Believe it or not, fat transfer or fat graft injections have been around for over 25 years, but advanced techniques now allow for a substantial volume of injected fat to survive the transfer. I recently returned from a conference hosted by The American Society of Plastic Surgeons, who convened the “First-Of-Its-Kind Regenerative Medicine Summit.” International regenerative medicine pioneers, Gino Rigotti, Sydney Coleman, Kotaro Yoshimura, and Roger Khouri, shared their latest findings. Advances in regenerative medicine currently feature an improved specialized fat grafting procedure. Simply stated, it is true that your own fat cells can be removed from selected areas and carefully transferred to another location.
Fat grafts naturally contain a population of adipose specialized cells. In addition, they also contain a large natural concentration of stem cells. The regenerative properties of these cell combinations are just now being appreciated. The new procedures are particularly effective, because through regeneration, the introduced cells become a natural living part of the tissues where it is placed. Typical donor sites for fat cells in women include areas of the abdomen, buttocks or flanks. I offer this natural implant-free choice to my patients considering breast enlargement surgery. I find that women appreciate having a natural alternative, without the worry or safety concerns of implants. A reader on our Nipntuck Blog commented that it looked like it was “a two-fer,” getting liposuction and restored fullness to her breasts all at once! A modest change is possible with one session, although added fullness may be achieved with an additional procedure.
This revolutionary technique is not limited to cosmetic breast surgery. Fat grafting is an outpatient, clinical-based procedure and the quick recovery is changing is changing the face of plastic surgery, including breast reconstruction following mastectomy and the most challenging reconstructive surgery problems. I believe that we have made revolutionary strides in medicine and regenerative medicine. These advances represent a unique approach to looking at solutions for disease and addressing the processes of aging. I find that it is a remarkable development to offer patients a natural way to approach their concerns about the physical changes due to aging. According to the Pew Research Center, 10,000 Baby-Boomers are retiring today and every day for the next 16 years. I suggest it is a good thing to both look and live well, because 61% of all Boomers report that they feel better than their age would imply.