Chicago Specialist Explores How Fat Transfer Is Changing Plastic Surgery

TLKM Plastic Surgery

Dr. Thomas Mustoe uses fat transfer in a range of facial and breast plastic surgery procedures at his Chicago practice and says the key is a precise approach.

Chicago, Illinois (September 2015) — Dr. Thomas Mustoe ( helped pioneer the use of fat transfer for plastic surgery procedures at his Chicago practice 25 years ago, and the surgeon says the technique is now generating increased attention in the industry because of its versatility and effectiveness.

“More plastic surgeons are now recognizing the opportunities for fat transfer in both cosmetic and reconstructive plastic surgery,” Dr. Mustoe says. “Techniques have really improved across a wide range in the industry, but it’s still important for patients to choose a board-certified plastic surgeon with extensive experience in this particular procedure.”

Fat transfer involves using liposuction to harvest fat from one area of a patient’s body where it’s unwanted, such as the hips or midsection, then processing it to remove impurities. Then the surgeon injects the healthy, viable fat cells into another area — usually the face or breasts — for volume enhancement.

Dr. Mustoe says he incorporates fat transfer, also known as fat grafting, into most facelift surgeries and commonly uses the technique to supplement the results of breast augmentation surgery for his patients in Chicago.

He cited a study published recently in the Aesthetic Surgery Journal that concludes fat transfer is an effective, safe alternative to surgical procedures of the face.

“It’s absolutely a great option for many patients, but the key is having a surgeon with experience and an excellent technique,” Dr. Mustoe says. “I take a conservative approach, which may involve multiple fat grafting sessions over several months to get the desired results.”

In addition to adding fat transfer to other procedures, Dr. Mustoe makes a convincing case for using a patient’s fat on its own. He says it is a good alternative to dermal fillers for aesthetic facial rejuvenation.

“I generally prefer fat transfer to facial fillers if the patient will tolerate the increased recovery time needed,” Dr. Mustoe says. “It is completely natural, it allows much greater volumes of transfer, and the results last longer.”

Fat transfer started getting widespread attention in recent years when some surgeons proclaimed the benefits of procedures using fat enriched with stem cells or blood platelets. As an international leader in the area of fat transfer, Dr. Mustoe is involved with research of those anti-aging procedures.

“Some procedures, such as ‘Vampire Facelifts’ or ‘Stem-Cell Facelifts’ use those techniques as advertising fodder,” Dr. Mustoe says, “but at this point the evidence doesn’t support the marketing of these treatments.”

If you’re looking for an experienced plastic surgeon in Chicago, request a consultation online to meet personally with Dr. Mustoe, or call (312) 788-2560 and one our helpful staff members will schedule your appointment.