Fat grafting removes fat from a location in the body where it is not wanted (abdomen, thigh, hips) and injects it into a location where it is needed. Most commonly, fat grafting is performed in the face at the same time as a facelift. Fat grafting can also be performed in the breast and is usually used to improve the result of a breast reconstruction. Some surgeons are actually now using fat instead of implants for cosmetic breast augmentations. However, this technique is currently controversial and more data is needed to prove that the procedure is safe and effective.
There are several important benefits of fat grafting that make it an ideal procedure for many people. First, the procedure utilizes a patient’s own tissue instead of a foreign substance. This decreases many of the risks involved in using artificial material. Second, the patient benefits from having fat removed from an undesirable location and actually receives some of the benefits of a standard liposuction procedure. Finally, there are many beneficial cell types and tissue factors, including stem cells, in fatty tissue which appear to improve the appearance of the skin in the area they are injected.
Fat grafting is very effective and the cosmetic results are often quite impressive. Due to its high efficacy and dramatic results, the procedure is often used to correct major deformities in craniofacial surgery as well. Fat grafting can either be performed under local or general anesthesia.
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