Tag Archives: The Lucas Center Plastic Surgery

Non-invasive Kybella may improve your neckline

Non-invasive aesthetic procedures have come a long way in the last ten years. The American Society of Plastic Surgery’s yearly statistics continue to demonstrate strong demand for procedures such as neuromodulators (Botox and Dysport), and hyaluronic acid filler agents (Juvederm, Voluma, Restalyn). Recently, non-invasive contouring systems that perform the techniques of cryolipolysis, such as Cool Sculpting and radiofrequency skin-tightening Ultherapy, have emerged in the marketplace. Now Allergan has added Kybella to the mix as a non-invasive injectable material to dissolve fat under the chin.

Before and After

Before and After

The key to success with these treatments is consulting a comprehensive center that offers a full array of non-invasive and surgical options, and will direct you to the ideal treatment modality for your unique circumstances. Just as with any medical and surgical procedure, there are appropriate candidates and patients with contraindications.

The most important step to avoid dissatisfaction is to be evaluated by a physician who is properly trained to perform comprehensive evaluation and care for all patients with a particular aesthetic concern.

Board-certified plastic surgeons have the most comprehensive education and background experience to correctly evaluate your anatomy and determine which treatments will yield the best outcomes. The statement “if all you have is a hammer the whole world is a nail” rings true for medical spas and dermatologist offices which only have one option, such as Cool Sculpting or Kybella. Just because a treatment option is non-invasive does not mean it is inexpensive. If you factor in the cost of multiple treatments, it may be as expensive as surgery and still fall short of expectations.

When is Kybella the right choice?

With the current status of the injectable form of deoxycholic acid (Kybella) the ideal candidate must have reasonably tight skin with only mild to moderate adipose excess in the submittal and chin neck angle. The patient should not have a significant mandibular jaw discrepancy with the midface or have a particularly steep mandibular plain angle.

When is Kybella the wrong choice?

Any patient with lax skin of the neck or a significant deflation of the neck related to weight loss with demarcated platysmal bands is not a candidate. Taking away fat in this circumstance only worsens the deformity. Any patient with a deep underbite and a small chin with a very oblique chin-neck angle should also avoid Kybella. Deoxycholic acid is mostly created to dissolve fat but does produce some inflammation with the caustic material to encourage collagen production and skin retraction. Skin excess with an oblique chin neck angle and recessed chin will not yield overwhelming positive results.

Instead of Kybella, the better option is placement of a chin implant (genioplasty) with aggressive liposuction to encourage skin retraction. A middle facial third with significant skin excess and deflation combined with loose-hanging skin with platysmal bands is best treated with a corset platysmaplasty in conjunction with a neck/face lift.

Non-invasive aesthetic procedures can be a wonderful adjunct to helping people age gracefully with limited down time. Kybella in the right situation may improve necks and make people happy with the results.

Avoid being pushed into this option without a thorough three-dimensional analysis of your face to determine if it’s right for you. Nothing is more frustrating than spending a great deal of money and not realizing your desired results. Even with surgery, some deformities may not be able to be corrected. Take advice from a board-certified plastic surgeon to maximize your goals and to feel good in your own skin.

TLC for Rosacea

Rosacea is a fairly common condition that I see in my aesthetics practice. It is a condition which causes redness and in some stages, small pustules on the face. The redness can occur when blood vessels under the skin become enlarged. Though it is a chronic condition, with no known cure, there are several ways it can be controlled with treatment. During a skin assessment I refer to the Kligman acne rosacea classification scale. The stages of rosacea can range from Stage I-Pre- Rosacea, Stage II-Mild Rosacea, Stage III-Moderate Rosacea, to Stage IV-Severe Rosacea. In office facial treatments include a combination enzyme/AHA, mild chemical peels, and microdermabrasion, preformed once a month. In addition to having regular professional skin treatments, I recommend that clients follow an at home regimen to help minimize flare ups. SkinMedica’s Sensitive Skin Cleanser is specially formulated to protect highly sensitive skin. Active ingredients include chamomile flower extract to neutralize irritants, cucumber to calm skin, and marigold which has soothing properties. Follow cleansing with Redness Relief Complex. Redness is reduced with Calmplex (4-Ethoxybenadehyde) and niacinamide to improve barrier function of the skin increasing moisture content by reducing trans epidermal water loss. Please give us a call at The Lucas Center at 865.218.6210 to set up your first facial treatment with skin assessment.

