Is Fat Transfer the Future of Anti-Aging? This Expert Says Yes


For Dover, OH facial plastic surgeon David Hartman, MD, his anti-aging procedure of choice is one that isn’t always so easily understood—in fact, he says many patients are surprised the procedure even exists.

“High-definition lipo-sculpting with living fat transfer is unique in the world of cosmetic procedures in that it simultaneously solves two otherwise-unrelated problems in the same procedure,” he explains. “It can artfully remove unwanted, stubborn fat from areas of our bodies where even the most focused and committed dieting and exercise programs often fall short.” (Think of those hard-to-tone areas like the tummy, outer thighs, love-handles, bra roll, inner thighs, and double-chin.)

Even more surprising, he says, is that via that same procedure, the harvested fat can be “beautifully sculpted back in”—and used to restore everything from volume around the eyes, temples and mouth to giving restoration of volume and lift to the breasts, backs of the hands and butt.

“How this revolutionary procedure is accomplished is quite fascinating, too. First, it is performed while the patient is comfortably awake, and there is no need for general anesthesia. This surgery in our practice does not include narcotics or anxiolytic medications of any sort before, during, or after. Therefore, patients walk out of the office after their case with very much the same composure as when they walk in. Using nitrous oxide, or laughing gas, and large volumes of very diluted lidocaine/prilocaine solution, most aspects of this case, for most patients, are actually enjoyable—often described as a spa-like experience.”

The second fascinating detail, Dr. Hartman explains, is that “most patients resume routine activities very quickly after their procedure; 60 percent of our patients are back to their normal routine the next day, 80 percent are back by the second day, and nearly all are back by the third or fourth day. Certainly, there may be an area(s) of the body that are more tender that may take several weeks to resolve. We encourage patients to resume light exercise the following day, strenuous exercise by two weeks.”

Another plus: Patients of almost all ages and genders can experience solid results. “Patients in their teens find this an especially powerful procedure when seeking more-natural, gender-affirming options. Healthy patients into their 80s find renewed confidence with the lovely rejuvenation results. In a single procedure, men in their 20s to 70s can regain a trim waist and powerful-looking abs and pecs.”

Dr. David Hartman

Likewise, when it comes to results, he points to the longevity of them, specifically as it relates to the face. “Living fat doesn’t dissolve away in 6-18 months. Of the living fat transfer, fat that survives the initial three months, the grafted fat should last essentially forever. When the laser-assisted fat-harvesting device, called BeautiFill, is used to harvest the fat, the freshly harvested fat has been found to have a viability of 95-97 percent, and ultimate fat survivability of roughly 80 percent. Therefore, there is needed only a slight overcorrection (extra fat is placed to a slight extent) that is part of the fat-transfer procedure.”

The bottom line, Dr. Hartman stresses: Nothing looks, wears, feels, or lasts as well as living fat for volume restoration. “There are zero concerns about immune-rejections or implant illness like there is with artificial implants. The other big win in living fat transfers is that fat has to come from somewhere—and most of us have a place or two where we would like to take it away from.”

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