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People across the country are discovering the benefits of a procedure called fat grafting.  Salvatore Pacella, MD of UT San Diego addresses this in a recent article titled “From cosmetic to reconstruction fat transfer has benefits.”

In terms of reconstruction, Pacella writes, “Fat grafting is commonly used during breast reconstructive surgeries to restore a natural appearance following mastectomy. Fat is often inserted in conjunction with a breast implant to add volume and create a more natural transition as the breast meets the chest wall. This process can also be used to contour the body following traumatic injuries. Blunt trauma can destroy soft tissue, creating unsightly depressions. Fat transfer can restore healthy fat to the deformity and re-contour skin. In the face, added fat can help mask deformities associated with nerve injuries, such as Bell’s palsy, a condition that causes partial facial paralysis.”

Fat grafting can be very useful in attacking specific conditions like systemic sclerosis, or SSc. Alisa Woods, PHD, of Scleroderma News, addresses this in a recent article titled “SSc Patients May Improve with Grafts of Their Own Fat.” Woods writes, “The researchers, led by Nicoletta Del Papa of Day Hospital Reumatologia, Ospedale G. Pini, Milano, Italy,  studied 20 women with the diffuse type of SSc. This is the most severe form of the disease. The study participants had an average age of 35 and had SSc for about ten years. Fat from the stomach area was injected into the region around the mouth. One goal of the study was to improve mouth movement. Three months after the treatment, mouth movement improved. The scientists also measured substantial new blood vessel growth in the skin around the injections compared to before the treatment and the treatment reduced some of the skin hardening caused by the SSc. In their report, the authors noted that ‘The present study suggests that, in patients with SSc, AFTG can improve mouth opening and function, induce a neovascularization, and partially restore the skin structure.’ The investigators concluded, ‘Our study suggest that [fat grafts] can provide immediate and long-lasting benefits in terms of both aesthetic and functional improvement. It is a safe, relatively non-invasive, and rapid procedure … The cellular and/or tissue mechanisms underlying these changes need further investigation.’”

If you’re considering fat grafting, you want to undergo the procedure with a doctor you can trust. Rex E. Moulton-Barrett, M.D. holds the rare distinction of being board certified in two distinct surgical specialties, The American Board of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery and The American Board of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery. He was educated in the United Kingdom and completed his medical degree at the University of Birmingham Medical School in Birmingham, England prior to surgical residency in the United States.

If you’re looking into fat grafting, this is what you can expect: Your own body fat is used in fat grafting procedures in a technique called autologous fat transfer. This helps cut down on the chance of rejection since the body will recognize its own tissue. It also minimizes the chance of allergic reaction that you might experience as a result of using artificial injected materials.

If you’re considering fat grafting, contact us for a consultation.