The bottom line on fat grafting for buttock augmentation

The bottom line on fat grafting for buttock augmentation

 

What is judged to be attractive in women’s body contours changes just like fashion trends in clothing and makeup. The buttock area has reached new levels of interest thanks to the influx of the Latin culture from South America and pop culture’s fixation on the shapely, self-absorbed Kadarshians. Surgeons on the cutting edge of buttock enhancement choose to use fat grafting instead of buttock implants to avoid some very difficult complications.

Thanks in part to Drs. Simeon Wall and Constantino Mendieta’s contributions to the concepts of tissue equilibration and redistribution in body sculpting, fatty tissue can be removed from areas of excess and transposed to areas of deficiency. For example, we can take excess areas like the muffin top and the lateral thigh and place that fat into the under-projected gluteal areas. This creates the idealized hourglass shape of the lower back while framing the buttock from hipbone to the upper lateral thigh and provides volume enhancement to the gluteal region, which also provides a lifting effect. The results can be quite spectacular with limited downtime.

Of course you need to find a plastic surgeon with extensive experience in large volume fat grafting. Often times each cheek of the buttocks will receive as much as a liter of fat per side which is significantly more than what is put into the face, hands, or even breasts. Careful techniques of fat harvesting, fat isolation and reinjection is required to maximize the fat grafting take and the avoidance of nodules and fluid cysts. When performed correctly, the fat retention, which is placed into the buttock, should be around 70% long term. After approximately four months, any fat cell that remains should be a long survivor. Of course smoking can be a cause of less fat retention and should be avoided.

The art of fat grafting and the clinical success of fat transfer for body reshaping have outpaced the basic science of the procedure. Much basic science work needs to be done to better understand the biology of fat and wound healing as well as the actual effects of transference of peripheral stem cells as part of this procedure. However, it has been well documented that fat grafting is safe, has low complication rates in experienced hands, and is highly effective for providing volume and shape to a region of contour deficiency of any part of the body.

Plastic surgeons employ biologic tissue as our medium to create beautiful forms of living art. Fat is a wonderful way to sculpt the human body. It is truly like airbrushing imperfections in three dimensions.

Regardless of the Kardashians over-developed assets, fat grafting is worth the hype. Call 865.218.6210 today or go online to thelucascenter.com to schedule your consultation. I look forward to discussing with you the myriad of options for face, breast and buttock enhancement via fat grafting.

DERMAPLANING BLOG

By Rebecca Ludwig

Dermaplaning is a client favorite as well as a personal favorite of mine for many reasons.  I call it an instant gratification service, and recommend it before any special event.  The main intention for dermaplaning is to allow better penetration of products, masks, treatments, or peels.  For this reason I perform dermaplaning as part of a full facial treatment.  The technique of dermaplaning involves using a surgical scalpel to ablate the surface layers of dead skin cells and vellus hair. All of the accumulated dry dead flaky skin cells are removed, improving the texture of the skin.  The vellus hair is the peach fuzz that many of us experience in certain areas or all over our faces.  By removing this fuzz the skin looks dramatically brighter.  Dermaplaning is a great option for many clients who are unable to use other methods of hair removal, such as waxing or depilatory creams, due to contraindications from topical cosmeceutical products, such as tretinoin, retinoic acid, retinal, etc. Dermplaning can be performed prior to facial peeling to improve the outcome of the facial peel.  Moisturizes, antioxidants, and humectants are easily absorbed post dermaplaning, leaving the skin feeling baby soft. Treatments are typically repeated every four weeks.  Step it Up with The Lucas Center, give us a call at 865.218.6210 today.

