Can Fat Transfer Help You Take Better Selfies?

Selfies have become a normal part of daily life and with new devices like the iPhone 6 and Moto X coming on the market, taking high quality selfies is only going to increase. But, are you prepared to look your best when that photo is snapped? In a recent interview on America Tonight, Dr. Bill Johnson explained how fat transfer can be used to enhance your features and help you take a great selfie. Here’s the full interview.

Interview Transcript

KALE DELANEY: Welcome back to America Tonight.

I thought you’d find this super interesting. You know, we talk about the ebb and flow of what often happens in different professions and what’s going on, suddenly what the buzz is, what’s hot, what people are interested in, and how that can change and lift a business and also how you can just see certain trends. And what an interesting trend we’re seeing now with everybody taking selfies and I mean everybody taking selfies. It has just exploded.

But how do you look in those selfies? Nobody wants to look bad in photographs. Let’s face it; we all have that vanity thing plus, I mean, we just want to look good. There’s no question. Ask any photographer and then you get into the whole thing about Photoshopping and everything else. But, sometimes, Photoshopping just isn’t enough.

So, there’s been a little bit of surgery boom and part of that in plastic surgery because of selfies. So, it’s always a pleasure to have Dr. Bill Johnson back on with us from Innovations Medical.

Dr. Johnson, first of all, thanks for coming on the show, and the selfies thing has really exploded, huh?

DR. BILL JOHNSON: Yeah, we’re really seeing folks being interested in selfies and getting interested in making sure they look good in selfies. So, what you’re saying is quite timely.

KALE: Yeah. Is it men, women, across the board, or is it mostly women that are doing this?

DR. J: It’s mostly women. The cosmetic industry, nationally, is over 90 percent women. Now, that said, I think a higher percentage of men are interested in this aspect of looking good on camera than used to be. So, although it’s probably still a predominance of women, it’s not as strong a predominance as it’s been in the past.

KALE: Yeah, it’s interesting and you’ve done this for a while now and you’ve seen some interesting trends and curves and what-not. From the perspective of your profession, I thought about this today, what is the best innovation that you’ve seen from when you first started to now? Talking about the surgeries, what has just been an amazing thing that has really made your job exciting in cosmetic surgery? Whether it’s a tool or something else.

DR. J: I think the most interesting trend and thing that’s gaining more momentum all the time is fat transfer where we can take your own fat and liposuction it from an area that you don’t want it and then take that same fat and put it into another area where you would like to have more – breast; buttocks; for the selfies, the back of your hands; and, of course, face is a very important area for fat transfer.

KALE: Yeah. Why back of the hand? Because of how it’s shot and that kind of thing?

DR. J: Yes. You know, one of the really, over the last several years, getting that close-up picture of that wedding ring on your hand and the two hands of the spouse and that kind of thing has really become a trend, especially with brides often being no longer in their late teens and early twenties. A lot of the brides are now in the thirties and forties and they want their hands to look good. And so, doing some things to plump up the hands and make those veins and tendons not show has become a real trend in the selfie world.

KALE: Yeah, and you talk about fat transfer as one of the things that you’ve seen, what you’ve been able to do with it as far as trends and that kind of thing. What kind of misconceptions are there about fat transfer? When people come in and they start asking you questions or you get calls about it, what are some of the biggest misconceptions?

DR. J: I think the biggest misconceptions are related to thoughts about the old technology and that is that it doesn’t last, that it’s not permanent, and nowadays, using modern techniques, we typically expect to have 50 to 70 – if we do the right things – even 90 percent of the fat we transfer to survive. And so, we see very long-term survival and very good results that patients are very happy with as compared to what was going on ten or fifteen years ago when less than a third survived or sometimes none of the cells would survive and you’d have this done and then, after two or three months, see no benefit. That’s old hat and that’s probably the biggest misconception that that’s changed.

KALE: Yeah, interesting.

