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Dr. James D. Namnoum | Board Certified Plastic and Reconstructive Surgeon

Can Fat Transfer Successfully Treat Cellulite?

Although most people associate the signs of aging with the face, those of us who have experienced them know that they can actually affect the appearance of the entire body.  In fact, many men and women come to me looking for ways to address sagging and drooping of the upper arms, thighs, or breasts and find that a variety of body contouring plastic surgery procedures can provide relief.  One concern that is extremely common among patients is cellulite, or skin that appears lumpy and dimpled on the thighs, hips, buttocks, and belly.  Successfully treating cellulite can often be difficult, but it is possible once you understand what is really causing it and what approaches are most effective.

Many people mistakenly believe that cellulite is caused by excess fat, and that simply losing weight will make it go away.  Unfortunately the reality is more complicated.  While diet and exercise can certainly have a positive impact on the appearance of cellulite, fat alone is not the only factor involved.  Children, for example, may have a great deal of excess “baby fat” but hardly ever have cellulite because their skin is so elastic and resilient.  The problem really stems from the loss of skin elasticity, one of the many causes of wrinkles that all people tend to experience as they grow older.  Once the skin starts to sag and droop, it becomes more obviously affected by the honeycomb of fibers that make up the fatty tissue structure underneath.  Listen as I explain what happens in this video interview that I conducted for the Plastic Surgery Channel.

However, understanding what causes cellulite is really only the first step.  The real question is what to do about it.  Ironically, one of the most effective treatments for cellulite actually involves adding more fat to the area.  By “releasing” the skin from the fibrous, fatty tissue underneath it (using a technique called subcision) we can effectively disrupt the connection between the two and keep the irregularities in the fatty tissue from affecting the appearance of the skin.  Using advanced fat transfer techniques, I can put a layer of fat (taken from elsewhere in the patient’s own body via liposuction) between the skin and the underlying honeycombed fatty tissue.  This not only adds volume to the area, plumping up the skin and reducing sagging, but also smoothes over the fat and fibrous tissue that is causing the cellulite, giving the entire area a smoother, more rounded, and more youthful look.  When done strategically, the combination of subcision and fat grafting can be highly effective, and can sometimes be completed using only local anesthesia.

It is important to realize that every patient is different, so what works for one person may not be as effective for another.  However, I will work with you to find the most effective way to achieve your individual plastic surgery goals.  If you have any additional questions about how various plastic surgery procedures might help alleviate some of the signs of aging that may have affected your body, please contact me, Dr. James Namnoum, to schedule a consultation.  Don’t’ forget to connect with me on Facebook, Twitter, Google+, and Instagram for all the latest plastic surgery news and updates.

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