Dr. Seare performs facial fat transfer as an essential component to our fat transfer services as a facial rejuvenation program. One of the main reasons for the success and effectiveness of this procedure is because the results are very long lasting.
Experience With Fat Transfer
Obtaining the “best autologous fat for transfer is multi-factorial” says Dr. Seare.
Dr. Seare started using autologous fat transfer or fat grafting in 1988 and presented his first paper to the Lipoplasty Society in 1990. We can use your own fat rich in stem cells to “transfer them into your face” for a procedure we call Facial Freshening, We use your own body’s natural fat to add volume creating very long lasting changes, safely, without implants.
With this background knowledge and experience, Dr. Seare has determined what he believes is the best method to harvest, process and transplant fat, in order to get reproducible and maximum benefit from the transferred fat.
Before & After Photos
We first must get the fat loose from its other tissues, including blood and lymph vessels, nerves and fibrous connective tissue. This needs to be done so that the removed fat pieces also containing those tissues are the right size and gentle enough not to disrupt the fat cell. Fat cell lysis can produce free fat oil that can lead to scarring, inflammation, and death of the very fragile fat cells and helper adipocyte, which work together to produce the fat that lives and remains.
This adipogenesis and fat survival occurs when the composite fat pieces are placed near blood supply sources such as other fat, breast tissue, beneath skin, or near muscle and blood supply to the transplant packet is restored. If they are too large, you can get the outside of the graft surviving, but the inside dies and melts away and also produces scar tissue that can be a problem, especially in the breast. If it is too small, we don’t get enough fat to take, and the results can be disappointing.
Next, we need to suction the fat into the container used for fat collection. This is done under reduced pressure through specialized suction cannula from the suction machine so that the negative pressure doesn’t damage the fat and preadipocyte cells. We usually reduce the aspiration pressure by 40% in order to preserve as many cells as possible. This takes significantly more time for the liposuction part of the procedure, especially in fibrous tissues, but is needed to get the best cells possible.
All of the fat intended for fat transfer is suctioned into a graduated cylinder until full, and allowed to settle. The settling allows non-tissue and cell components and especially the fat to float to the top, and the liquid and red cell fraction goes to the bottom, where it can be decanted into the disposal canisters, leaving pure fat and the stem cells that are so important to the AFG process. If there is still some fat oil or blood in the fat, it is washed in place with lactated ringer’s solution that is removed by decanting. This leaves a very yellow, relatively pure fat with stem cells that have migrated somewhat to the bottom. This is all mixed up and put into various syringes depending on the area to be enhanced. For the face, we use 1cc syringes to inject the fat into the area of the face that needs to have added volume.
This entire procedure is done with Awake Anesthesia.