Dr. Nikko - Advantages & Disadvantages of Fat Transfer Surgery
Speaker 1: In Healthworks this morning, a growing trend in cosmetic surgery. More women are choosing to enhance their face, breasts, and bottoms, using fat from other parts of their body. How does this procedure work, and is it right for you?
Joining me this morning is cosmetic surgeon, Dr. Anthony Nikko, to help us figure it out. Fat transfer surgery, that's what it called. Glad you're joining us today to talk about that. How does it work?
Anthony Nikko: Typically, when we think of fat, we think about various ways to try to get rid of it. Liposuction is certainly one way to get rid of it when you visit your plastic surgeon or cosmetic surgeon. But nowadays, instead of just getting rid of the fat, that fat can actually be utilized for many other purposes. Many people need volume in their face as they age. We all lose volume from our face, and that helps to enhance the cheekbones, and the lips, and various areas that you may lose volumes over the year.
Also, a lot of people are looking to enhance the breasts and the buttock region, and their other areas of the body that have defects that can actually be treated with fat.
Speaker 1: Where is the best place that you like to harvest this fat from before transferring it?
Anthony Nikko: Every patient's different, but most of the time, patients have stubborn fat in their waistline, their outer thighs, or their stomach area, their inner thighs. Wherever the patients have stubborn fats that they don't like, then we normally take the fat from those areas and inject it into the areas where they need volume.
Speaker 1: How does that happen? Do you do liposuction to retrieve fat?
Anthony Nikko: Yes, it's basically a fat harvesting technique, and it involves basically a liposuction technique. It's through that technique that we harvest the fat from the various areas where we have the stubborn fat. We take that fat, and we process it through certain ways. After that processing, we prepare it and find out exactly where they need the volume and inject it into those areas.
Speaker 1: What are some of those areas where you can safely go in and inject that fat?
Anthony Nikko: One of the most popular areas is the face, the face, oftentimes, again, as we lose volume from the cheeks. Then another area that's very popular is the buttock region. A lot of people have maybe dimpling in their buttock region. Some people just need more volume. We see a lot of mommy who comes in for mommy makeovers who, after having childbirth, they lost volume from their buttock region. We can enhance their buttock region. One of the growing trend is actually injecting fat into the breasts for a breast enhancement.
Speaker 1: Is that safer to do that versus putting a foreign object like an implant?
Anthony Nikko: A lot of people choose that route, because they are not with comfortable with putting something in that is foreign. They're worrying about complications that comes with putting in something foreign in their body, for example, capsular contracture, which is basically excessive scar tissue that builds around the foreign material. They're afraid of that happening, and so with breast enhancement using their own fat, they don't have to worry about that.
Speaker 1: Are you going to have to have a longer downtime just because you're having two procedures done instead of one though?
Anthony Nikko: No, actually the downtime is not any greater than any other procedure compared to, for example, liposuction. Where you inject the fat, the face, the buttocks, or the breasts, you feel very minimal discomfort from those areas. You have the normal discomfort from the liposuction, so downtime is not any longer.
Speaker 1: We're almost out of time, but how does somebody decide what's best for them and which way to go?
Anthony Nikko: If you're someone who don't really feel comfortable with having something foreign in your body, and you don't really want to have any scars on your breasts, for example, and you're looking for something that have minimal risk effect with putting something foreign in, and you're looking for something with an enhancement one cup size or one-and-a-half, then you're a great candidate for that procedure.
Speaker 1: And that procedure's going to last forever once you inject it? It will keep the volume?
Anthony Nikko: Nothing lasts forever, but it is a long-term solution. Once the fat graft takes, it stays around for a long time.
Speaker 1: OK, thank you so much, Dr. Anthony Nikko. Great to talk to you as always and appreciate you helping us figure out how it all works.
Anthony Nikko: Thank you.