Fat Contains Large Numbers Of Stem Cells Full Of Healing Growth Factors

illustrating release of exosomes

Illustration of the release of growth factors from a stem cell

It was observed for years that facial fat transfers resulted in not just increased volume, but improved skin texture and quality.This improvement is due to the high number of stem cells contained in the fat.

Stem cells are full of healing growth factors that stimulate the regeneration of different types of tissues, including cartilage, muscle, bone, and fat. When stem cells are obtained from your fat or bone marrow and injected into another area, they hone in on areas of injury or disease.

The multiple substances included with and/or released by the stem cells have shown promising results in multiple medical conditions. Studies are showing that stem cell contents improve severe arthritis, orthopedic and spinal cord injuries, cardiac disease, multiple sclerosis, autoimmune diseases, and more. In musculoskeletal conditions, for example, stem cell treatments are used to speed the healing of fractures, decrease pain, and stimulate cartilage. 

Many people still don’t know that bone marrow transplants, which have been safely used since the fifties, are stem cell therapy. When the atomic bomb was developed research was begun to find a way to replace bone marrow destroyed by radiation. It was found that when bone marrow was transplanted, it restored the blood-making capabilities.

It’s now known that stem cells are found in multiple sources in the body, but two of the richest tissues in adults are bone marrow and fat. Fat makes up around 15-20% of the body weight of an average person and most people wouldn’t mind sacrificing a few ounces. Fat contains more of the type of stem cell that can differentiate into multiple types of cells than bone marrow, especially after middle age.

With over 30 years of experience performing joint injections and ten years providing fat transfers, I have offered fat-derived stem cell or growth factor treatments since 2014. 

How An Aesthetic Physician Got Involved in Adipose-Derived Stem Cell Treatments

My favorite part of being an emergency/trauma physician was doing procedures. That’s why when I got too frustrated with our hospital and medical systems after fifteen years, I chose esthetic medicine.

At the American Academy of Cosmetic Surgery conferences in the early 2000’s, I saw that a doctor named Mark Berman always had the most impressive facial fat transfer results. He graciously accepted my request to let me observe him doing the treatments at his Santa Monica office in 2009. 

The visit was well worth it because Dr. Berman showed me his techniques and I loved his personality. He became president of the American Academy of Cosmetic Surgery the following year. At that year’s conference, if I have the year right, he had a veterinarian speak about healing leg fractures in racehorses using fat-derived stem cells. In a room with more than one thousand international human physician members and one veterinarian, you could have heard a pin drop. It was a life-changing moment for me. I already had the equipment and the knowledge and I now had a new way to help people heal. 

My First Two Fat-Derived Regenerative Knee Treatments

Stem cells taken from fat helped our patient avoid a knee replacement

A treatment using healing factors isolated from this patient’s fat allowed him to continue his daily exercise without a knee replacement.

The first person that I treated with fat-derived healing growth factors was my uncle (only relatives “volunteer” to let you practice new treatments on them) in 2014. He had bone-on-bone arthritis in his knee to the point of deformity and constant pain but had been postponing a recommended knee replacement for over a year.

Immediately after I injected his knee with the fat-derived growth factors, he was up walking and he went for a bike ride the next morning. Within the following few months, the pain was improved by more than 90%.  Ten years after that single treatment, he rates his knee pain and functional improvement as still 50% better than before and he still rides his bike every day.

I did my second stem cell treatment on my stepdad, who had both knees replaced about fifteen years prior when stem cell treatments weren’t an option. About ten years after the replacements he developed increasing pain above one and was told that it was due to thinning of the bone above the replacement. His orthopedic surgeon recommended replacing the replacement, which my stepdad didn’t want to undergo, and the doctor gave him the okay to try a fat-derived stem cell treatment with me.

A man relaxing after having a stem cell injection in his knee

My step-dad relaxing with a beer and a book after his adipose-derived healing factor knee injection 

I took fat from his abdomen, isolated the stem cells and healing factors, and injected them into the bone above the replacement. Within the following weeks, the pain above the knee replacement improved and was gone within a month. An MRI taken five months later by his orthopedic surgeon showed that the thinning bone above the replacement had thickened where it had been injected and so far, ten years later, he’s had no further pain there.

The Fat-Derived Regenerative Knee Procedure

The procedure for fat-derived stem cell therapy involves obtaining a few ounces of fat by mini-liposuction to the abdomen or flanks after injection with a local anesthetic. Once enough fat has been obtained, the patient can go out for coffee or wait in the office. The fat is separated from the blood and anesthetic and the stem cells and growth factors are isolated. They’re then injected into the anesthetized part of the body being treated. There’s no sedation or general anesthetic needed and patients can walk immediately afterward.

Fat-derived regenerative treatments are still considered investigative procedures so they’re not covered by insurance, and like all medical treatments, individual results vary, results aren’t guaranteed and there are associated risks.

You can find out if you’re a candidate for a fat-derived regenerative knee treatment by scheduling a complimentary consultation online, emailing me at dr@skinspirations.com, or calling 727.571.1923.

* Skinspirations is not representing or offering "stem cell therapy" as a cure for any condition, disease, or injury. No statements or implied treatments on this website have been evaluated or approved by the FDA. This website contains NO medical advice. All statements and opinions provided by this website are provided for educational and informational purposes only and we do not diagnose or treat via this website or via telephone. Skinspirations is offering treatments that are in the investigational stage to provide individual patients with injections of  their own autologous stem cells and growth factors. Skinspirations is not involved in the use or manufacture of any investigational drugs.

Skinspirations represents that it is important for potential patients to do their own research based on the options that we present so that they can make an informed decision.