Fat grafting techniques that are already popular in the US and Europe may soon be recognized and covered in Australia by that country’s insurers, according to a recent article
in the Australian daily newspaper Herald Sun
Autologous fat grafting is an increasingly popular surgical procedure, with recent studies
revealing that it is safe and effective for breast augmentation
. The technique, which can also be used for facial
procedures, involves which using the patient’s unwanted fat – extracted via liposuction
from the buttocks, tummy, or another part of the body – to fill out other parts of the body. The fat is treated before being injected into the target site.
Fat grafting is not widely available in Australia, since most insurers refuse to cover the procedure, which leaves many surgeons in a difficult position. However, in the aftermath of the PIP silicone breast implants scandal – in which industrial-grade silicone was used in implants – many Australians are uncertain about placing foreign objects into their bodies. As a result, the Australian Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS) is in talks with insurers, hoping that they will cover the technique.
According to Dr. Graham Sellars, a leading Sydney plastic surgeon, fat grafting may soon become “one of the main techniques for both cosmetic and reconstructive breast surgeries… People will prefer to have their own tissue to something synthetic if it gives comparable results.
“You’re going to get a more predictable result with a silicone implant, but there’s now an alternative for people who don’t want implants…. A silicone implant will wear out. But it’s possible to have this kind of enlargement for life.”
While some Australian plastic surgeons remain skeptical, the results of recent studies have indicated that fat transfer techniques have improved greatly over the last decade, thanks to new methods and approaches. If the ASPS succeeds in its talks with medical insurers, the procedure may be covered in Australia within a year.