The future of fat
Fat Future At Risk?
Despite fat grafting’s apparent traction, this approach to face and body augmentation could soon be out of favor.
There are concerns with some practitioners touting the stem cell aspect of transferred fat and offering snake-oil type cures for various ailments, according to Dr. Johnson.
“I had a patient who spent $50,000 for a ‘stem cell’ cure for his liver cancer. To me, that's criminal,” she says.
The FDA is concerned with the strip mall stem cell facelifts and other such cosmetic options and has issued draft guidelines that, if enacted, would severely restrict fat grafting, according to Dr. Johnson.
“The American Society of Plastic Surgeons responded vigorously to these draft guidelines with a 16-page, 198-reference, forcefully spelling out the value of fat grafting. Our Plastic Surgery Foundation created the GRAFT registry which encourages our members to enter data on all their fat grafting cases, so we can demonstrate to the FDA how and where we are utilizing fat grafting, and what our complications are,” Dr. Johnson says. “We feel that with robust data we can make better decisions as to techniques and uses of fat grafting for the benefit of our patients.”
Major plastic surgery societies are gravely concerned, she says, with several incidences of death after buttock fat grafting in young, healthy patients.
ASPS has joined with the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery (ASAPS) and several international societies in a task force to try to understand and prevent the horrendous complication, according to Dr. Johnson.
“As plastic surgeons, we must be exceedingly careful in our technique of buttock fat grafting to prevent inadvertent embolization,” she says. “We hope to develop best practices for buttock fat grafting that our members can rely on for safety.”
Disclosures: Drs. Johnson and Talei report no relevant disclosures.