Summary: Fat grafting has become a popular procedure because it essentially kills two birds with one stone: it eliminates fat from an unwanted area and adds volume to an area that may have been lacking. But your plastic surgeon doesn’t just scoop fat from one area to another—the fat needs to be purified, and a new process called Puregraft is promising better results over traditional purification centrifuges.

It’s All About Location

Fat is a problem. When we want it to disappear, it tends to stubbornly stick around. And when we want it to stick around, it tends to miraculously disappear. That’s one of the issues with most modern fat graft techniques: getting the fat to stick around. Basically, when you go in for a fat graft, fat is removed from, say, your buttocks and placed in, for example, your lips. It’s kind of like liposuction with a bonus. Fat graft is popular all over–in New York, Los Angeles, and even Detroit cosmetic surgery clinics.

Purified and Processed

The fat, of course, is processed. Usually it’s put through a centrifuge, so that it can be purified. This is a necessary step to ensure a healthy procedure, but unfortunately, fat doesn’t hold up very well through the process, and a good portion of it actually “dies” shortly after it’s injected into your lips. It’s absorbed back into your body harmlessly enough, but the fullness of your lips will diminish proportionally. This is true of any type of fat graft, from lips to buttocks to breasts.

Some of the problem lies in the traditional centrifuging process, according to a new study published in Aesthetic Surgery Journal. The research, published in July of 2014, seems to indicate that fat purified with Puregraft filtration technology remained in the targeted area for a longer period of time. This is known as the “retention rate” of the fat. With Puregraft, the retention rate was somewhere around 41%. It doesn’t sound that great, until you compare the retention rate of around 30% associated with traditional centrifugal systems.

Part of the reason for this, the research suggests, has to do with the closed system which Puregraft uses, protecting tissue viability and limiting exposure.

Better Retention, Better Results

But here’s what this means to you. Better tissue retention means more consistent results. It means that your lips have a better chance of staying the right size, instead of just a little bit too small. The more accurately your plastic surgeon can anticipate the retention of the fats injected into your target area, the happier you’ll be with the final results.

There are a lot of advantages to fat as a donor material. There’s no chance of an allergic reaction, for one. And it looks and feels incredibly natural. It’s also got that two-birds-with-one-stone kind of bonus of removing unwanted fat and placing it somewhere more flattering. Cosmetic surgeons are always looking to improve the performance of the procedure, and today, it’s probably better than ever.

So kill two birds with one stone. Talk to your plastic surgeon about fat grafts today.

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