Florida surgeon opens fat 'bank' for liposuction patients

November 7, 2011

Florida surgeon opens fat 'bank' for liposuction patients
Florida surgeon opens fat 'bank' for liposuction patients

Most people undergo liposuction surgery to remove stubborn fat deposits and improve their appearance without worrying where the actual fat will go once it's gone from their bodies.
But a Florida plastic surgeon is taking steps to preserve the fat harvested during liposuction surgeries. He says that it can be frozen and saved for use in later surgeries where fat is needed to serve as a filler.

According to WTSP-TV news, the doctor has opened a "fat bank" in Orlando to store his patient's unwanted fat. The storage facility is called the "Liquid Gold Center."

"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.

The stored fat, which is drained and cleaned before being frozen at a temperature of minus 192 degrees Celsius, can then be defrosted later on for use in fat injection surgeries.

The Florida doctor says his patented system of freezing fat for later use is a great option, as it helps patients avoid having to undergo additional surgeries to harvest fat. But some plastic surgeons say using frozen fat may be risky.

"No good data exists to substantiate the fact that frozen fat does well or is metabolically viable," a Georgetown University plastic surgery professor told the newspaper.
Others say the best fat bank is the human body.

"You only need 30 to 50 cc's for a facial procedure," a Boston-based plastic surgeon who has studied fat transfer told the news source. "You can always find that somewhere on a woman's body. And that's the best bank of all."

According to the American Society of Aesthetic Plastic Surgery (ASAPS), fat injections are commonly used for areas of the body including the face, lips and hands. It can be used to improve body contour, reduce the appearance of scars, fill depressions created by liposuction and rejuvenate aging hands and faces.

According to Surgery.org, autologous fat is a safe, long-lasting and natural-appearing filler that is used to replace volume in areas where it is diminished. Fat grafting usually involves harvesting fat from one part of the body, washing/ purifying it, and then carefully re-injecting it with specially designed needles into designated areas.

While some may find the idea of banking and recycling their unwanted fat enticing, they should know that it comes with a price. WTSP-TV news reports that the cost of storing 250 to 300 cubic centimeters of fat is $900 for the first year and $200 a year after that. 

The mission of the Aesthetic Society includes medical education, public education and patient advocacy. Plastic Surgery News Briefs are summaries of current stories found through various news and magazine outlets that relate to or mention plastic surgery and cosmetic procedures. The views expressed in these news articles do not necessarily reflect the opinions of the Aesthetic Society, but are merely published as an educational service to our members and the general public. For additional information on these subjects and other plastic surgery related topics, please go to www.surgery.org

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