Worried about skin rolls around your bra line?
We got your back.

Skin

Many women are uncomfortable wearing form-fitting clothes, because the skin either above or below the bra line creates rolls detracting from the aesthetics of the female back. Unfortunately this can occur at any age. Spanx may hide the problem, but who wants to wear tight undergarments during warm weather months?

Causes: The skin of the back and shoulder must accommodate the wide range of motion of the shoulder girdle. When the arms are raised above the head, the skin in the posterior upper armpit region must stretch to avoid restricting this movement. Over time our skin begins to enlarge and increase in surface area, particularly in the posterior-axillary fold region tapering towards the tip of the shoulder blade. The skin lower in the armpit region and sides along the ribs does not require expansion, but a transitional line or fold can develop and become more pronounced with gravity causing a landslide effect of the skin above. The appearance is made worse with a restrictive band of the bra traversing this region thus forming the dreaded “bra strap fat roll.”

Anatomy varies greatly depending on skin type and quality, body mass index (BMI), and age. In some cases, skin folds are very tight without a great deal of excess fat, but the skin excess is the issue. People with greater BMI scores may have a great deal of fat deposited in this region. The other extreme is the massive weight-loss patient who has very little adiposity but has a great deal of inelastic deflated skin, which hangs over the bra. Each of these types of patients requires different treatments to achieve a pleasing result.

Treatment options: If you have slight increases in fat deposits in your back with deep tight folds, the treatment of choice is suction-assisted lipectomy with the added energy source of either VASER-assisted suction lipectomy (ultrasonic energy), power-assisted suction lipectomy (PAL), which is a mechanical rotating blade effect built into the cannula, or HydraSolve, a heat and water pulsing technique that breaks down interstitial fibers surrounding the fat. All these approaches work by breaking down the ligamentous attachments between the back and the dermis of the skin combined with the inflammatory reaction of the surgical cannulas allowing a re-draping/redistribution of skin to tighten over the back and conform to the new contour.

In my opinion, the results of these techniques are superior to liposuction alone. Non-invasive body-contouring procedures such as cryolipolysis (CoolSculpting) have no mechanism to break down the fibrous insertions to the skin from the deeper fascia, thus no elimination of the tight fold lines will occur.

If you have an elevated BMI and increased adiposity of skin folds, you will also benefit from the above-mentioned techniques of added energy sources with liposuction, but a greater degree of fat removal is necessary. Increased fat volume requires a more cell removal. However, discretion must be utilized to prevent over resection that can result in loose hanging skin on the back.

For the massive weight-loss patient or the person who has a large amount of loose-hanging skin with or without added fat volume, a skin resection technique is often incorporated with a brachioplasty to correct hanging skin of the upper arms as well. My incision choice is a vertical resection of skin along the posterior axillary line angle, which is easily concealed.

If bra line skin or fat excess is detracting from the overall aesthetics of your back, you need a board-certified plastic surgeon to thoroughly evaluate your situation to determine the right treatment option to feel more confident in your own skin. Visit thelucascenter.com or call 865.218.6210 to schedule your personal consultation with me.

Consider custom solutions for a sagging neckline

neck-blog

Consider custom solutions for a sagging neckline

Necklines for both men and women can be a focal point of self-consciousness. However, the etiology of an unattractive neckline can be diverse, so treatment options must be tailored to the underlying cause. There is no one solution for everybody. Careful three-dimensional analysis of the soft tissue and underlying bony structure of the midface, lower jaw and neck are imperative to choosing the correct modality to improve your neckline.

Some common underlying causes of poor aesthetic necklines:

Small lower jaw – If you have a deep underbite despite orthodontics and a short chin, this leads to less bone support of the soft tissues of the jawline and submental region. People with this type of lower jaw may have a very obtuse chin-neck angle leading to redundant skin. An ideal treatment for this situation is bony chin advancement (genioplasty).
If your chin is horizontally too short, then an augmentation with a chin implant is an excellent choice. I prefer the Medpore implant, which is carvable, and screw fixated and becomes an extension of the bone.

