Is ADDING Fat The Latest Plastic Surgery Trend?


photo credit: Flickr

We all fantasize about sucking all the fat out of our body — personally, I want lipo more than I want to win the lottery or have perfect hair forever — but there’s a Brave New World out there, my friends. The ability now exists to take fat from one area and put it somewhere else. Consider it the beauty equivalent of trickle down economics, and it is GENIUS.

Imagine if you could take the fat from those thighs and have better boobs? Or augment your butt with that stubborn belly fat? or maybe graft some fat to your cheeks to make your face look younger and more vibrant? It sounds like the future. But the future, it seems, is now.

There is no question that structural fat grafting, and addition of the stem cells that live within fat, is growing in popularity amongst both patients and plastic surgeons, says plastic surgeon Dr. Alan Durkin.  The concept in facial surgery is known as Lift and Fill. “Nobody wants a pulled or windblown look following a facelift, and one of the ways to minimize that look is to modestly elevate and lift tissue without overdoing it (LIFT), and then use fat grafting to restore youthful volume (FILL). By combining these concepts, we can create more natural and youthful results,” says Durkin.

Structural fat grafting is also gaining momentum in aesthetic and reconstructive breast surgery. “Use of fat grafting in aesthetic breast augmentation has clearly shown improved contours to the upper and lateral poles of the breast with a reliable safety profile. Reconstructive surgery patients markedly benefit from fat injections, as they help to replace the fat content removed during mastectomy,” says Durkin.

Fat transfer is one way people go about this – removing fat from one area of the body, putting it on another but where are lots of people removing from/adding to?  Typical areas, says Dr. Durkin, are areas where fat is removed from include the lower abdomen, flanks, and lateral hip areas. “Basically, we choose areas with the greatest concentration of fat, as those areas will typically give us the volumes we need for grafting,” Durkin says.

The next big thing

“I think that pop culture has certainly created a buzz regarding gluteal augmentation. There are a number of high visibility celebrities,” (think a certain Kardashian!),  “that have undergone gluteal augmentation procedures with outstanding results, and it is predictable that the public at large would seek out similar results. Currently, the big buzz is regarding gluteal augmentation, as that particular procedure has definitely penetrated most markets in the United States,” says Durkin. However, the most common procedure still undertaken in the United States is cosmetic breast augmentation.

“While the media feeds the buzz around gluteal augmentation, I also think that patients who seek out “bigger butts” are a highly motivated and vocal consumer group. They are very proud of what they have undergone, and are not afraid to share their experience. This also helps drive the current butt buzz,” says Durkin.

The fountain of youth

“The most exciting factor about structural fat grafting, especially to the face, is that it contains a small percentage of pluripotent stem cells,” says Durkin. “These cells can potentially “morph” into engines of youth and vitality after successful grafting, although the process by which this happens is still poorly understood. In reality, all high volume facelift surgeons that use fat grafting see the long-term benefits of stem cells in fat grafting, but our understanding of how it works is still limited. There is no question that fat grafting does improve overall facial aesthetics, but how it does it through a stem cell pathway, and how to make that pathway predictable, is still under investigation,” Durkin says.

This post is in partnership with Smart Beauty Guide. However, all opinions expressed herein are my own.

What do you think?

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Read previous post:
Steal the Look: Selena Gomez at the VMAs

There was a lot of drama at last night's VMAs, but the best kind was Selena Gomez's sultry eyes. COVERGIRL...