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Jan. 2 2010 - 12:20 pm | 832 views | 0 recommendations | 14 comments

2010 trend alert: the year your fat becomes ‘phat’


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You wish I was referring to cooking.

Alas, my Inbox greeted me this morning with a press release from a cosmetic surgeon’s website, informing me that my ‘Fat Was Phat‘ this year. Necessary for hormone production, insulation for my inner organs, and padding for long bike rides, maybe. But – the press release wants me to ask – what else has my fat done for me lately?

Not as much as it could, apparently. 2010 has been marked as the year that fat takes over the plastic surgeon’s office, with new procedures utilizing human body fat to aesthetically “improve” the body.

The year 2010 ushers in a new decade where science , beauty, and your own fat consummate a marriage that promises to deliver one of the most disruptive medical technologies of the century.

That’s an interesting visual, right there. Science, vanity and a liposuction siphon getting all up and at each other. And the end result, apparently, includes less bleeding and fewer scars. And I think we can all agree that blood and scarring do not a good consummation make. If you’re into the idea of using your own fat to create a new you (as a lifestyle choice, not a science experiment), here are a few of the real winners:

Stem cell facelift. Human fat tissue is a rich source of pluripotent adult stem cells, which could come in handy for lifesaving procedures and medical cures for ailments like Parkinson’s, fatal wounds, and the creation of new organs. And, most importantly, of course, the stem cells will be a godsend for cosmetic surgery. Your fat would be sucked from your thigh or stomach, stem cells cultivated, and then re-injected into your face. All that for the low, low price of $5,000.

Brazilian butt lifting. Before the wonderful possibility of fat injections became a medical reality, butt implants used silicone and were accompanied by a high risk of infection. Not to mention “a less sensuous look” when compared to the Brazilian lift method. What is it? Fat is again siphoned from your body, and then re-injected – hundreds of times – to fill out your rear. According to this surgeon, the method results in “a youthful, prominent, perky buttocks and a more sensual body profile.” Until you remember that you just had your own fat injected into your ass, right?

Fatty breast implants. If you’re looking for a little bump in bosom size, rather than the all-or-nothing Pamela Anderson approach, this doctor recommends fat injections for boobs, too. Six to eight small shots of – again – your own fat cells – are pumped into each breast, for a slightly bigger, fuller cup size. And if you’re interested in trying fatal septic shock, this might be an excellent procedure to toy with – as long as you don’t mind the subsequent “contraction and contracture of the mammary gland and skin, with traumatic aesthetic outcomes.”


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  1. collapse expand

    I predict pluripotent will become the word of the year in 2010. Its not the totipotency we’re all hoping for in life, but hey, we takes what we gets.

  2. collapse expand

    This sounds like a phat way to take fat away from places were it doesn’t belong, and injecting it into places that’ll make (mostly) women more lovely and alluring. Perhaps, with time, more men will slide into the new procedures, too.

  3. collapse expand

    Suzy: Yes. 2010 word of the year, I hope.

    Palav: Dude. Really?

  4. collapse expand

    Hi Bill. What is it about women writers here that you’ve got such a big problem with?

    • collapse expand

      Katie, I like all the women writers on True/Slant that I follow, including you. But a few of you have called me Dude, which I find objectionable. I’m assuming that Dude is the current vernacular, but I don’t like it.
      Update: I think I know now why I got the “Really” remark. I believe I did a double entendre. It wasn’t intentional, if that evoked the “Really” from you, Katie.

      In response to another comment. See in context »
  5. collapse expand

    Sorry. You’re right on the ‘dude’ — consider me schooled, and your comment valid.

    Double entendre indeed! Hah! I just thought it was funny…

  6. collapse expand

    hello Katie,

    Please note that in reference to fat grafting of the breast, the case of sepsis you cited occurred in *2001*. Fat grafting has come a LONG way since then!

    You might want to check out the most recent publication by our national organization, the American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS), endorsing the safety and efficacy of fat grafting. The ASPS Task Force on Fat Grafting published this in Feb 09:

    “Overall, complication rates associated with fat grafting are not unduly high, considering the level of invasiveness of the procedure. Cases of severe complications and death appear to be extremely rare, and causation in these cases could not be fully determined. Therefore, the Task Force found no compelling evidence that would warrant a strong recommendation against autologous fat grafting. The risks associated with fat grafting procedures may actually be lower than other types of surgery;”

    P.S. Stem cell enhanced fat usage in cosmetic surgery is the first baby step for the REGEN industry. Note that these are NOT embryonic stem cells. Use of mesenchymal stem cells to treat and cure diseases is in clinical trials now and will require a higher level of scrutiny by the FDA.
    To read more about the exciting new area of medicine check out my video blog about stem cells from your own fat:

    Cheers and Happy New Year!

  7. collapse expand


    I am all for using our fat cells to help with lifesaving medical emergencies, but why do we think it’s a great idea to take certain parts of our bodies and add them to other parts of our bodies to make us better? Eventually, I bet scientists and doctors will have a way to stimulate certain genes to grow fat and shape areas of our body, like Play-Doh,. No more injections, just a switch that a “plastic surgeon” will flip in order to make our asses bigger and our breasts fuller, or in a guy’s case, his pecks and you know what larger. Can’t wait for this day!

  8. collapse expand

    Nick —

    Right there with you. There are so many terrific, important ways to use stem cell/fat cell research. Since when did body augmentation join that list?

    …The Play-Doh switch. That’ll be interesting.

  9. collapse expand

    If they end up offering it for men, I think I’ll have some of my fat cells injected into my head first, then injecting it into other parts of my body might seem like a good idea.

  10. collapse expand


    We are a little disappointed that you didn’t call out our comment to inform readers that the isolated incident of fat septic shock you referred to in your article occurred in 2001. Plastic surgeons have performed hundreds of thousands of fat grafting procedures during the past 10 years.

    Furthermore, stem cells from adipose tissue will have a material impact on regenerative medicine.

    Have a great day!

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    About Me

    I'm a full-time heath & science writer at Sphere and a contributing editor at True/Slant. I also contribute military health news to Danger Room at Wired.com, and have recently written for Marie Claire, World Politics Review and Next American City.

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