Both genioplasty and chin implants can easily incorporate the technique of liposuction as a means of sculpting the soft tissues of the neckline by removing unwanted fat. Liposuction induces collagen production and facilities skin shrinkage and redistribution yielding a pleasing result. This combination therapy can produce a wonderful outcome that makes you look more facially balanced. However, if your skin is too loose and hanging, a more formal neck lift may be preferable to liposuction.

Mid face descent of soft tissues – Aging can affect facial fat compartments leading to decreased volume, which results in the midface falling over time. This sagging increases nasolabial folds and causes lower facial soft tissue to drape over the jawline. A crisper jawline can be restored by replacing missing soft tissue volume in the fat compartments of the midface with filler agents like Voluma and Sculptra or via fat grafting. Subtle volume enhancements can create a nice effect on the jawline without looking like you’ve undergone a surgical procedure.

Gravitational changes to the soft tissue of the neck – Gravity affects all of us. The skin and muscles of the anterior neck begin to pull away over time. The appearance of the platysma muscle medial bellies becomes apparent leading to unsightly banding. In the early stages of gravity-induced changes, treatments such as chemical peels, micro-needling and radio frequency can yield improvements and delay the inevitable soft-tissue sagging.
Ultimately the best treatment option is a face/neck lift. A well performed facelift by an experienced board-certified plastic surgeon will yield excellent results with longevity of up to ten years depending on how well you age forward and take care of your skin, avoiding further sun damage.

Obesity: People with elevated body mass indices will accumulate increased fat throughout the body. The neck is no exception. Very mild amounts of fat excess with firm, good quality skin may realize improved contours with Kithera (an injectable product that dissolves fat in the neck). However, in my experience, few patients I evaluate are ideal candidates for this treatment. The injection results in inflammation, which can cause collagen production and skin remodeling, but most people need bigger guns to fight the battle. The price of several rounds of injections is as much as a true liposuction with less effective results.

If you have significant fat in the submental region and reasonable skin quality, liposuction can be a great treatment option to uncover a more normal neckline without a lot of expense or downtime. However, a face/neck lift with a corset platysmaplasty is the tried and true corrective option that works very predictably.

If you’re obese and undergo bariatric surgery or make lifestyle changes to produce massive weight loss, you’ll likely develop excess deflated skin that hangs off your face and neck creating an aesthetic deformity. Modifications of standard face and neck lifts must be incorporated to achieve a pleasing result.

The takeaway is that if you’re unhappy with your jaw and neckline, you can improve your appearance and boost your self-confidence by seeking out proper consultation with an experienced plastic surgeon. During the consult, a detailed facial analysis should be performed. Treatment options can be formulated to yield the best results by addressing your unique issues as presented during the interview. No need to hide your neck behind scarves and turtlenecks any longer.

Fat grafting versus filler agents: which is best for facial volume restoration?

tammyinjecting

For many years, facial rejuvenation was limited to skin resurfacing with lasers and peels, and various surgical soft tissue repositioning procedures. However, our options have expanded with the understanding of muscle relaxation via neurotoxins such as Botox, and the evolution of our knowledge of how fat atrophy in the face leads to stereotypical architectural changes with aging. Plastic surgeons can now add volume to refresh the face. In order to achieve a youthful but natural appearance for my patients, I use a combination of muscle balancing, skin resurfacing and tightening as well as volume restoration. Ultimately, when the battle of gravity versus skin plays out over time, surgical repositioning is required.

Let’s examine the question of how best to restore volume in the face.

One option for facial volume restoration is off-the-shelf materials such as hyaluronic acid, in various structural manifestations, as a direct filler. Another option is a polymer of lactic acid (Sculptra), which acts as an inflammatory material inducing collagen synthesis to create a guided tissue volume additive over time. Both are easily administered in the office without any donor site pain or bruising. While these procedures are easy and safe, it takes experienced hands, eyes and judgement to achieve the best outcomes. Results can be expected to last up to two years.

