Dr. Jeffrey Hartog is giving a whole new meaning to the term recycle -- he is providing plastic surgery patients the option of keeping their fat from liposuction procedures and storing it for use later in life.
Many patients have fat removed from one area and placed into another area. Now those patients have a new option -- they can freeze the fat removed during liposuction and save it for later.
Hartog's Liquid Gold Center in Orlando houses the "fat bank" for patient's fat.
Once the fat is removed in surgery, it's placed in vials and put in deep-freeze tanks for storage until the patient wants to use it again.
"This makes it possible without having to come back and have the liposuction procedure again and again. So we've had interest in it," Hartog said.
The "fat bank" is the only one like it in the state of Florida, and other doctors say they are rare for a good reason.
"It's still a better result to use the fat as soon as possible," Dr. Roger Basin said Thursday.
"I wouldn't council my patients to spend the money and freeze fat when they can just come back later," Basin said.
Hartog admits some fat is lost during the process.
"Sure we do lose a little bit, but with the added convenience for patients they don't have to go back to the operating room," Hartog said.
The cost to store 250 to 300 cubic centimeters of fat is $900 for the first year and $200 a year after that.