Fat transfer (injection Grafting) / Volume Replacement for Face
Dr Beulink’s Personal Comments – Fat Transfer
Fat transfer is a precise, sculpturing cosmetic procedure. A surgeon with a creative and artistic eye is paramount in order to produce a beautiful and natural result.
One of the benefits of this cosmetic procedure is the fact that I am using the best natural product available to you - your very own fat filaments! So there is no way you will ever be allergic or react to this treatment.
The Facts:Very soon after commencing facial fat transfer in 1998, something became very apparent to me. Something else was happening, over and above the volume replacement, that this treatment was improving. What I noticed on patient follow up, was not only did they look volumetrically improved, but the patients actually felt better within themselves, and their skin in the treated areas "bloomed". Scars got better. Pigmentation and sun damage improved. In all aspects, the skin just looked better! At first, I assumed that of course these people felt so much better, as they were obviously happy that they looked better. I assumed the skin changes were merely temporary and simply due to the swelling from the treatment (as the fat transfer is placed under the skin, not in the skin and so theorectically should not have any effect on the skin at all). However, surprisingly as the weeks and months went by, this beneficial effect on the skin remained, and was photographically evident, being very obvious in many of the before and after comparisons. I still see patients today, who more than a decade after their fat transfer, still have skin that is significantly (and I mean significantly) better than it was before treatment. In the early 2000's, I theorised that this could only be due to the thousands of micro packages of grafted fat underlying the skin, having established new and increased blood supply, meaning more blood flow and better nutrition to support the skin. This was very plausible, but really didn't go quite far enough to explain the regenerative changes that I was seeing. Then in about 2005, while talking to a research scientist about this, I was given the "key".........I suddenly realised it was all about the stem cells! It is stem cells, in their 10's -100's of millions, that are "piggy backing" along with the fat and regenerating the skin. It explained everything: local effects like the new blood vessel growth essential for the fat transplant to live, the regenerative effects on the skin and the remodelling of scars; general systemic effects such as wellbeing and medical positive side effects like allergy improvement and reduction in aches and pains. The local effects are due to the high numbers of stem cells attached to the fat tissue (fat tissue is an extremely rich source of adult mesenchymal stem cells, of which lower abdominal fat has the most; this explains why for many years I always insisted on my preference for harvesting abdominal fat rather than off the buttocks or love handles etc - I just found it gave the best results). These stem cells regenerate and boost the local aged tissues. The generalised positive effects occur because amongst the lipo-harvested fat tissue, there become many loose and dissociated stem cells, which when injected into the face, are simply free to go "walk-abouts" into the general system.
The Myths: However, when it comes to cosmetic fat transfer, there is currently an ever increasing amount of misinformation being spread on the web. Sites are touting "The Stem Cell Face Lift". This is purely a new marketing spin on an old wheel. An attempt to gain an edge by offering something that appears new, innovative and better. There are claims that fortifying the fat with extra stem cells gives better results, and is possibly claimed in order to try and excuse previous treatments obtaining no or poor results. I feel this is absolute rubbish, as good technique from the harvesting through to the fat infiltration will ensure the natural transfer of 10's-100's millions of associated adult mesenchymal stem cells anyway (I know this for fact as I am involved with stem cell treatments for various medical conditions at the NZ Stem Cell Clinics, and personally oversee the cell counts that come from the harvested fat). Fortifying the fat by adding more loose stem cells will simply mean more cells will go "walk-abouts" systemically. That's possibly nice if you have an arthritic knee (but then a proper stem cell treatment for that would be much better), but does not necessarily give better (cosmetic) results locally.
The fact is, good technique is still the most important aspect ensuring a good result, and far outweighs questionable and expensive add ons. Done properly, fat transfer worked perfectly well in 1998, and still does.
One spin off from my association with NZ Stem Cell Clinics, has been the use of Growth Factor (GF) to stimulate the stem cells in the harvested fat immediately prior to transfer. This is autologous (meaning your own) and is derived from a blood test done in-house at the commencement of the fat transfer. From your own blood we obtain a large amount of highly enriched platelet cells, which, through an activation process, releases GF. Natural human GF is an extremely potent activator of stem cells, boosting or kick-starting dormant stem cells into a highly regenerative mode. Do not confuse this with other clinics offerings of Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP), which at best is low dose and mildly enriched plasma only. Platelets (and hence PRP) do not excite stem cells. It's the GF that they may release, that does. Due to the association with the NZ Stem Cell Clinics, we are able to process and obtain large amounts of your natural GF at a very affordable cost. Adding this to the fat transfer does beneficially affect the stem cells and theoretically has merit with regard to improving results.
In summary, with regard to stem cells and fat transfer:
Stem cells and associated regenerative medicine, are showing promising signs of having a significant contributory element to mainstream medicine over the next decade. If you wish to know more about these incredible cells and what they are capable of, please go to: New Zealand Stem Cell Clinic stemcelltreatment.co.nz .
How much fat do you need?
I can take as much or as little as I need, or you have to give, to rebuild the lost fat areas, volume is not restricted (unlike off the shelf, pre-packaged filler products).
This cosmetic procedure is ranked very highly by all my patients for ease of procedure, negligible discomfort or downtime, and great results. It is therefore also very suitable for out-of-town patients.
This procedure is perfect for under eye bags and the dark circles under eyes. Bags under the eyes are a result of fat in the cheeks disappearing with age. As the cheeks hollow, there is a loss of structural support for the lower eye lid fat pads above, causing these pads to bulge out and hang by their hammock-like ligaments underneath - hence the "baggage" appearance. Dark under eye circles or tear troughs are usually caused by an aged related loss or genetic lack of fat and tissue in the upper cheeks. This lack of tissue allows the deeper darker muscle colour to show through. There are no creams that will or could ever possibly replace this fat loss. Creams can only affect pigmentation and pigmentation is seldom a major factor in dark under eye circles. Volume replacement only will correct these problems and that volume can only be replaced naturally by fat transfer or in less severe cases with dermal fillers.
One of the most common statements I hear from patients before fat transfer is “people always say I look tired, but I’m not”, or “I look burnt out”. If you stand back from the mirror and see this tired appearance, rather than just wrinkles, then this is very likely a procedure well suited for you. By far, the most common statement made by patients after fat transfer is “people say I look well!”
This cosmetic procedure is precise, yet wonderfully but subtly dramatic. The aim is to give you back your youthful facial structure, returning to you a softer more youthful self identity, NOT to create something that is foreign to you.
With all the work being done underneath the skin surface, the typical temporary visible hallmarks of other face-lift procedures are usually absent. Downtime (hide away time) can be minimal. Without the need for camouflage make up it is also an ideal procedure for males.
As no one treatment can possibly fix all aspects of ageing (structural volume, sagging, skin texture, etc), combining fat transfer with such treatments as facial thread lifting, neck liposuction or laser resurfacing can create some truly stunning results.
If you are considering the fat transfer procedure, you would firstly need to have a half hour, one on one, initial consultation and assessment with Dr Beulink. He will go over your concerns with you, see whether you are an appropriate candidate for fat transfer and that it will give you the results you are looking for. He will also discuss downtime, before and after photos, results, side effects, costs, and any other procedures that may be of benefit for you. At the end of this consultation you will have a full idea of exactly what fat transfer can do for you, and just what it would take to have this procedure.
Contact us NOW to see what Fat Transfer can do for you!
Ph (09) 523 2560 or Ph (03) 3555 712