Fat grafting is another source of filler material to restore volume to the face. Fat is easily harvested from the abdomen or the thighs to use in the face. The technique is a gentle form of liposuctioning which then requires a minimal amount of processing followed by reinjection into the desired locations. In the office setting under local anesthesia, patients may not enjoy some of the pressure sensations required to obtain the fat. In an effort not to injure the fat and to prevent fat from being injected into vessels, blunt cannulas are utilized to place the cells into the tissues. This technique causes some degree of pressure sensation as oppposed to a sharp small needle, which can inject off-the-shelf fillers. The advantage of fat is that it is cheaper to obtain than manufactured materials. In most cases, there is a relatively unlimited supply. Furthermore, peripheral stem cells may direct cellular differentiation leading to improved tissue quality.

Fat versus fillers

Fat is certainly more technically demanding and unforgiving. For injections around the eyes to smooth the eyelid cheek junction, I prefer hyaluronic acid. When injected smoothly with appropriate application, no lumps or bumps should occur. In the lips, when I am working to recreate vertical ridges of the phyltral columns of the upper lip and “Cupid’s bow” points as well as a nice rolled margin of the lip, I prefer hyaluronic acid, because it is the consistency of caulking material and can provide shape. Fat is soft, and does not exert force on the skin in the same way as fillers. However, recent research from the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center demonstrates excellent results of restoring large volume loss of the upper lip beyond the vermillion by placing fat cells in a broad area making the loose skin less apparent.

With regard to the common area of deflation of the sub-malar fat pad in a non-surgical case, I prefer the highly crosslinked stiff material of Voluma which does an excellent job of re-supporting the facial structures to a more youthful position. If I am already performing a surgical case of a face or neck lift, I always add volume to the face prior to elevating the tissue; this is when I choose fat, because of the ease of harvest and injection under anesthesia. Some thin women may show very demarcated loss of volume in the temple area giving the face a skeletonized appearance around the eyes and making the brows seem to sag. This is an excellent indication for Sculptra. If the volume loss exceeds several vials worth of Voluma in the sub-malar fat pad per side, I also prefer to use Sculptra.

Fat grafting is an evolving technique in plastic surgery. Every industry conference has a significant discussion about the techniques and the science behind the results with just about every region of the body applicable to its uses, including face, breast, hand, buttock and other contour deformities. For the early stages of facial rejuvenation, which can occur in the third decade of life and beyond, much of the volume restoration is performed with off-the-shelf filler agents in an office setting due to ease and convenience.

It’s a case-by-case decision.

So when do you use fat versus fillers? It depends. It’s a case-by-case decision to determine the best protocol for each patient. I take a customized approach from the consult to the procedure, based on my unique skill set and my years of experience and training. My goal is to provide the absolute optimal results for each of my patients and to cultivate a lifetime relationship.

Common Questions patients have about post-bariatric body lift procedures

1. Will a lower body lift fix all my problems that concern me after massive weight loss?
The surgery of the lower body lift is a constellation of several procedures rolled into a single anesthesia event. It amalgamates an abdominoplasty with a lateral thigh lift, a lower flank-plasty, and buttock augmentation with the patient’s tissue derived from the flanks to give a shapelier appearance that is not flat and amorphous. Many people who have experienced the loss of over one hundred pounds have many areas troubling to the patient beyond the mid and lower torso. These individuals have redundant hanging skin of the arms and medial thighs, significant aesthetic deformities of the breast, and often premature aging of the neck and face. These above mentioned areas are addressed with additional procedures performed separately such as a breast lift with or without a brachioplasty (arm lift), medial thigh lifts, and face- neck lifts. Patients also typically inquire about the order of the procedures and I often state I prefer to perform the lower body lift first to establish the “Keystone “ area of the torso and then I can better make aesthetic judgements about the breasts and thighs with respect to the shapelier proportion of the new torso.

