The popularity of fat grafting today has more to do than just with it’s generous supply in most patients, being composed of a natural substance or its ability to be placed by injection. There are all admirable qualities of a grafting material for sure. But within fat it has been discovered that stem cells exist…and a lot of them. Fat has as much as 300 to 500 times the number of stem cells as that of bone marrow. This makes the potential to be transplanting stem cells as well as fat when soft tissue augmentation is done…which theoretically may have a rejuvenative or youth-inducing effect. This has led to a lot of marketing and claims about various ‘stem cell’ procedures for aesthetic enhancement in plastic surgery. Such claims, however, remain unsupported by science as of yet. Stem cells may exist within the injected fat but what they do and whether they really provide any benefit remains unknown as of yet.
Dr. Barry Eppley