Fat transfer, also known as fat grafting, is an increasingly popular plastic surgery procedure that involves taking fat cells from an area such as the abdomen or buttocks, purifying it and then transferring into another area for augmentation. The treatment is sought out by thousands of patients, especially here in New York. Many plastic surgery prospects want to undergo breast enhancement, buttocks enhancement and even add fullness to their cheeks, but are not always so keen on using implants or facial fillers. Fat transfer is ideal for these patients because the procedure utilizes the patients’ own natural fat, so there is no risk of the individual rejecting an implant or facing difficulty during the procedure.
Now, researchers are saying that there may be even more of a benefit for fat transfer treatments. According to a Danish study, fat cells enriched with stem cells drastically improve the results of the procedure by allowing a patient to retain a higher volume of fat.
The research, performed by scientists at the Copenhagen University Hospital in Denmark., shows fat grafts that contained a patient’s very own stem cells were able to retain 81 percent of their initial volume 121 days after extraction, compared with 16 percent for non-stem cell fat transfers.
Fat tissue was taken from the abdomen of participants via liposuction, and enriched with the patients’ own stem cells. The cells were then injected into the patients’ upper arms. Researchers also noted that the rate of necrosis (death of body tissue) was also much lower in the stem cell group than the control group, with 4.6 percent of stem cell fat tissue undergoing necrosis, compared with 16 percent for the control group. The ability of the stem cell-enriched fat also had a much greater ability to form connective tissue than the control group.
Researchers are thrilled with the results of the study, which could mean big improvements not just for regular fat grafting patients, but especially for breast cancer patients who opt for reconstructive breast augmentation surgery following a mastectomy and patients who have been involved in serious accidents and who were left disfigured.
“These therapies could revolutionize breast reconstruction after cancer and reconstruction of deformities after trauma,” explained J. Peter Rubin and Kacey G. Marra, professors of plastic surgery at the University of Pittsburgh.
Long-term follow up on patients is still needed, but researchers are hopeful that no serious side effects will result.
Our very own New Yorker plastic surgeon, Dr. Leonard Grossman, has been performing stem cell enhanced fat transfer procedures on patients for the last 20 years. Dr. Grossman does not only rejuvenate faces with stem cells, but enlarges breasts and buttocks. Dr. Grossman has treated patients who have suffered loss of tissue secondary to cancer and returned the appearance to the pre-surgery state in many patients. Dr. Grossman is especially known for having used stem cells in the treatment of the largest group of patients in the world suffering from a condition known as bowed legs. He can personal attest to the benefits of stem cell enhanced fat grafting procedure, especially the fact that the patient will not be at risk for rejection of the fat since it is their own natural cells that are being used.
Anyone who has considered an augmentation surgery or correction via fat grafting can turn to Dr. Grossman for a consultation to determine the best approach in the treatment and to ensure your optimal results.