You're Going To Take My Fat and Put It Where?!

Health News Digest

by Health News Digest | August 10, 2010 @ 10:00AM

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FAT- it's what 99% of the American population wants to avoid becoming. This sentiment is what accounts for the proliferation of diets, pills, low-cal shakes, and gym memberships. Just this three letter word alone is enough to cause a semi-anxiety attack with visions of lumps, bumps, and saddlebags. But imagine if one's own dreaded fat could actually be used to create a more appealing physique. Sounds crazy? In fact, it's pretty logical.

Dr. Bruce Nadler, is a Manhattan plastic surgeon who counts on his patients, dancers, athletes, and body builders for whom fat is indeed a dirty word. Dr. Nadler now implements a procedure called multi-dimensional liposculpture. As Dr. Nadler explains, "Very often when surgeons look at patients and assess their body, they focus only on areas that are too full as opposed to areas that may be fat deficient, such as the buttocks. In order to achieve an ideal curve, a surgeon might need to transfer fat from one area and add it to a neighboring one in order to create an ideal silhouette."

Where would patients possibly want to add fat? Although many women complain of fullness in the hips, some have minor indents, which renders a very male looking figure. In order to achieve a softer, feminine look, some fat may need to be added. The benefits of fat extend beyond the body. Fat taken from one area of a patient can be used to plump lips, fine wrinkles, fill out scars, and minimize the appearance of cellulite dimples. All of this is known as autologous fat injection. As Dr. Nadler explains, "Multi-dimensional liposculpture differs from autologous fat transfer but is simply more conceptual. With the latter, a surgeon is seeking to exaggerate a feature, as with the lips. With this method of liposuction, a surgeon is augmenting something to make it fuller than it should be, thus correcting an overlooked deficiency." In typical liposuction, only those areas of the body that are too full are "marked" for surgery. With fat transfer, a surgeon also marks the deficient areas.

What happens to the liposuction patient who wants to lose weight to remedy areas of fullness but is fearful of losing it in areas that are deficient? "If a patient loses weight following surgery of fat transfer, that fat will indeed begin to dissipate" says Dr. Nadler. He adds, "It is important to remember why liposuction is being performed." For Dr. Nadler, this means performing surgery on a patient whose weight has become stable and leaves areas that are not responding. He points out that, "some doctors will perform liposuction on patients who are 30 pounds overweight and that is really like putting the cart before the horse because an accurate read cannot be gauged on bodily proportions."

The good news for patients is that the fat can be kept frozen for up to a year, which enables additional corrections to be made. Because the fat comes from a patient's own body, it cannot be rejected as with other filler substances. Dr. Nadler states that, "ideal beauty should not be a universal concept of what the body should look like guided by tunnel vision that fat has to be removed. Rather, fat has to be distributed. While fat has been a foe for so long, it can now become friend and make ones body sexier and in better proportion."

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