Advanced Fat Grafting Techniques have made fat transfer an attractive option for facial Plastic Surgery, with treatment of dark circles under the eyes, filling of cheek hollows and other signs of aging. It is also a lasting and natural option for Plastic Surgery of the body, with fat graft breast augmentations, and fat grafting to the buttocks.
Fat Grafts to the Face: With experience Dr. Loomis gained studying stem cells from fat in his cell culture lab, he has refined his technique of fat grafting using micro fat grafts which have had greater versatility and reliability. We have found our micro fat grafts to have a survial rate of 85% -90% or more. Without this high survival rate, the final contour can be hard to control, and there can be problems with lumps or calcifications. In the past, fat grafts were felt to have only a 50% survival rate or less. Even today, there are good plastic surgeons who report survival rates of only 50% or less with their fat grafts. Fat grafting is very technique dependent, and every surgeon has a slightly different technique. A "liquid facelift," a technique using injectables to rejuvenate a face, can also be done with your own fat. Fat is a normal part of youthful lips, eyes and faces, and as we age, that fat atrophies, so it makes sense to replace fat loss with fat. The area below the eyes becomes more skelentonized, generally producing a dark groove or circle, and cheeks can become sunken in. Lip fat begins to decrease causing a loss of projection and fullness. Fat grafts can fill and rejuvenate these areas and is usually done under local anesthesia in the office. The patient below underwent micro fat grafts to the lower lid grooves by Dr. Loomis in the office under local anesthesia (not a guarantee of results).
Fat Graft Breast Enlargement: A Fat Graft Breast Augmentation is a technique of breast augmentation done with fat removed from the same patient using liposuction. Unlike crude attempts made years ago, modern techniques of delicate fat harvesting and handling, small canulas for grafting with cross weaving, and pre and post-operative external tissue expansion, have made the procedure reliable and consistent. Dr. Loomis is currently involved in a multicenter study for the FDA looking at fat grafting of the breast using external tissue expansion. The external expander is worn like a bra for twelve hours a day for four to six weeks or longer before the surgery. Then fat is taken from areas of excess, most often the hips, abdomen, or thighs, and micro fat grafts are placed above and below your native breast tissue. While most patients still opt for breast implants for augmentation, this form of natural augmentation using your own fat is a very exciting alternative. The patient below had fat grafting to the left breast by Dr. Loomis, reducing the asymmetry due to her Poland's Syndrome (absence of breast development on one side). Her new left breast feels soft and completely natural, having nothing in it but her own living tissue. The procedure is also available for women undergoing breast reconstruction following mastecomy. (Not a guarantee of results.)
Buttock enlargement with fat grafts is another example of the increased versatility of modern fat grafting techniques. The fat grafts are done in conjunction with liposuction of the hips and flanks to help optimize the overall contour. Dr. Loomis performs very small grafts woven throughout the area to be augmented to help ensure greater survival of the fat grafts. Your body incorporates this graft at the new site as new blood vessels grow into it, making it natural living tissue. For the grafts to have a significant effect, you do need to have sufficient fat stores to harvest, so if you are very thin, there may not be enough to augment the buttocks. To be done well, with a high survival rate, the grafts need to be small grafts, delicately placed. This is time consuming which means it costs more. When patients are having an abdominoplasty with liposuction, many will ask us to "just shoot the fat" into the buttocks. Of course, iit is much more involved than that, and cost-wise, adding the buttock grafting is like adding another procedure.
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