The Wonders of Fat

By Amy Candrl

I had the opportunity to attend The World Symposium on Liposuction in Chicago this past week. One of the principal focuses of the symposium was on “The Wonders of Fat.”

The World Symposium on Liposuction brings in experts from the United States and around the world to discuss our evolving knowledge in sculpting the human body and the many uses for fat once it has been removed. This is a tremendous learning opportunity for all of the attendees with an open exchange of ideas, concerns, and new developments.

Adipose tissue or fat is much more complex than we typically give it credit for. It is a rich source for mesenchymal stem cells. In fact, an equivalent amount of fat has 2,500 times more stem cells than bone marrow. This gives adipose tissue tremendous regenerative capabilities.

In the United States, we are somewhat limited in our application of fat for healing problems by the FDA who considers these applications to constitute development of a new drug. In other parts of the world, mesenchymal stem cells are being used to treat heart disease, strokes, neurodegenerative diseases, and spinal cord injuries, just to name a few. There are currently a number of studies underway in the U.S. on the regenerative effects of fat.

The most common uses for fat in the U.S. are as follows:

  • Transfer to the buttocks (Brazilian butt lift)
  • Transfer to the breast (natural augmentation)
  • Transfer to the face and hands (much longer lasting than most dermal fillers)
  • Injections into joints and soft tissue injuries
  • Micronized fat has been used in combination with PRP to stimulate hair growth
  • Micronized fat is being used for penile enlargement and treatment of erectile dysfunction

Most of these services are available through The Lifestyle Center. In the future, we hope to get involved in more of the regenerative capabilities of fat, but this will be largely dependent on the regulatory environment and FDA. For now, we limit our practice to the use of stem cell rich fat treatments.

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