For the first time, the FDA has approved a reusable fat collection and transfer system for plastic and reconstructive surgery.
In March, Millennium Medical Techologies (MMT) was granted clearance of its collection of canisters, lids, luer extension and bags that are used with vacuum and/or cleared pumps, tubing and cannulas for collection and transfer of aspirate fat.
“The FDA clearance of these items for grafting permits me to use FDA-validated devices in conjunction with the company’s Lipo-Loop for large volume fat grafting, without cost or need for additional processing devices,” says Steven R. Cohen, M.D., medical director and owner of FACES+ Plastic Surgery, Skin and Laser Center in San Diego, Calif.
Dr. Cohen tells Cosmetic Surgery Times that he co-developed Lipo-Loop, a sterile closed system for liposuction, “to eliminate the confusion around large volume fat grafting. Tumescent anesthesia is more effectively delivered because the device vibrates while instilling the solution, making it very comfortable for the patient.”
The fat is gently separated by vibration, “yielding more stem and regenerative cells, while loosening up the fat and making it easier and more comfortable to remove,” Dr. Cohen explains. Because the fat graft is optimized by the hole size of the harvest cannula, “it is already micronized. Then, after rinsing, if even needed, the fat is ready to be reinjected into the patient using an automatic injection with vibration, making the fat graft more uniformly distributed and smoother.”
Dr. Cohen says Lipo-Loop is the first commercially available system to make large volume fat grafting predictable, simple and safe. “Not only can one obtain macrofat for grafting larger volumes into breasts and buttocks, but one can also modify the fat for full facial rejuvenation in a new procedure I have labeled ‘injectable tissue regeneration’.”
The discovery of bioactive and biostimulatory cells and molecules, such as mesenchymal stem cells, pericytes, growth factors, exosomes and other cell signaling factors in fat, “are leading to a disruption in not only how we will manage aging in the face, but also how we will manage aging and wear and tear in other body tissues,” Dr. Cohen says.
For instance, for early knee injury, instead of injecting a steroid to reduce pain and inflammation, “we will be injecting stromal vascular fraction cells and platelet rich plasma into the knee to reduce inflammation and stimulate repair,” Dr. Cohen says.
Likewise, for facial aging, “we will be treating a woman with full facial fat grafting early in the course of aging to replace what is being lost with biologically active tissues that not only restore appearance, but actually regenerate tissue that has aged,” Dr. Cohen says. “These new strategies will likely be found to impact us even on the cellular level, where we may for the first time begin to see a deacceleration of the aging process in some tissues treated with these new regenerative approaches.”