Water-jet assisted fat transfer
More than 100 years ago autologous fat was transferred for the first time: the procedure of autologous fat transplantation is therefore older than all other procedures that use implants (such as breast augmentation with silicone implants) or synthetic fillers (such as smoothing out wrinkles using hyaluronic acid) for body contouring.
The body’s own fat is ideal for body contouring because it is a natural material that can be shaped and does not trigger either allergic reactions or immune responses.
Nevertheless, autologous fat transplantation or the use of autologous fat as a ‘filler’ is far less familiar than hyaluronic acid, collagen or silicon implants. Why is this?
Errors in the past
This is primarily due to complications that occurred and the contradictory information that is still circulating about these complications.
Fat cells are by their very nature exceptionally fragile. Complications due to ruptured fat cells justified the poor reputation fat transplantation had at the time.
The complications included inflammatory responses with dead and unhealed fatty tissue, calcifications and the formation of oil cysts.
Previous procedures for fat transplantation also did not produce reliable results and as a result autologous fat transplantation was considered problematic.
We now know that the complications that used to develop (oil cysts, calcifications) were due to errors in the fat harvesting, preparation and injection back into the body. Autologous fat must be harvested, prepared and re-injected as gently as possible to achieve planned, reliable and lasting results.
In the 1980s the US plastic surgeon Sydney R. Coleman was able to harvest undamaged fat cells for the first time. Dr Coleman suctioned off body fat through needles using a gentle vacuum. This procedure lasted seven hours. The majority of the cells were damaged, and the intact cells still had to be isolated using a centrifugation procedure. But the start had been made.
Nowadays, several procedures for fat harvesting and fat transfer are available: one of these is AquaShape™. Using AquaShape™, the harvesting (liposuction) and the preparation of the autologous fat (without centrifugation) was decisively improved.