2. Will I spend the night in the hospital after the lower body lift?
Although the lower body lift with all its components takes about 7.5 hours of anesthesia time, The Lucas Center of Plastic Surgery’s protocol is for an outpatient surgery status. People seem amazed at this concept. My explanation is a hospital is for sick patients who require monitoring of unstable vital signs, severe pain requiring IV pain management, the inability to take oral consumption of fluids and nutrients, or the requirement of IV antibiotics. After this very significant surgery we have done very thorough evaluation of what is required to make a patient comfortable, safe and recover in an expedited manner. First of all the surgery utilizes a technique supplemented with tumescent anesthesia which provides local anesthesia with a blood vessel constrictor (epinephrine) which results in a very limited amount of blood loss eliminating any risk of unstable vital signs postoperatively. We also ensure adequate pain management with the combination of a long acting local anesthesia pump to control pain along with narcotic analgesia. There are no limitations on what you can or can’t eat afterwards. At home pain medications can be dispensed as needed, as compared to a busy hospital when your pain control may be limited by the availability of the nursing staff. Home limits the risk of hospital acquired infections which can occur on the nursing floors. Lastly one of the biggest safety measures is the prevention of deep venous thrombosis and pulmonary emboli. Early ambulation even the night of surgery is one of the most important factors along with chemo-prophylaxsiswith Lovenox which can be easily administered at home. In the hospital ambulation is once again limited by the nursing staff availability and can result in almost no mobilization the night of surgery or beyond. In conclusion home is the best place to be after this operation.

3. What are the things patients will be responsible for after surgery?
A patient will wake up in a compression garment that helps to limit swelling and support the abdomen. Four drains will be placed during surgery to reduce fluid collections on the abdomen, flanks and lateral thighs. This will require some care to encourage fluid drainage and the patient or the care giver must measure the output to determine when the drains can be removed. All incisions are closed deeply with resorb able sutures with a layer of a glue –like substance over top so no incisional care is required for two weeks. The patient may shower the first post-operative day. The most comfortable position to rest is in a reclined position to reduce the tension on the abdominal closure.

4. When can I resume normal activities and exercise?
This is a very significant operation which can result in a whole new lease on life by liberating the patient of the imprisonment of the excess hanging skin of the torso. However this comes at a cost of being quite sore and requires subsistence living for about two weeks. After this time many of the inflammatory chemical released by the body as a result of surgical trauma have cleared and most people begin to feel significantly better and are able to resume a more normal life. To feel completely normal it takes around six weeks which is also the time frame to return to regular exercise.

5. What are lifestyle loans? Can they be utilized to finance these procedures?
Lifestyle loans are now becoming more popular and several institutions such as Credit Unions and banks in Knoxville, Tennessee offer loans for cosmetic surgery procedures up to $10,000 with rates as low as 9.20% APR for up to forty eight months. This is substantially more attractive than other popular finance plans to help finance larger procedures such as body contouring after bariatric surgery. Please contact your local bank or credit union for more details.

Why are Plastic Surgeons uniquely qualified to perform facial analysis and rejuvenation

Board certified plastic surgeons have a very diverse training experience because we do not own a particular body part such as an Orthopedic or an ENT surgeon and we must be prepared to reconstruct or rejuvenate all parts of the body when the demand arises. Those who felt the calling to become plastic surgeons out of medical school realized their gifts and talents that could be offered to patients pertain to their unique skills of three dimensional thinking and artistic perspective to be able to see the problem and formulate a solution no matter how complicated the deformity exists.

I am troubled by the notion that patients think that facial filler agents, neurotoxins, LASERS, non-invasive contouring machines and other technologies or even surgery will work the exact same way no matter who is providing the services. I feel that Madison Avenue and corporate greed is mostly to blame because all aesthetic companies want to sell the product and place it in as many provider hands as possible to deliver their product to the masses. Many products can provide safe, and reproducible results in the right hands but in the untrained provider can result in injuries, poor outcomes and unhappy patients. None of these products are dirt cheap so why go to a clinician who is unable to critically analyze the face or body because of the lack of years of extended training. Remember if you can’t see the problem correctly then you can’t formulate a proper solution. My analogy for this situation is you can give a novice and a true artist the exact same canvas, paint and palate and ask each to create their masterpiece I hazard to guess there will be a distinct difference in outcome and quality. Why risk your face and body or your wallet to chance go to a true trained professional in aesthetic procedures. All providers are not created equal. Plastic surgeon have a unique training and perspective which I can assure you results in better outcomes.

