I heard that for fat transfer procedures, if you retain the stem cells in the fat after removing it, it can then last forever once reinjected. Is this true? Can you explain this a bit more?
I have been performing fat transfer procedures for many years. My technique has not changed a great deal, but, like everything else, the more fat transfer procedures that I perform, the better I get at them and the longer the fat lasts with no distorted appearance. The whole discussion of stem cells and fat transfer has been truly distorted, and I feel that surgeons who are looking to market themselves as stem cell surgeons are the culprits behind all of this confusion. The claims that are made by these “stem cell” surgeons are preposterous. They are doing absolutely nothing novel with their techniques that have not been done before. Fat does contain stem cells. Brilliant scientists in laboratories dedicated to nothing but the study of stem cells have discovered this for us. Surgeons have done very little to add to our knowledge base of stem cells other than with anecdotal reports of increased cell longevity. Fat transfer is a technique with a steep learning curve. The results of the procedure are very rewarding for the patient and surgeon. I truly believe that at some point we will know more about the use of stem cells in fat transfer, but, at this point in time we still have a lot to learn.
Posted by Dr. Philip Schoenfeld