Fat Filling Operation and Applications
Fat filling using one’s own fat tissue (autologous fat graft) has become more and more popular in recent years. Fat fillers are used in shaping various anatomical regions for quite different purposes.
To obtain fuller facial contours, to enlarge the small breasts, to give volume to and shape the flat hips and buttocks, to plump the lips are the procedures where the fat filler is the most frequently used. Additionally, in the areas, where the stem cell rich fat tissue is injected, rejuvenation is another benefit provided by fat filling.
It is rarely used in the treatment of troughs, formed due to reasons such as tissue loss, abscess, or infection as a result of trauma or shooting. As an example to a different field of use, it was used to correct the flatness behind the head by Burhan Özalp, MD for the first time in the literature.
Is fat filler permanent?
Fat filling can be compared to hair transplantation in many aspects. Just as the hair, extracted from behind the head, is planted in the front of the scalp and lives there; the fat, extracted from a part of the body, adapts to the new location, where it is injected, and begins to live there. Some of the injected fat (30-35% on average) melts away, while the rest remains in the injected location permanently. Although permanence rate is slightly lower in smokers, injected fat’s full dissolving is not the case.
From which parts of the body can fat be extracted and is there any difference in terms of permanence?
By evaluating the body structure of the patient, it is planned to remove fat from the regions, where there is excess fat accumulation. Usually, fat is extracted from the belly, the sides of the abdomen, the inner parts of the leg, and the hips. Since there is no significant difference in terms of permanence between fat extracted from these regions, the first choice is the region, where the patient desires the fat to be extracted.
How is the amount of fat determined?
It is important for the patient and the doctor to have an exact mutual understanding about what kind of fullness is desired, and the patient should clearly tell what kind of a change he/she desires in his/her face. Some patients want only the cheekbones to be filled, while some patients want the whole face to become fuller together with their cheeks. During the operation, after the fat amount, which will provide the fullness in line with the planning, is injected, a little more is injected with the prediction that some will melt away over time. The main aim here is that the desired volume of fat tissue will remain after melting.
How is the fat tissue extracted from the body and how is it injected to its new location?
Metal hollow tubes, which are called cannulae, are used in these operations. In the fat extraction process, cannulae of 3-4 mm are used to collect fat by suction power, applied by an aspirator or an injector. It is injected to the face with thinner 1,6-2 mm cannulae or into the breast and buttocks with slightly thicker cannulae. Very small incisions are made in the skin for the entry of the cannulae, and there is usually no need for stitches.
Will there be any deformation in the fat extraction regions?
While extracting fat by liposuction from the adipose tissue extraction regions, one should not work shallowly and fat should be extracted from regions as deep as possible. In operations that require large amounts of fat extraction (buttocks augmentation – breast augmentation), it is more appropriate to extract fewer amounts of fat from various regions, rather than extracting more fat from a single region. This way, a single region is prevented from collapsing, due to fat extraction. The use of corsets for a sufficient duration is important for fat-depleted areas to recover without waviness.
Can fat filling be applied again?
It is harmless to apply fat filling to the same region in order to give the desired volume. However, waiting for at least three months between two procedures is very important for the emergence of the first operation’s result and for the second operation to be planned more smoothly.