Chicago-based dermatologist Jeffrey Hsu, M.D., tells Dermatology Times that the BeautiFill device automates and simplifies fat transfer, allowing Dr. Hsu to harvest and reinject fat in two steps in the exam room — not the operating room.
There is a need for facial volumization options, according to Dr. Hsu.
“Physicians know the importance of using fillers to volumize the face for rejuvenating and enhancing appearance,” Dr. Hsu says.
The downsides of synthetic dermal fillers are that they’re temporary and can quickly become cost prohibitive. And patients are demanding alternatives that are more organic and natural.
“In that context, I think fat is an important option that patients should be aware of because basically we’re taking fat away from where they don’t want it, typically the abdomen, the hips or thighs, and we put it where patients do need it in the face, the breasts or buttocks,” says Dr. Hsu, a clinical assistant professor of dermatology at University of Illinois.
Fat as a filler makes sense to patients because it’s natural, long-lasting and can be more economical than synthetic fillers in the long term, according to Dr. Hsu.
But fat grafting usually requires multiple steps, an operating room and a lot of time, which deters dermatologists and their patients from having the procedure. Traditional fat harvesting methods, from mechanical liposuction to ultrasound and laser-based methods, typically are intended to destroy fat rather than keep it viable. And keeping fat cells intact and alive is key to the longevity and success of fat transfer, according to Dr. Hsu.
An All-in-One Technology
But there’s a technology that eliminates undesirable steps necessary for autologous fat transfer, including the need for patients to undergo general anesthesia.
Dr. Hsu uses BeautiFill (Alma Lasers) in the exam room, with local tumescent anesthesia to keep patients comfortable during the process.
The FDA-cleared technology combines tumescent infiltration, laser energy to loosen harvested fat, aspiration and a process for successfully separating viable fat cells for re-injection.
Dr. Hsu is a speaker and advisor for Alma Lasers.