Fat grafting or body fat transfer Dallas is one of the fastest growing areas of cosmetic medicine. Fat grafting removes fat from an area it is not wanted and transfers it to an area where augmentation is desired. Since its first use for cosmetics in the late 1990’s, fat grafting has become one of the fastest growing areas of cosmetic surgery. During most of that time, the fat required several steps of processing before injecting it into the new area. Now with the High Volume Precision Fat Grafting System or Precision Fat, grafting fat is made easier, safer and more reliable. This article discusses Precision Fat and describes it and its advantages.
Why is fat grafting growing so fast in popularity?
Over the past decade fat grafting has grown from a rarely used procedure to an important component of cosmetic medicine.
There are several reasons why fat transfer is increasing in popularity
- First, it’s you, so there is no chance of a reaction or rejection
- Fat feels like regular tissue because it is regular tissue
- It works and is getting better all the time. Results are more consistent than ever before and we are here to talk about the latest innovation.
- Finally, fat is long lasting. We see some initial loss of fat after grafting, but all of the fat that survives the grafting process appears to last for the rest of our lives.
Fat grafting also allows patients to choose an option for volume enhancement that does not introduce a foreign body or substance into the body. On breasts that means no capsule formation and no hardening or distortion, both of which can occur with implants. On buttocks that means no sensation of sitting on a pillow which is common with implants.
How does fat grafting work?
Fat grafting begins with liposuction. Almost any area that can undergo liposuction can provide fat for fat grafting. We do the liposuction under local anesthesia. The anesthetic is a fluid we pump into the area we are suctioning. The fat is collected in special containers that keep it sterile and allow us to separate the fluid from the fat. The fat is then reinjected into the area we want to enhance. In the past injecting the cells required placing the fat into syringes and then using a cannula to inject it. Precision Fat improves on that process several ways.
How does Precision Fat work?
The device is called High Volume Precision Fat Grafting, we call it Precision Fat
(video of Precision Fat)
The system enables us to collect the fat in a completely closed and sterile system and minimize the amount of manipulation we need to reinject the fat into a new area. Precision Fat uses a closed system and minimal manipulation. Using a closed system reduces any chance of infection. The fat goes straight from the body into a closed container minimizing the exposure to the environment.
Precision Fat really shows its difference from standard fat grafting when we inject the fat into the new area. Unlike other systems, no syringes are required. Precision Fat pumps the fat into the treatment area, i.e. breast or buttock, using a special pump that tightly controls the pressure applied to the fat. Precision Fat eliminates the need to place the fat into syringes resulting in much less fat manipulation. Less manipulation of the fat means Precision Fat enhances the fat cells chance of survival.
Precision fat is also is a little faster, so the fat cells spend less time outside the body which also enhances the results.
Finally, the injection pump on Precision Fat tightly controls the amount of pressure the cells are subjected. By controlling the pressure to which the fat is subjected enhances cell survival. Controlling pressure also means Precision Fat reduces potential complications.
How is harvesting the fat different when using Precison Fat?
We use the same vibration assisted liposuction system or “tickle lipo” similar to how we have in the past. A recent study showed tickle lipo was the overall best powered liposuction tool available in the United States;
(tickle lipo video)
However, when using Precision Fat we collect the fat into a completely new sealed container. We also use less suction pressure with Precision Fat. The other important advance with collecting fat with Precision Fat is the container gently vibrates the fat. This enhances the separation of the fluids from the fat. Better separation of fluids means more fat and less fluid is injected into the area we are enhancing. Injecting more fat and less fluid injected means better results. The vibration also helps Precision Fat separate the fat cells from their supporting connective tissue fibers without damaging the fat cells. Having less connective tissue also helps to enhance fat cell survival.
(Video of fat canister)
How does injecting the fat differ using the Precision Fat device?
In the past, once we had harvested the fat, we separated the fat from the fluid and then drew it up into syringes. We then used special cannulas to inject the fat one syringe at a time. This meant the fat was subjected to multiple transfers. Each time the fat is manipulated some of the fat cells die and the chances of contamination increase.
With Precision Fat we pump the fat through special tubing from the collection canister directly into the area we are enhancing. Special cannulas connected directly to the tubing are used to inject the fat into the enhancement area. During fat injection physician moves the cannula in and out multiple times to insure small lines of fat are placed smoothly and evenly. This technique enhances fat cell survival and improves results.
[Video of pump injecting fat]
Finally, the pump carefully controls the amount of pressure used to inject the fat. This helps protect the fat and protect the patient from injury.
On what body areas do you use the Precision Fat device?
We can use it on many body areas, but the most common are the breast and buttocks.
Breast augmentation using fat is increasing in popularity because fat looks and feels natural, does not introduce a foreign substance and doesn’t harden or change shape over time.
(Breast before and after)
It works particularly well in women after pregnancy or weight loss to lift and restore some of the lost volume.
The buttocks are the other popular area. We do more fat transfer to the buttocks than to any other body area. It is commonly called the Brazilian Butt Lift. One reason that buttock fat transfer is so popular is buttock implants have never become really popular. The scars are fairly large and hard to hide when buttock implants are placed. It is also common for patients to have the sensation of sitting on a pillow or lump. This pillow sensation often never goes away. Fat on the other hand fat works very well in the buttocks and doesn’t give any abnormal sensations.
Using Precision Fat we can enlarge, lift or round out the buttocks. Sometimes we do all three. Precision Fat makes it easier to sculpt the shape you want.
Buttock fat transfer is particularly nice when we use the love handles to get the fat. That allows us to reshape the lower torso.
What else can be done to enhance the survival of the fat cells and the longterm results?
We often add biologic products we obtain from the patient to enhance the cell survival and the results. Platelet Rich Plasma or PRP is the most commonly used of these products. We obtain PRP by drawing some of the patient’s blood and processing it in a centrifuge. PRP contains growth factors which are the chemical messengers our body uses to bring in healing cells. When we mix PRP into the fat you can think of them sending text messages to the body to help promote the fat cells thriving in their new home. Studies have shown PRP can enhance fat cell survival after grafting by 20-30%.
We are also starting to use stem cells to enrich the fat. Adding stem cells may also enhance the survival of the grafted fat cells. Early studies have suggested that stem cells also enhance the texture and quality of the overlying skin. This area will see rapid development over the next few years.
Fat grafting is now a part of main stream cosmetic procedures. The use of fat grafting is expanding rapidly. Precision Fat represents a step forward in fat grafting.
- Enhances cell survival
- Reduces the risk of contamination
- Improves the physicians ability to shape the area
- Speeds the fat transfer
- Reduces the pressure required for fat transfer
These reasons and perhaps more make Precision Fat an important step forward in cosmetic medicine.