Not All Fat Grafting is the Same

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As more and more plastic surgeons include fat grafting at their practices, it’s important that each technique be matched to the correct clinical situation. According to a new study in the medical journal of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS), there are a variety of techniques that are appropriate in different situations. 

Fat grafting is used for a variety of cosmetic and reconstructive procedures such as facial injections and to increase the size of the buttocks and breasts. Fat grafting involves surgically removing fat from one area of the body (with microliposuction) and transplanting it to another. 

While it may seem straight forward, “Not all fat grafting is the same,” says Boston plastic surgeon Daniel Del Vecchio, MD. “Fat grafting, once thought to be a simple technique with variable results, is a much more complex procedure with at least four definable subtypes.”

To help surgeons determine the correct grafting technique, they match them to the patient’s situation based on four factors: method of fat harvesting, method of cell processing, method of fat transplantation and management of the recipient site. 

That means that the fat grafting technique used for breast augmentation would be different from the one used to restore volume to the face. For example, a patient undergoing breast augmentation would require some sort of pre-expansion of the breasts to make room for the fat. 

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