The lipofilling

Although it's not a reconstructive technique with vascularized autologous tissue, the fat graft technique has increased in the recent years. Also called lipostructure or lipofilling, this reconstructive technique works with stem cells that remain in the fat under the skin. In spite of this technique has been performed many years, outcomes were not good enough.

However, in the last five years, steps in medical research have allowed surgeons to apply new techniques in order to prepare and remove fat, so that lipofilling technique is being used increasingly for rebuilding the lack of small and medium volumes in any area of the body.

How is it done?

The technique consists in removing the excess of fat in certain areas of the body so as to provide an aesthetic benefit of the patient (abdomen, trocábtter, inner thighs...)

The extraction is performed using a liposuction cannula similar to those used in liposuction. Once fat has been removed, it is centrifuged at a certain speed in order to separate the fat from the blood. When we get a purified fat, we can can infiltrate it to the body area.

If the technique is executed properly by experts, the transferred fat integrated into the new location will keep the volume in a huge average (70% or 80%). It's very important explaining to the patients that extra volume will be infiltred during this process, because 20%-30% of fat is reabsorbed. In most cases, more than one session will be required in order to achieve the ultimate goal. That means it is not possible to reconstruct volumes of big breasts in only one session.

Advantages

This new technique is well-considered in breast surgery because excellent reconstructive outcomes are achieved. The procedure does not leave any consequence since fat is introduced through a small cannula (approximately one millimeter in diameter).

The lipofilling allows experienced radiologists performing the patients' follow-up without difficulties. The fat cells are integrated very easily in the region where they have been infiltrated due to their high regenerative capacity.

Drawbacks

It is extremely difficult to reconstruct the breast totally with the fat graft technique. However, this technique allows to get good results in partial breast reconstruction or to complete other reconstructive techniques (especially those that employ autologous tissues such as the DIEP).

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