Fat is an important and versatile tool surgeons have used in aesthetic plastic surgery for years. It’s only recently, however, that the usefulness of fat has become more widely apparent, thanks in part to the recent popularity of Brazilian butt lift surgery. Patients from around the Naperville area come to my plastic surgery practice for this buttock augmentation procedure.
They’re not alone, according to the most recent statistics from the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery. Buttock augmentation procedures increased by 86% in 2014, going from 11,527 procedures in 2013 to 21,446 procedures last year.
The popularity of Brazilian butt lift procedures also helped make liposuction the top aesthetic surgical operation performed in 2014. In buttock augmentation, surgeons first obtain the fat from another area of the patient’s body through liposuction.
The fat that is removed during liposuction includes impurities and excess fluid that must be filtered away from the healthy fat cells before they are injected into the buttocks. Once that process is complete, a specialized cannula is utilized for microinjections into the buttocks. The body absorbs some of the injected fat, so typically slight initial “overfilling” is necessary to get the desired results.
Buttock augmentation is currently getting a lot of attention, but fat grafting is also an effective tool for facial rejuvenation and to fine-tune the results of breast reconstruction and breast augmentation. In the face, fat is an excellent natural product for filling in the tear troughs, nasolabial folds, and marionette lines around the mouth. I also use it to contour the chin and cheeks.
Fat grafting for breast augmentation is becoming more common, but it’s usually limited to patients who desire only a modest increase in breast size. I commonly use fat, however, to help camouflage the edges of breast implants or to create symmetry between the breasts, for both augmentation and reconstruction patients.
Although most people consider fat an unwelcome part of their bodies, it’s actually a valuable asset when used properly. I enjoy exploring its potential and am pleased to see more people across the U.S. embracing this method.