Deason C. Dunagan, M.D., FACS
I'm considering fat injections around my lips and have heard from various sources that a) the fat can be frozen after removal to be used for subsequent injections as needed over the following months, or b) the fat cannot be frozen and remain useful, and only fresh cells used immediately are worth injecting. There is a substantial difference in cost and discomfort between these two methods, but, most importantly, I would like to know which statement is, in fact, true. Are frozen fat cells useful or not? If they are, is there any benefit at all to repeating the procedure each time to withdraw fresh cells?
To my knowledge, the scientific facts surrounding this question have not been definitively answered. Theoretically, it may be true that preserved fat cells remain viable; however, it is likely that time diminishes their efficacy. From a practical standpoint, I doubt that there is much
difference in the cost of the surgery using freshly harvested fat versus stored fat, because of the added cost of providing fat storage under temperature-controlled conditions. Most patients could not tolerate the procedure of replanting the fat cells into the face without some type of anesthetic, so the issue of discomfort is really moot.
I am seriously considering a tummy tuck. I have lost approximately 70 pounds and have kept it off for 2 years. I would still like to lose 40 pounds more, but I have reached a plateau. I exercise at a fitness center 3 times a week but have had little or no success in getting rid of my "pouch" and it is rather large. I feel like a tummy tuck would help me feel better about my appearance; but since I do want to lose additional weight, would having a tummy tuck before the weight is lost be successful?
Congratulations on your weight loss and change in lifestyle. It is not unusual after a significant weight loss to have some residual fatty tissue of the abdomen and some loose skin. An abdominoplasty, or tummy tuck, can help remove the excess skin and fatty tissue that remains and, at the same time, the muscles can be tightened to firm up the abdomen further. Additional contouring with lipoplasty (liposuction) for the hips, waist, and upper abdomen can provide further improvement in contour. The tummy tuck operation is not designed for weight loss, although a few pounds will be shed, but it generally is designed for improvement in contour. You did not mention your current weight, but I think that probably you could proceed with abdominoplasty and achieve a very nice improvement, and likely any additional weight that you would be able to lose would complement the results of your surgery.
I had breast augmentation 6 days ago with the implants being placed under the muscle. I was told to not lift anything over 5 pounds or raise my arms, etc. I have tried to follow the doctor’s orders, but I have two small children and have had to lift the youngest a couple of times and reach or raise my arms probably more than my surgeon would prefer. What could the complications be and do I risk “undoing” the surgery?
The major concern with over exertion post-op breast augmentation would be development of a hematoma that would necessitate a return to surgery to evacuate. Hematomas are quite painful. Over use of the arms such as putting arms over the head, and lifting more than 5 pounds are examples of overexertion. It is very important to follow your surgeon's advice for the best post- operative recuperation and the best final outcome from surgery.