A Boston, Massachusetts plastic surgeon says new technology has changed fat grafting and says the challenge is to figure out what applications are the most relevant in cosmetic and reconstructive surgeries. Dr. Dan Del Vecchio, a board certified plastic surgeon says fat grafting has come a long way from where it was in the 1980’s and the 1990’s. He says, no longer is it a problem keeping the fat alive and viable after grafting, but questions still remain in the overall process of the fat grafting procedure.
By Dan Del Vecchio, MD
and Carolynn Grimes
Fat grafting has been around for over a hundred years, but it wasn’t until the invention of liposuction in the 1980’s that plastic surgeons could safely take fat out without incisions and put it into other areas of the body, says Del Vecchio.
New Technology and Knowledge in Fat Grafting
These days, fat grafting is taking on a whole new level of technology and understanding. Del Vecchio says, “In the past seven years we’ve been able to develop instrumentation and techniques that reliably provide yields and we now can perform fat grafting operations in two hours or less.”
“One past example of the lack of understanding with the instrumentation is the cannulas that we initially used in the 80’s and 90’s were about the size of my little finger. When the cannula is that large, there can be problems; making the fat not viable,” says Del Vecchio.
He adds, “Another example of how fat grafting has changed through the years, is surgeons would often harvest fat, put it on a table, do a breast augmentation procedure or an abdominoplasty, and then take the fat at the end of the procedure and graft it. They didn’t know that the longer the fat was outside the body the less likely it was to survive.”
The Future of Fat Grafting
“By taking the operation and breaking it down into a workflow from harvesting, processing, injecting and then managing the shape of the fat, we’ve been able to give the patient a much better result and the patient spends less time in the actual operation,” says Del Vecchio.
The best candidates for breast augmentation using Microfat Grafting are patients who have realistic expectations about what can be accomplished. You are best suited for this surgery if you are interested in liposuction but are also looking to enhance your breast size or shape as well.