When it comes to looking and feeling your best, a healthy diet and active lifestyle go a long way. Still, that doesn't mean you can't have a little help! SHAPE's new columnist, Dr. Gerald Imber, world-renowned plastic surgeon and author of The Youth Corridor, sat down with us to discuss the best anti-aging procedure to help you beat the clock. Read on for his top recommendation on how to look and feel your best.
"Anti-aging procedure means you have to stop the actual process of aging," Dr. Imber says. "The absolute best way to do that, no matter who you are or how old, is a fat transfer."
A fat transfer is a procedure that entails removing body fat from one area of a patient’s body, such as the buttocks or thighs, and placing it somewhere else on the body, like the face to fill frown lines or to give you more angularity in your cheekbones, Dr. Imber says. Considered as minimally invasive as surgery can be, it's often an out-patient procedure with little time spent recovering, so that you can be up and about for your normal activities quickly.
"The procedure can take anywhere from two to four hours, and you might experience some minor swelling or bruising, but because you're using a large volume of something that's you, you eliminate the risk of allergic reaction," Dr. Imber says. "Generally, you can leave the hospital the same day and there's very little recovery time."
Further, this procedure is safe no matter your age, Dr. Imber stresses. "There's no age boundary," he says. "It's great for a young person, as well as an older person."
The objection most people have, according to Dr. Imber, is that it's not a "quick fix."
The procedure has the potential to be permanent, but because you're dealing with living fat cells, some people have to undergo multiple rounds before they see results. When you remove the fat cells from one part of the body and place them in another, about half will immediately find a blood supply in which to "live." The other half might dissipate over the course of six months or a year. When that happens, a patient might have to undergo another round or two of fat transfers before they see permanent results.
What do you think? Would you ever consider an anti-aging procedure for yourself?
Dr. Imber has developed and popularized less invasive procedures such as microsuction and the limited incision-short scar facelift, and has been a strong proponent of self help and education. He is the author of numerous scientific papers and books, is on the staff of the Weill-Cornell Medical College, the New York-Presbyterian Hospital, and directs a private clinic in Manhattan.