As an example of why I feel uniquely qualified to analyze faces and what can be provided to achieve your aesthetic goals look to my experience as a craniofacial plastic surgeon who spent years mastering the art and science of the rehabilitation of the child with cleft lip and palate. It requires great understanding of the biology of the facial structures of bone, teeth, muscle, skin, fat, and cartilage and how growth and wound healing affects theses structure over time. Typically the child undergoes a lip and initial nose repair at three months of age with or without pre-surgical orthopedic repositioning of the bony segments. Followed by cleft palate repair at age six months to reposition the muscles that move the palate and close the hole between the nose and mouth. The third surgery to repair the cleft of the bone which house the teeth utilizing bone from the hip is performed somewhere around five to six years of age. After a period of six months then the cleft nasal repair is performed to balance the nasal tip with cartilage taken from the back of an ear. Additional surgeries may be required to improve speech function or revise the lip scar. We work closely with ENT’s, speech therapist, orthodontist and pediatric dentist to achieve excellent results.

These principles have been engrained in me and I can apply this knowledge to improving your aging face both non-surgically as well as surgical repositioning of aging soft tissues, changing the shape of your nose, lips and other structures. Please see below pictures of representative cases of cleft lip and palate surgery I have performed over the years. If you have any questions and if you would like a consultation we me and my staff please contact me via our website.

Age three months prior to first surgery
Cleft 1

Age Eight after four surgeries
Cleft 2

Age three months
Cleft 3

Age Eight after three surgeries
Cleft 4

Age three months
Cleft 5

Four months after presurgical repositioning of upper jaw and bilateral lip repair
Cleft 6

The bottom line on fat grafting

The buttock area has reached new levels of interest thanks to the influx of the Latin culture from South America and pop culture’s fixation on the shapely, self-absorbed Kardashians. Surgeons on the cutting edge of buttock enhancement choose to use fat grafting instead of buttock implants to avoid some very difficult complications.

Thanks in part due to Dr. Simeon Wall’s concept of tissue equilibration in body sculpting, tissue can be removed from areas of excess and transposed to areas of deficiency. For example, we can take excess areas like the muffin top and the lateral thigh and place that fat into the under-projected gluteal areas creating the idealized shape of the buttock both in terms of the outer framing and the projection.

The breast is another area where fat is very important. Most of the breast volume under the skin is composed of fat with small islands of glandular material dispersed throughout. With aging, volume in the breast is lost by glandular atrophy and some fat loss. Previously breast rejuvenation or enhancement was only thought of with augmentation via implants, with or without tissue repositioning such as a mastopexy. Today fat grafting is critical to achieving superior results. Research suggests that over 60% of breast augmentation procedures could be improved with the addition of fat grafting performed simultaneously.

Furthermore, fat that is harvested contains peripheral stem cells. The presence of stem cells in harvested fat has implications for rejuvenation medicine and the potential growth of tissue such as bone, skin, solid organs and bone marrow cells. Unfortunately, the art of marketing has outpaced science, and many clinicians are calling fat grafting to the face a “stem cell face lift.” This is a misleading statement. Much energy has been directed toward the understanding of the stem cell, but it’s not ready for prime time yet.

Plastic surgeons employ biologic tissue as our medium to create beautiful forms of living art. Fat is a wonderful way to sculpt the human body. It is truly like airbrushing imperfections in three dimensions.

Regardless of the Kardashians over-developed assets, fat grafting is worth the hype. Call 865.218.6210 today or go online to thelucascenter.com to schedule your consultation. I look forward to discussing with you the myriad of options for face, breast and buttock enhancement via fat grafting.