after it has been processed down to micro or nano fat, it is much softer and therefore easy to move around and smooth out. Compare that with dermal filler that is deposited in lumps and only partially smooths out (over weeks). Fat is always place using blunt tip cannulas and minimal if any bruising occurs.
Finally, while there is some initial volume loss after fat transfer because your body will absorb some of the grafted fat, any fat that remains past six months is a permanent enhancement.
Please feel free to call or book your appointment online for a consultation with Dr. Cutler.