Dr Charles Serrurier February 2012 Newsletter

The Milan Congress

Well, the year has started with a bang. For me last year ended with a bang too and I’m grateful to have attended the Milan Breast Reconstruction Congress in December 2011 to use a few new techniques in the coming year.

The most interesting part of from the congress was the advancements in two areas I am deeply passionate about. First, fat transfer techniques and secondly, stem cell rejuvenation.

I will discuss my thoughts on both in this newsletter and hopefully we will start implementing these techniques in breast reconstruction and other cosmetic surgeries too.

I hope you enjoy.

Dr Charles Serrurier

Fat Transfer and Breast Reconstruction

Fat Transfer is a double bonus procedure for the patient. It is, in essence, the removal of fat from one part of the body and implanting it into another part. You get a liposuctoin and a safe tissue transfer to where your body needs it.

What does this actually mean?

“It won’t be long before we see a Stem Cell Facelift operation in South Africa”

In the past Fat Transfer has always been a useful technique to correct defects to the breast followng mastectomy and reconstruction. But this advancement in Fat TransferTechnique will allow surgeons to reconstruct a breast using nothing but autologous fat transfer ie your own tissue. This option immediately elimantes the need for breast implants or muscle donor sites used in traditional breast reconstruction

The negatives?

Well to be honest there arent many negatives to undergoing autologous fat transfer should the result last.

That said, fat is rather weak in terms of survival rate and there needs to be sufficient blood-flow and tissue to help it survive. The advancements I mentioned are all in the field of fat transfer survival – and the current results are good.

To achieve a good fat “take” as we call it is dependent on two things:

1st Fat transfer technique

2nd Good patient compliance

The bonus?

There is one final magnificent bonus when dealing with a fat transfer – that is STEM CELLS. Fat is a prime carrier of stems cells. Stem cell research is ongoing but most literature points to skin rejuvenation in conjunction with fat transfers.

 This means by injecting fat, rich in stem cells your tissue will rejuvenate – meaning, diminished scarring and younger looking skin. This is especially exciting to breast reconstruction patients who suffer with bad scarring and healing due to numerous surgeries and radiation treatments.

Fat Transfer in the Face

Surgeons have been performing fat transfers to the face for years – it is widely accepted as a permanent replacement for dermal fillers or tissue for facial reconstruction.


The stem cell facelift is the rejuvenation of the face by injecting carefully prepared stem cells and using their unique regeneration ability to mimic the surgical facelift.

Harvesting the fat

Special techniques are used to harvest one’s own fat and prepare the stem cells for re-injection. This preparation does take time but greatly increases the effectiveness of the fat graft “take”. Special cannulas are used in the harvest and the fat is then spun vigorously to separate the stem cells from the waste. This ensures rich stem cell re-implantation.


There will be a need to prep both the donor site and the injection site with growth factors to again promote a better take.


The results are similar to a facelift; but without the need for major surgery.


Stem cells are found in various parts of the body, brain, bone-marrow, blood and fat etc – in adults they remain in a non-dividing state, dormant until they are required.

Adult stem cells can renew indefinitely enabling them to generate a range of cell types from the originating organ or even regenerate the entire original organ

Plastic & Reconstructive Surgeon
MBBCH (Wits), FCS Plast. Surg (CMSA)
PR. N0. 0304131                                             

Suite A9,
Life Fourways Hospital

Cedar Road & Cedar Avenue West
TEL: 011 875 1630
FAX: 011 875 1631

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