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FAT GRAFTING-YOUR NATURAL FILLER
When we perform tumescent liposcuplting in our licensed Operating Room, we can throw the suctioned fat away in Biohazard Waste. Or we can use techniques to preserve the viability of the fat and return a portion of your own, gently cleaned fat, back to parts of your body that have lost volume, contour, and proportions, like your face, neck, breasts, backs of hands, and buttocks.
Fat grafting is only done at the conclusion of your liposculpting procedure, that day, in the same room, in order for it to be considered part of the practice of medicine. Fat grafting has been performed safely for decades. It does not require you to be part of a registered study at this time.
Originally developed to possibly speed healing and decrease pain, adipose-derived cell treatments in the United States are only available using 510K research protocols at this time, per FDA regulation. Your fat may contain several thousand times more rejuvenating cells than your own bone marrow and it's generally easier and more comfortable to obtain. We are monitoring the changing regulations and science in this fascinating area of medicine.
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FAT AS A NATURAL FILLER
You may decide to move some of your fat to other areas of your face or body right after your liposculpting procedure. Or you may desire to use a smaller amount of fat as a filler without significant liposculpting. For smaller procedures, a fat "donor" area will be agreed on that does not change your visible contour adversely.
Once your fat is carefully woven back into the new host area, it takes several months for the fat to reattach to your vascular system. Some of the cells die and others lose volume but can increase back to normal size over time once they are being fed and their waste products are removed.
It can take a full year to see how much of the grafted fat has survived, but our experience is that 50-70% of the fat moved, does eventually settle in and expand or reduce in proportionate volume with you for years. The end results are generally improved contour, symmetry and, smoothness, There can be nodules of fat that develop or fibrous tissue from fat that has died that may need to be addressed with additional small procedures.
Patients who limit caloric intake, exercise a lot, smoke or vape, or have certain medical issues like diabetes, or poorly controlled blood pressure, are not good candidates for successful fat grafting.
Grafted fat may contain a number of rejuvenating cells and enzymes, so patients may see improvements in skin thickness, color, and elasticity in areas that are grafted.
At this time, ARLV is not affiliated with an accredited tissue bank that might be able to store or grow more of your fat cells for future use, so same-day fat harvest and grafting is the rule.
FAT GRAFTING PROCEDURE TECHNIQUE
Whether you are having limited fat grafting for your face or tumescent liposculpting followed by grafting larger amounts of fat to multiple areas, the donor area(s) are numbed with a dilute solution of pH adjusted anesthetic solution first. Once the area is profoundly numb (this anesthesia may last for hours) manual or power-assisted fat aspiration is performed using reduced vacuum pressure, into sterile containers. Some anesthetic fluid, blood cells, broken fat cells, and fibrous tissue are suctioned too. The fat clumps and cells are washed and sized until a clean slurry of living fat cells is available to precisely graft in a sterile fashion into your desired areas. Very small amounts of fat are woven into the tissue via small needles or cannulas to restore contour and proportion. You will be on antibiotics starting the day before your procedure, get antibiotic injections in the OR, and continue oral antibiotics and antimicrobial skin washing for a week after your fat grafting procedure.
WHAT TO EXPECT AFTER FAT GRAFTING PROCEDURES
After your treatment, you can expect to experience mild soreness, bruising, and some redness at the extraction (donor) site and injection (host) site. These symptoms are temporary and should subside within a few weeks. Dr. Z recommends using a zip-lock with frozen peas or ice chips to help ease swelling and discomfort beyond what your prescribed medications cover. You can shower, but not soak the donor and host sites for the first month. After all surgical incisions are well healed, you may return to swimming, baths, and hot tubs. You should also refrain from strenuous activity for several weeks to months to optimize fat survival. Please talk to Dr. Z about when you can resume your usual workout routine. and don't forget to eat and feed the fat cells in their new location.
FAT GRAFTING FAQS
How much does fat grafting cost?
The cost of your treatment will depend on the reason for your visit, the amount and specific location of where the fat is being extracted, and where the harvested cells will be injected. After your initial consultation and once your treatment plan is developed, Dr. Z will be able to estimate your costs.
What are fat cells?
Fat cells are specialized cells that store energy and excess calories. Fat cells are complex. They interact with your body's metabolic processes and sugar control as well as help insulate your nervous system and cushion your skeleton and organs from possible trauma. Rejuvenating cells that help you heal and may have other functions are contained in fat tissues too.
What is fat grafting?
Fat is removed in a sterile fashion from a donor site (not intended to change contour) or during liposculpting, a procedure to improve body contours and proportion but not treat obesity. The fat is cleaned with saline in a closed system, separated from fibrous tissue, blood cells, anesthetic fluid etc, sized for re-injection, and then precisely injected in tiny amounts to restore facial, neck, or dorsal hand contours, or in larger volumes to fill the upper pole of the breast or buttocks. More than half of the fat survives for years in carefully selected patients.
Is fat grafting safe?
Yes. Tumescent anesthetic liposculpting and fat grafting and shifting have been done safely for many years, all over the world, by physicians of many backgrounds. We have developed techniques to secure, clean, and re-instill your fat the same day, to improve face and body contours alone or in combination with synergistic surgeries and technologies. Your fat is one of the most economical "fillers" available and because it came from you, there is never a risk of allergic reaction! Risks of embolic accidents during liposculpting and fat grafting are felt to be rare using the techniques currently recommended but can occur.
FAT GRAFTING AT ARLV
Discover the benefits of fat grafting at Aesthetic Revolution Las Vegas in Nevada. Carefully moving your own fat can restore youthful face and body contours and enhance the health of your skin. Schedule a consultation with cosmetic surgeon Dr. Zimmerman at his office in Las Vegas to learn more about fat grafting procedures and if they can help you reach your aesthetic goals.