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Fat Grafting

What is fat grafting?

Fat grafting or autologous fat transfer is not a new concept in medicine. It has been continuously performed for various needs for well over a century. Only in recent years it has become highly popular for aesthetic procedures as well. Through advanced harvesting techniques and refining of mature adypocyte tissue, or fat cells, doctors can successfully transfer fat from one part of the patient’s body to another.

The fat can be transplanted in various areas depending on the desired aesthetic need. For example, it can be used in breast augmentation to help shape the bust more beautifully and naturally. Another popular use is injecting it as a filler to the face to increase volume, fill up deep wrinkles etc. Since filling up is the main benefit of this treatment, we call it BeautiFill.

How does fat grafting work?

The first step for this procedure is retrieving fat that has a high vitality rate. It is important to understand that standard liposuction technologies  —  mostly mechanical devices — retrieve a mixture of blood, serum, oil (liquid fat), along the pure, injection quality fat.

Harvesting the fat using liposuction

When using these older and less advanced liposuction methods, correct refinement procedures must be used in the process in order to improve the survival of the autologous fat tissue post-injection. These processes involve centrifuging the fat at specific speeds to separate the blood vessels and oil from the injection-quality fat, or filler-fat.

These processes take time, and also yield lower rates of vital fat. The BeautiFill treatment by Alma however, utilizes the advanced LipoLife laser-assisted liposuction technology which allows retrieval of over 95% viable, injection quality fat.

We use a specially designed canister that already filters the the blood and other substances out during liposuction so the fat is immediately ready for transfer. Hence, our technology eliminates the need to refine the fat, yields a higher percentage of pure fat and speeds up the procedure considerably for both patient and physician.The result of the liposuction part of the treatment are a number of syringes full of injection quality fat that can be used immediately or stored for future use.

The importance of high vitality rate of fat

beautifill fat grafting vitality rate

For fat grafting purposes it is crucial to have the highest possible rate of injection quality fat for several reasons.

The first reason is that the physician needs a minimum amount for each type of fat transfer. For example, breast or buttocks augmentation require larger volumes. Using the fat as face or lip fillers require smaller amounts, naturally. Since the patient’s body absorbs some of the injected fat graft, there is a natural volume loss that occurs in the process. That means the physician actually needs to inject more fat to compensate for this loss. Another thing to consider is that certain patients don’t have much excess fat to spare, so the physician most be able to make the most of what he can harvest via liposuction.

The second reason, and perhaps most important, is that the viability of the fat also effects the success of the transplantation in the desired area. The higher the quality of fat, the better the chance of it to successfully achieve the coveted aesthetic enhancement.

Duration of fat grafting procedure

The length of treatments using fat grafting mostly depend on the amount of fat that needs to be harvested. Even with Alma’s advanced laser assisted liposuction technology, that is the part which is most time consuming. For a small injection amount, e.g harvesting 100 cc for face filler, the entire procedure, including preparation can take between half an hour to an hour.

Procedures that require higher volumes of fat (1 L) might take up to 2 hours start to finish. Another factor that can impact the length of the fat grafting treatment is whether a local tumescent or anesthesia are being used for the procedure. There is no medical requirement to undergo anesthesia for this procedure. Mostly it something up to the patient to decide.

Recovery time also depends on the volume of fat extracted in the procedure, and where it’s being transferred to in the body. Facial injections require no recovery time, while other treatments might require a full day to recover.

laser liposuction

What treatments use autologous fat grafting?

Fat grafting can replace many procedures that use synthetic substances with a more natural approach. Using one’s own excess fat, it can be used as face filler to smooth out wrinkles, enhance volume and contour features. This is a great alternative for dermatologists to use instead of chemical face fillers that increase risk of side effects.

When it comes to popular female body treatments, using fat transfer is becoming standard for breast augmentation and breast reconstruction procedures. Through simple injection techniques it allows plastic surgeons to precisely contour the shape of the breast. This allows female patients that seek aesthetic enhancement or reconstruction post mastectomy to achieve a more natural appearance and feel.

There are many more areas in the body that can be enhanced using filler-fat injections. When it comes to men, one of treatments with rising popularity is abdomen sculpting. In this procedure, the fat is being injected to shape and enhance the appearance of the Rectus Abdominis muscles, or abs. Furthermore, using an advanced skin tightening feature like the LipoLife platform features, those muscles can be beautifully and individually defined to obtain that masculine 6-pack shape.

filler fat for fat injection

Photo courtesy of Dr. Gary Goldenberg, NY

autologous fat grafting for face filler

filler fat injections to face

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Who are the ideal candidates for autologous fat grafting?

Any person who is considering plastic surgery or face filler injections should inquire about the possibility of enjoying the benefits of this treatment. Of course, since the treatment requires a minimal amount of fat that can be harvested, someone who is extremely skinny might not be able to undergo the treatment.

The benefits of Alma’s fat grafting device

Reading this article leads to one conclusion. Our BeautiFill fat grafting treatment relies on the most comprehensive technology and it’s benefits are profound:

  • Can replace use of synthetic fillers, implants etc with patient’s own natural fat
  • Higher rates of fat vitality obtained than with other devices – for improved results
  • Utilizes laser liposuction which is safer and more gentle for patient
  • A streamlined and expedited treatment process for both patient and physician

New research shows higher rates of SVF in fat harvested with our device

In addition to all of the above, we learned in a recent study that using our technology, the harvested adipose tissue (fat) contains also a substantially high amount of SVF (Stromal Vascular Fraction). SVF is a mixture of different cells that also include ADSC — adipose derived stem cells. These particular stem cells posses remarkable levels of growth factors and serve as an internal repair system in our bodies. We use a state-of-the-art, none-enzyme process to extract those ADSC’s that can be used to enrich the fat graft injection and for other, exciting medical uses.

Visit our aesthetic devices blog

FemiLift by Alma

Breast reconstruction after mastectomy
and breast augmentation with fat transfer on our blog article

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