LIPOFILLING – Profilo Salute magazine, March 2018

Lipofilling has been widely used in the field of cosmetic surgery in recent years and is one of the most innovative and versatile techniques.


What exactly is lipofilling?

In a nutshell, it consists in transplanting fat cells taken directly from the patient by means of thin needle-cannula.  Fat cells are extracted in specific areas of the body, generally from the abdomen or lower limbs. These cells allow the filling and smoothing out of grooves or cutaneous depressions, but also of increasing the volume of different anatomical areas to achieve an enormous aesthetic benefit. Lipofilling can be considered an extremely safe technique with minimal secondary effects, since no synthetic substances or products are used, which can cause adverse reactions, albeit rarely.


How do you get the fat?

The first step consists in the aspiration of adipose tissue from areas where there is an excess such as the abdomen or the thighs. The collection is done using special cannulas, which are inserted under the skin through millimetric incisions. Once extracted, the adipose tissue is centrifuged and purified, thus eliminating the unnecessary extracted component, such as serum and red blood cells; in this way, there is the certainty that only the fat cells will then be implanted. Therefore, the next step consists in infiltrating the fat cells in the site where we want to make an aesthetic improvement. Lipofilling can be used for multiple purposes, such as, for example, to improve certain areas of the face (cheekbone augmentation, lip augmentation, correction of the nose-cheek furrows, rejuvenation of the lower eyelid by filling the palpebromalar groove), to smooth the skin’s grooves and depressions, to give tonicity to a slightly emptied breast, to reshape the buttocks, to correct some surgical outcomes.


Post-operative and secondary effects:

The discomfort and secondary effects largely depend on the area in which action is taken and on the amount of fat extracted. As easily understood, increasing the volume of the lips is not the same as restoring tone to a slightly emptied breast: in the first case, a few millilitres of adipose tissue will be needed to reach our goal, while in the case of the breast or buttocks, it may be necessary to resort to the suction of more than a litre of fat. It is quite frequent that many patients, taking advantage of a liposuction of the abdomen or lower limbs, resort to the implantation of the aspirated adipose tissue in order to remodel the buttocks, to slightly increase the breast volume or to correct some imperfections of the face. After surgery, a certain degree of swelling and the appearance of bruising should be expected. In some particularly delicate areas such as the palpebral region or the mouth, the oedema can also be significant, but resolves spontaneously within a few days. Lipofilling can be performed under local anaesthesia, under sedation, or under general anaesthesia: generally the type of anaesthesia is established on the basis of the quantity of adipose tissue to be suctioned. Normal activities can be easily resumed after a short time without particular limitations and post-operative pain is easily controlled with mild analgesics.

Advantages and disadvantages of lipofilling: the main advantage is that the use of adipose tissue completely eliminates the possibility of adverse reactions and allows extremely natural and lasting results to be obtained. It is necessary to underline, however, that only a part of the adipose tissue is permanently integrated in the area in which it is inserted (about 50%), therefore in some cases, to achieve the desired result, it may be necessary to repeat the procedure after a certain amount of time.