Fat grafting or lipofilling removes subcutaneous fat with liposuction. This fat is processed and concentrated and re-injected elsewhere in the body to treat specific problem areas. It is used for aesthetic and reconstructive procedures.
STEP 1: liposuction
Subcutaneous fat is removed with gentle, manual or vacuum assisted liposuction. It is important to remove the fat gently and not to perform a standard more aggressive liposuction procedure. We need to harvest as much viable cells as possible. Exposure to air is avoided as much as possible. The cannulas used to remove the fat have a diameter of 3 mm. Larger cannulas will harvest larger fat grafts. A larger graft has an increased risk not to survive.
STEP 2: processing
Lipoaspirated fat is processed to obtain purified fat. The fat can be washed or centrifuged. Goal is to remove cell debris, body fluids, blood components and injection fluid. Centrifugation will result in the separation of the oil components and the blood components (see picture). Only the purified concentrated fraction of fat is used to perform the lipofilling procedure.
STEP 3: concentrating the fat
After centrifugation the purified fat is collected in syringes and is now ready to inject. Only the purified concentrated fraction is used for lipofilling. The lowest part of the concentrated fat contains the highest concentration of stem cells.
STEP 4: injection
The fat is finally injected somewhere else in the body with small cannulas. It leaves no visible scar after the procedure and there are no major incisions involved in the fat grafting procedure. Fat is injected in a layered fashion; small threads of fat is injected to maximize the survival rate of the grafted fat cells.