After a standard liposuction fat removal procedure, the lipo fat is normally sealed in a specialized biohazard container designated for medical waste. It is then burned in an incinerator designed for this purpose. While some surgeons may dispose of body fat this way on the same clinic or hospital premises, many of them outsource this job to a local medical waste disposal company. Post-liposuction waste presents a contamination risk just as other types of human biological matter removed during surgery, and it needs to be disposed with the proper procedures for handling this kind of biohazardous waste.
Liposuction removes a layer of fat deposits from underneath the skin by vacuum aspiration. It is usually done under general or local anesthesia with a medical instrument called a cannula, and the targeted fat waste usually needs to be broken up through the surgeon's back-and-forth manipulation of the cannula. It can then travel through a tube attached to the cannula to a collection container. Individuals who choose to have liposuction generally do so as an additional resort after caloric reduction and exercise have not removed enough fat tissue from certain areas of the body.
Some plastic surgeons also use liposuction fat on a limited basis for other types of cosmetic procedures such as breast augmentation, face wrinkle filling, or lip injections; these are also known as fat transfer procedures. Good candidates for fat transfer injections are those with areas of the face or body that could be improved by being significantly filled out in volume. Due to the natural composition of human fat cells, some doctors prefer to use liposuction fat over synthetic injection fillers.
Medical researchers routinely experiment with possible uses for liposuction fat in stem cell development. Adult human fat cells contain the same basic biological material as embryonic stem cells, and this matter can sometimes be extracted with certain microscopic tools. It can then be potentially be converted to healthy stem cells that can possibly be used to repair tissue damage from injuries or other physical defects.
Liposuction fat waste also has some potential as material for biodiesel fuel. Some scientists have succeeded in liquefying post-liposuction waste so that it can be used to fuel specialized biodiesel engines, although the average volume of fuel can be somewhat smaller than the original volume of the body fat waste. This use of removed lipo fat is generally experimental and can sometimes be subject to legal restriction in certain areas.