Dr. Bill Johnson – Off Air – Episode 1 – Liposuction, Fat Transfer, PRP Explained

Fat transfer is the true 2-for-1 cosmetic surgical procedure that is gaining popularity because of it being very natural and safe, and, at the same time, providing both reduction and enhancement of two or more body parts in one procedure. The unwanted fat in a certain part of the person’s body is transferred to an area where a person wants some fullness and youthfulness back. The initial phase involves a slight modification of the traditional liposuction, where fat is removed, harvested, and processed in preparation for the next phase, which is the fat transfer, where fat is injected into a new location.

The first step in this 2-for-1 procedure, like in any surgical procedure, is the induction of anesthesia. This is to eradicate or minimize the pain and discomfort the patient might feel during the procedure. A local anesthetic agent will be injected to the area of interest through a small incision made in the patient’s skin.

The second step is the tumescent liposuction process. This is where the excess, unwanted fat will be carefully suctioned and harvested out of the area until the desired shape is achieved. Areas that are most ideal for fat harvesting are the stomach (love handles), inner things (kissing thighs), outer thighs (saddle bags), and arms (bat wings). These areas get both excellent liposuction and fat transfer results. As a result of the liposuction process, the abdomen will look fitter, trimmer, and healthier. The thighs and arms will be slimmer. On the other hand, areas that are not good for fat transfer are the back, eyebrow region, and areas that have undergone liposuction before. Although, performing a liposuction in these areas can be successfully done, results of doing a fat transfer may not be as good as a person wants it to be. These areas are very fibrous, making it difficult for the doctor to remove enough fat needed for a successful fat transfer.

The third step is the preparation of the harvested fat cells for fat transfer. This procedure is done at the same time during the completion of liposuction. The harvested fat is placed into a sterile container where it is thoroughly washed for any excess, unwanted fluid. The fat is then mixed with platelet-rich plasma (PRP), or other constituents that will enhance grafting. The mixture is then placed into a number of sterile syringes, ready to be injected to a new location.

PRP is collected from the patient himself or herself, pre-operatively. The collected blood undergoes a process called centrifugation using a special centrifuge chamber that allows the plasma rich with platelets to be separated from the other components of the blood. This process is done twice to also allow increase in yield of growth factors found in the PRP by about 10%. Now, the platelet-rich plasma is ready for use for fat transfer.

The role of PRP is of utmost importance for a fat transfer to be successful. Without PRP, the percentage of fat cells surviving their new home will only be at around 50% to 70%. However, adding the PRP to the fat cells will significantly increase the percentage of fat cells surviving. It is because the PRP has a vital role in helping the fat cells establish intercellular communication and, as a result, create and obtain a good blood flow, and nutrients that comes with it.

What makes PRP so special is its abundance of growth factors. Growth factors, which are also referred to as cytokines, stimulating factors, and hormones, are powerful special proteins that the cells in PRP secrete for intercellular communication. The PRP helps the transferred fat cells establish communication with its new neighbours, help them build a support network, and establish a good blood flow in order for them to survive in their new home.

In fact, two recent scientific studies published in 2013 have illustrated the importance of PRP in fat transfer. Both studies concluded that with the addition of PRP to the fat cells, the fat cells survive with an additional 30% benefit. Moreover, in the first study, it has been shown that the volume of the transferred fat increased by 30% at the end of the six-month trial period. While in the second study, PRP was found out to offer a greater survival benefit when compared to stem cells mixed with fat cells.

The fourth and final step is the fat transfer. The fat is carefully injected in very tiny amounts, as little as 1cc, in many, many rows into a new location. The doctor is also very careful to place the fat cells down along the muscle, such as in the case of face, buttocks, and breast. In breast cases, the fat can be also be injected right into the glandular breast tissue itself. In strategically and carefully placing the fats, the fat cells will get enough nutrients and support that they need from its new environment to be able survive.

Areas that are most ideal for fat transfer are the buttocks, breasts, face, and hands. Fat transfer in the buttocks is called the Brazilian Butt Lift. It is highly effective in changing the contour of the buttocks to give a woman a rounder shape along with a good, nice lift.

Fat transfer in the breast is called Natural Breast Augmentation. This type of breast augmentation is an excellent alternative to artificial implantation. The advantage of doing breast enhancement through fat transfer is that it is very safe for one uses her own fat and not with a foreign, artificial material. Moreover, the breast enhanced with fat has a more natural look and feel to it. Patients also don’t suffer from complications of having artificial implants, such as capsular contraction, hardness, and discomfort.

Fat transfer in the face has the longest track record and has the best overall experience for fat transfer among all body parts. As a matter of fact, fat transfer is becoming the cornerstone of anti-aging therapy in the face, and regular and continuous innovations are being developed in this particular area.

There is also an increasing popularity in the fat transfer of the hands. This is perfect for those who want to improve the look of their veins and tendons at the back of their hands and bring back some youthfulness to it. Fat transfer involving the hands is a quick, easy, and relatively inexpensive procedure.

Have questions?

Email us at questions@innovationsmedical.com 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.