Technological advances spanning the past 20 years in the field of cosmetic procedures have led to patients having a much wider variety of options when it comes to fat transfer treatments. Beyond liposuction and basic augmentation, fat transfer provides an opportunity for patients to contour their bodies through the redirection of fat deposits. This customized approach swiftly moves fat cells from undesirable locations to those areas of preferred alteration on the body.
Cosmetic fat transfers are the result of merging the techniques of liposuction with soft tissue augmentation. Patients who elect to undergo this procedure will undergo a 3-step process through which fat cells are harvested from specific areas of the body with excessive deposits and grafted or sculpted into the desired area of the body for an enhanced profile or contouring. Between harvesting fat cells and moving them to the preferred location, an attending physician will take the necessary steps to treat fat cells and ensure their chances of survival, leading to an overall successful transfer.
While traditional liposuction requires a certain amount of aggressive manipulation via a cannula in order to detach fat deposits from points of attachment within the body, fat removal for the purpose of transfer takes a far gentler approach as a way of preserving fat cells. When it comes to cosmetic fat transfers, lasers and ultrasounds are avoided in order to maintain the utmost integrity of the cells when it’s time to transfer them to another part of the body. The cannula used for cosmetic fat transfers is significantly smaller than those used during traditional liposuction procedures. The size difference ensures fat is extracted in small, manageable amounts and remains close to a blood supply whenever possible.
An attending physician may recommend the tumescent technique for fat extraction when a patient is seeking an even gentler approach. This method requires the use of cannulas that are used in combination with a diluted local anesthetic. The reduced size of the instruments results in a longer procedure but has proven to deliver successful results and maintain the integrity of fat cells to a greater degree during transfer.
While fat cells can be extracted from many areas of the body prior to transfer, the attending physician will base his or her decision on both patient preference and the amount of fat needing to be removed. The most practical areas of extraction tend to be the abdomen, waist or thighs.
One of the most essential and difficult aspects of a fat transfer procedure is ensuring the survival of fat cells during the process. Once cells are extracted from the donor site of the body, they are concentrated and separated out from any anesthetic solution that may have been used during removal. The cells are then washed in a saline solution to remove any remaining chemical residue. Prior to being transferred into the new area of the body, a physician will add growth factors from Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP) to maximize the chances of the fat cell’s survival throughout the remainder of the process.
When it’s time to transfer the fat cells to the desired area of the body, an attending physician will inject the cells in small doses. Doses enter the body as small beads of cells which can then be arranged to create a desirable structure that solidifies over time. Fat cells can be transferred to many areas of the body, but the majority of patients undergo treatment that targets the cheeks, breasts, or buttocks. Facial fat transfer procedures are common for patients looking to reverse the natural effects of aging that result in cheeks appearing to sink as fat deposits move lower down the face. Patients who have fat cells transferred to the breasts are generally seeking a solution to skin that has lost elasticity over time or desire an increase in overall cup-size. Similarly, patients who request fat cells be transferred to the buttocks can expect a lift in overall tissue density in what is often referred to as a Brazilian Butt Lift.
The decision to undergo a cosmetic fat transfer is a highly personal choice based on both medical and aesthetic preferences. Many patients who elect to have this procedure done appreciate the authentic feel of the results as natural tissue is used to contour the body in place of silicone or saline. Similarly, many patients choose to have a cosmetic fat transfer as a means of boosting confidence in their appearance. An improved sense of self-confidence can often lead to improvements in other areas of life as well. Before you decide to undergo treatment, be sure to contact the team at the St. Louis Laser Lipo and Vein Center to schedule an initial consultation. We believe in customized treatment fat transfer St Louis plans and are here to answer any questions or concerns you may have along the way.