Much has been said in the media about stem cells and their potential for healing heart disease and treating cancer patients. Lesser known are their current applications, and many cosmetic procedures are now making use of these amazingly adaptable cells.
Research has shown that fat contains stem cells and new technologies provide physicians a fast and easy method of extracting them for use. Fat is removed from the body with liposuction and the stem cells of a portion of the fat are separated from the other tissues. These are then combined with an additional sample of fat to create a stem-cell enriched material suitable for injection that can more successfully integrate with surrounding tissues.
Patients and physicians alike tend to enjoy the benefits of fat transfer because there is no risk of rejection. Colorado plastic surgeon Dr. John Millard says, "By sculpting a patient's physique using their own adipose-derived stem and regenerative cells, we essentially change the anatomy of a patient so their results will naturally age and evolve along with the rest of the tissue in their body."
The enriched fat is often used to add volume to the breast, in a procedure similar to natural breast augmentation It's also used as a facial filler and in buttock augmentation and hand rejuvenation procedures. Patients generally report a natural feeling and are happy with the results. Dr. Millard's partner, fellow Denver stem cell pioneer Dr. David Broadway says, "When using the patient's own liquid fat for re-injecting back into the patient's breasts I can place it precisely where I want it with more control. I can also direct it into normally difficult areas, for example, areas that may have had a depression, a scar, or asymmetry."
Patients should bear in mind that these procedures will not give you the same amount of volume enhancement in the breasts as implants can. Doctors say that it's realistic to expect as much as 1 cup size of additional volume, and also say that patients can return for another procedure in the future to potentially add more. Finally, patients with a small amount of fat to be removed wouldn't be appropriate candidates.
Fat Transfer with Vaser Results of Dr. David Broadway