When patients have liposuction treatments they must think about whether fat could be used elsewhere in the body. Traditionally patients undergoing liposuction are not offered alternatives and patients considering liposuction should consult with a plastic surgeon that can run through the pros and cons of liposuction, fat transfer and liposculpture.
Patients are now able to benefit from technological advancements in liposuction. With the development of closed systems the fat harvested can be washed and filtered with minimal trauma and subsequently injected back into patients. Closed systems have been further refined so that fat during the washing and filtering process is not damaged. The purified fat can be transferred into other areas of the body. The key for fat transfer is obtaining a high rate of fat graft survival by using the most up to date technology and techniques.
Body jet liposuction allows the simultaneous injection of fluid at the same time as liposuction allowing the fat to be washed and filtered at the same time. With minimal trauma and in a closed system with less chance of infection the chance of improved fat survival is increased.
The fat harvested can be injected back into patients during the same liposuction operation and increases surgical time by only 15-30 minutes. Many patients opting for liposuction should consider the benefits of autologous fat transfer for other areas of the body.
In the face only relatively small amounts of fat are required to help volumize the face. Increasing amounts are required to provide a breast volume enhancement with very large volumes required to produce an enhancement in the buttock area. Patients need to prioritize the areas they wish to address.
It would appear that around 50% – 75% of fat will survive long term and injection techniques are continually improving in order to improve the amount of fat that will survive long term. It is important that during the liposuction component excessive fat is not harvested that can lead to irregularities from the harvested areas. Equally there is a safe limit of fat that can be injected back in one sitting in order to maximize survival.
Autologous fat transfer is increasingly being used as an alternative to both breasts and buttock implants. Patients need to be aware that the amount of volume that can be achieved is less than silicone based implants and is less predictable.
Mr Ross is able to offer the variety of liposuction techniques but for fat transfer Mr Ross prefers water assisted liposuction. Patients undergoing liposuction need to be aware of the possibility of autologous fat transfer and run through the pros and cons at a consultation. It is important that women are aware of the various possibilities and combinations so that they can be empowered to make the most appropriate decision.