We’re speaking with Dr. Bill Johnson and he’s a cosmetic surgeon with

And, doc, you know, when you see, you know, in the movies and the jokes about hiding away and then a woman would come back and she’d look great, she had plastic surgery done and she wanted to have the plastic surgery done. But, you know, in a movie portrayal which they always exaggerate everything, you’d be wrapped up like a mummy and you’d be gone somewhere for a month and then you’d reappear to be like, “Wow! That’s unbelievable!” But that’s not true, right? Now, it’s amazing, too, with the techniques. A lot of times, it’s quicker for people, right?

DR. J: Well, most of the things are quicker now. Probably if you do a full-fledged facelift, although you wouldn’t have the mummy-type bandages anymore, you probably would have about three to four weeks of recovery before you’d want to go out in public. But anything short of that really extensive facelift, we typically think of two weeks as being a very long recovery time. Most of my patients, we do liposuction, fat transfer on basically a daily basis, and most of my patients can go back to work in a day or two.

KALE: Wow! How great is that? A day or two, that’s absolutely nothing.

I would have to imagine, I mean, listen, in this career, it’s a great career financially after you have to go through all the medical school and everything else, but still, if you’re a doc, you still, I think, want the satisfaction – no doubt about it – of people being happy with what happens. So, for you, is that part of the payoff? That somebody’s look has changed? They’re excited. Something that had them down or depressed or feeling like they couldn’t accomplish XYZ because there’s always a reason for it, is that what really pumps you up?

DR. J: Hopefully I can tell this story in a short version. Up until about eight or nine years ago, I didn’t do cosmetic as my primary. I just took care of patients as a regular internist, as a regular adult doctor, and the reason I got into it is I started doing a few just simple laser treatments and I had a lady that I had done some rather remarkable medical care on and, typically, when she’d come into the office, what I think she wanted me to do was try and make her medications less expensive. So, I do a little laser work, take the age spots off her face, she pays me cash, and hugs me and thanks me. And that was the moment I realized, “I’m doing the wrong thing.” People really appreciate this.

When you’re the doctor and they fix your blood pressure, that’s something you really didn’t want to have to do. Sure, it’s important to you, but it’s not something that you wanted. It’s an extra burden on you. When someone, on the other hand, helps you feel better about yourself and look better when you look in the mirror, folks are really appreciative and that really is the main reason I do what I do. The financial aspect is well and good, but having people that are truly happy and truly pleased with the results is what really makes it worthwhile.

KALE: Yeah, I bet. I just can’t imagine. I mean, on a totally different end, it’s almost like you’re the high-end deeper hair re-worker. So, in other words, you know, I know a couple of guys who own a salon, and that’s just aesthetically what you can do with the hair and what-not. But you’re doing skin-deep and that makes such a big difference, I think, in so many people.

And, certainly, we’ve also seen this with people who are disfigured or have burns and that kind of thing and it’s amazing now, with the technology, some of the things you can do, isn’t it?

DR. J: Yeah, there’s some really amazing things being done – even on the average person. You bring in a woman that’s had a couple of babies and just doesn’t have her body anymore and you work on her and now she goes down two pant sizes and really likes the clothes she can buy and how she looks in her clothes. That, even for that, it’s very rewarding and a lot of fun.

KALE: Oh, I bet it is. And, for men, what do they get mostly done? Is it something on the face? Is it the hand thing that we talked about? What is it?

DR. J: Men are mostly two areas – their abdomen, they want to get rid of their beer bellies and their love handles, and then, the other area that we do quite a bit are male breasts, reducing them, and taking away those dreaded “moobs” – male boobs. We do a lot of reducing those.

KALE: Yeah, I bet. I can’t tell you how many times you’re out at a lake or a pool and someone will say something about man boobs.

DR. J: Yeah, we do a lot of those, yeah.

KALE: Yeah, very cool.

All right. Dr. Bill Johnson from Innovations Medical, thank you so much for coming on America Tonight.

DR. J: Well, thanks for having me.

Have questions?

Email us at with any questions that you may have or if you want to know what special offers that Innovations Medical may have regarding fat transfer, liposuction and their other cosmetic procedures. Contact our Dallas branch at 214-643-8665.

Dr. Bill Johnson MD, MMM Innovations Medical
Contact us with any questions or call our Dallas office at 214-643-8665.