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The Beauty and Science of Fat Transfer

The body can actually be reshaped using liposuction. The procedure takes fat from area where you don't want it and injects it into an area where fullness is needed.

The most popular areas to remove fat from are the stomach and love handles, which can change the size of pants or dresses you can wear and improve the way you look in a swimsuit. Since the thighs are an area where most women also carry a lot of fat, they may also be good candidates for liposuction to reduce the size of pants you wear. Finally, arms are another good candidate for fat removal and most women are very happy and proud of the results.

The second part of this procedure is to inject the fat into the body. We must ensure that the body accepts the fat and survives. Prior to about 2000–2005 fat transfer attempts were disappointing and a bit inconsistent. However, over the last 10 years techniques have really improved. The technique is now to use multiple, small injections of fat, passing through an area many times and laying down small trails of fat. This allows us to obtain a 50-75% fat survival rate and has made a real difference in the success of the procedure.

That’s great, but there are also exciting advancements that have been developed in the use of Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP). Platelet Rich Plasma is obtained by processing your own blood to extract your own platelets, which contain many growth factors. Injecting fat without Platelet Rich Plasma is akin to telephone communication with a standard cell phone rather than using a smart phone. With a smart phone there are so many more ways of communicating than simply placing a call. You can text, send email, take and send pictures, and surf the internet, but with a standard cell phone you could not perform any of these functions. The advancement in capabilities is similar when performing fat transfers using Platelet Rich Plasma as opposed to without it. When PRP is added to the fat, the fat has many more ways to communicate with the body and convince the body to not reject it. Two studies done in 2013 showed that fat survival is increased by 30% when PRP is added to the fat. One of those studies showed that PRP even performs better than when stem cells are added to the fat.

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