A new generation of fat transfer – taking blubber from where it’s least wanted and injected into ageing features that need it – is revolutionising anti-ageing possibilities, and even providing a solution for those who want breast enhancement without surgery (see breakout below).
The use of your own fat as a “filler” for areas that unattractively lose volume with ageing, illness or extreme weight loss (eg. faces, backs of hands) – or for body contouring, such as breast and butt enhancement or correction – sounds an ideal solution.
You know … take avoir dupoir from areas where there’s too much and re-inject it to plump up others for more youthful and attractive contours. Win-win.
Using your own fat is also an enticing option for people deterred for health reasons or just by personal choice from having synthetic dermal fillers or neurotoxin anti-wrinkle injections such as Botox. As your own body fat is the donor material, the risks are very few.
Indeed autologous fat transfer has been used for cosmetic rejuvenation and correction for several decades, with doctors and scientists regularly attempting to improve techniques in a quest to make it produce longer-lasting if not permanent corrections.
But it has had its drawbacks:
- The inability to guarantee permanency of correction. Over the years, reports on the duration of correction have varied from a few months to permanent. Basically, it all depends on the tissue response at the recipient site.
- Failure of the transplanted fat to survive. In such instances the correction slowly disappears as the fat is absorbed. This loss of correction can be partial or total but in either event, the procedure can be repeated. Sometimes, more than one transfer session is necessary to eventually achieve the desired degree of correction if there is partial loss each time. But each additional session incurs more expense.
- Irregular absorption of the transplanted fat can occur if some of the transplanted fat survives and the remainder does not. This could produce unsightly surface irregularities or shape deformities that could be very difficult or impossible to correct.
But a new method, Adip’sculpt, is fast gaining traction in Australia, with claims of far greater percentages (around 80%) of adipose stem cells that survive to thrive, more predictable and longer lasting results, using finer instruments in order to minimise cell injury is claimed to produce longer-lasting corrections.
It is a medical procedure (albeit no hospitalisation is needed for this method), but the more you know of options that could benefit your clients whose concerns are beyond your scope of expertise, the more respected and appreciated you will be – ergo, more loyal clients, repeat visits and referrals.
Sydney cosmetic physician Dr Neal Hamilton, owner of Concept Cosmetic Medicine in Sydney’s Drummoyne, has been using the system for almost three years.
“The seven doctors who work at CCM and I were looking for an integrated solution to introduce activated Adipose-Derived Stem Cells aka Mesenchymal Stem Cells into the skin for rejuvenation.
“These are the normal but `hibernating’ repair cells of the skin that we all have but normally only `wake up’ with trauma.
“We’ve now used Adip’scuplt for nearly three years and on over 200 patients. The treatments have been on face, eyes and neck to achieve superior rejuvenations. We (and the patients!) couldn’t be happier.”
Dr Hamilton, who has 28 years’ experience in laser dermatology, cosmetic dermatology and minimally invasive cosmetic surgery, says they came upon Adip’scuplt through a sales rep the clinic had dealt with and trusted for a number of years.
“He suggested that we meet with the French co-owner/developer, scientist Regis Roche. He was in Australia seeing various clinics known to be doing fat assisted stem cell transfers.
“Everyone had their own methods … square wheels, triangular wheels, you name it. But for me, what was the ROUND wheel?!
“We discovered that Regis had taken all the intermediate steps in traditional fat transfer, of which there are many and, as a scientist – not by gut feelings – determined how best to execute each step so that we could take advantage of the stem cell’s superior rejuvenation properties without the high rates of complications that had plagued the technique since around 1990.”
Dr Hamilton reports “superb results in skin beautification (all categories) with quick recovery and short healing times, all without the need for expensive hospitalisation and potentially dangerous general anaesthetics in a fully disposable one use kit.
“The Adip’sculpt system has become a fully integrated part of my practice. All patients who are candidates for the treatment are offered it as part of their assessment process and, if they take it up, all benefit.
“But please note that does not mean that there will be no place for traditional dermal fillers, especially in the younger patient.”
WHAT IS ADIP’SCULPT
The company was founded in 2006 by two scientific researchers, Franck Festy and Regis Roche, both specialists in human adipose tissue and internationally recognised for their work in this area.
Adip’sculpt proposes innovative solutions for cosmetic and reconstructive surgery as a result of the most recent cellular engineering techniques.
The development of the brand’s three offerings – Microfill, Macrofill and Macrofill Medium – is based on research conducted since 2008 by French scientific teams on the survival of adipose tissue during autologous [ie. from one’s own body] graft procedures.
In order to ensure maximum patient safety, the products are medical devices for volume restoration that bear the CE label. They are also sterile and single-use, allowing adipose tissue to be handled as part of a closed loop.
Each kit has all the necessary elements for infiltration, liposuction, washing and the injection of adipose tissue:
MICROFILL incorporates the latest scientific discoveries to improve the efficiency of adipocyte grafts with small volumes.
It enables non-traumatic collection of adipose tissue, ensuring a fine manual dissociation (through specific micro-cannulas), capable of producing small-sized fat lobules, which facilitates engraftment. It is particularly recommended for rejuvenation and facial reconstruction, and also areas like backs of hands.
The manufacturers claim it optimises engraftment (around 80%) with good vascularisation of adipose micro-lobules, and that is has trophic action (increased collagen secretion), thanks to the specific protocol used. Further, a sharp decrease in oedema and post-operative bruising and an extended field use (lip contour and peri-orbital areas) due to fine cannulas and an easy injection.
The tissue is treated in a closed circuit from beginning to end, with its preparation of adipose tissue taking about 10 minutes.
MACROFILL is for large volumes of fat harvesting and transfer, enabling the re-injection of adipose tissue volumes of up to 800cc, mainly for breast reconstruction/enhancement but also for other forms of body silhouette enhancement/rejuvenation. The kit enables the processing and injection of at least 750cc per hour.
MACROFILL MEDIUM facilitates the re-injection of adipose tissue volumes of up to 800 cc, mainly for breast reconstruction /enhancement and for composite reconstruction enhancement. It enables the processing and injection of at least 500 cc per hour.
Dr Emmanuel Delay, President of the French Society of Plastic, Reconstructive and Aesthetic Surgery, spoke on the benefits of lipografting and results in breast reconstruction at the Adip’sculpt Fat Lipomodelling Symposium in Sydney last year.
He confirmed much of what is known about fat grafting of the breast:
- Success depends on technique.
- It must be done in an operating theatre under sterile conditions.
- It is a safe procedure (17 years’ experience).
- There is evidence that it actually suppresses the growth of breast cancer.
- It produces a natural augmentation of 1-2 cup sizes, depending on the amount of fat available.
- Additional sessions can be performed if a larger size is desired.
- It is very useful for the correction of breast deformities such as tubular breasts.
- It can be performed in conjunction with implants to improve cleavage.