What is Fat Transfer?
Fat transfer, also known as fat grafting or autologous fat transfer, is the process of using the patient's own fat to increase the volume of fat in another area of the body. The fat is harvested or extracted by hand using a small liposuction cannula. The fat is prepared for reintroduction into the body and injected into the new part of the body using very small blunt tipped needle-like cannulas. The most common donor areas, where fat is taken from, are the stomach, thighs, and hips. Fat transfer is minimally invasive and the recovery time is short.
Why should I consider Fat Transfer?
Fat transfer is most commonly performed for cosmetic purposes, but can also be used for breast reconstruction and the repair of traumatic injuries. On the face, fat transfer is needed to correct age-related facial atrophy. Facial atrophy is part of the normal aging process. With increasing age, fat is lost from the temples, around the eyes and mouth and in the mid portion of the cheek. Loss of volume and support results in an older, aged appearance as shown below.
Is Fat Superior to Filler?
No. They are different. Fat has some advantage over dermal fillers, especially as a complimentary procedure to face and neck lift. During surgery it is possible to harvest the patient's own fat in sufficient quantities to treat the entire face. Fat is very natural feeling and there is no risk of patient allergy. Not all the fat transferred will survive, however, and it is important to select a physician that has experience with the techniques most reliable in achieving long term results.
How is the procedure performed?
Dr. Ridenour uses a very fine needle-like cannula to gently perform liposuction using a syringe. The fat naturally contains some stem cells, which are harvested in the process along with the fat cells. Nothing artificial is added nor biologically manipulated within the harvested fat. The fat is then prepared and injected back into the face using fine blunt time cannulas developed to minimize injury to the living fat cells.
The Truth about Fat Grafting and STEM CELLS
Unfortunately there is no such thing as a stem cell facelift. Dr. Ridenour is a strong believer in truth in advertising. Despite there being great promise for the future, there is NO scientific evidence that stem cells have ANY proven useful medical application to date. A small group of unethical practitioners are deliberately misleading and exploiting the public with false claims. A joint position statement by the two largest plastic surgery groups, ASAPS and ASPS, said:
"Standard fat grafting procedures that do transfer some stem cells naturally present within the tissue should be described as fat grafting procedures, not stem cell procedures."
"The marketing and promotion of stem cell procedures in aesthetic surgery is not adequately supported by clinical evidence at this time."