Fat injections: Fresh versus frozen
November 30, 2011
A Florida plastic surgeon's opening of a "fat bank" in which his patients can store fat to use as a filler in later procedures has some within the medical community debating whether previously frozen fat works as well as freshly harvested fat.
"We put the patient to sleep once. Do the [liposuction]. Get the fat out once and have as much as we need for later injections," the plastic surgeon told the Orlando Sentinel.
Once it is removed, the fat is drained and cleaned before being frozen at a temperature of minus 192 degrees Celsius. It's stored in a fat storage facility dubbed "The Liquid Gold Center." If it is needed to serve as a filler in a surgery, it is defrosted first and then injected.
But some surgeons are questioning whether previously frozen fat is as safe and effective as fresh fat.
"I think the argument that you can get equivalent results from frozen fat compared to fresh fat, I think that's a difficult argument to make with the science," a separate Florida-based plastic surgeon told WPBF News. "I think the verdict is still out as to the optimum way to preserve the fat, and certainly it's well understood that fresh fat tends to retain viability of the transferred fat cells and stem cells probably better than when the fat has been processed through a cryogenic preservation freezing process, then thawed again."
Individuals are encouraged to speak with a licensed, board-certified plastic surgeon to determine whether fresh or frozen fat is best for them.
According to the American Society of Aesthetic Plastic Surgery (ASAPS), fat is a safe, long-lasting and natural-appearing filler that can be used to replace volume in areas where it is diminished. It is commonly used for areas of the body including the face, lips and hands.
The American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery (ASAPS), is recognized as the world's leading organization devoted entirely to aesthetic plastic surgery and cosmetic medicine of the face and body. ASAPS is comprised of over 2,600 Plastic Surgeons; Active Members are certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery (USA) or by the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada and have extensive training in the complete spectrum of surgical and nonsurgical aesthetic procedures. International Active Members are certified by equivalent boards of their respective countries. All members worldwide adhere to a strict Code of Ethics and must meet stringent membership requirements.
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