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Can Stem Cells Help Fat Survive In A Fat Transfer?

2010-09-20 10:06:00

The success of a fat transfer is largely dependent on the survival of the fat in the new site. Can the use of stem cells increase that survival rate?

Many patients are opting for a more natural look with the Fat Transfer procedure instead of implants. Known also as a Natural Breast Augmentation or Natural Buttock Lift, fat is removed from the patients body and is reassigned to another more desirable location, such as the breasts or buttocks. One of the most important factors in fat transfer is the survival of the fat, once it is transplanted to the new site. Scientists and physicians have been working hard at developing a way to ensure a higher survival rate for transferred fat; one of which includes stem cells.

Fat Transfer Dr. Darryl Blinski
Model Photo

Not to be confused with fetal stem cells, these autologous stem cells are found in our own fat. To maximize the benefits of stem cells in fat transfer, Dr. Darryl Blinski, a Board Certified plastic surgeon in Miami, FL, is working on a special procedure called SCAFT.

"It's 'Stem Cell Activated Fat Transfer' which is processing the fat that was removed during lipo, processing it where you're getting it as pure as possible with a centrifuge and adding some stem cell activators into the solution of pure fat and a matrix of some sort." Dr. Blinski is careful to point out that the testing on this process is in the very early stages. "This is brand new. It's just starting and we don't have enough info on it yet, but it looks impressive and this might be the thing that we need for the fat to survive better in large volumes."

As it stands, Dr. Blinski says that it is important to manage patients expectations with the Fat Transfer procedure. The results will not be those of an implant and will be on a smaller scale. "The one thing I'm finding with the some patients is they're expecting this to be the replacement of a breast implant, it is not. There are some doctors saying that they're getting some increased volume like from an A to a C cup. I really don't think that's going to bear out at this stage."

For a noticeable enlargement in the breast, at least 300 cc's of pure fat is needed from a donor site on the patient. To get this amount of pure fat, Dr. Blinski says the donor site on the patient must yield between 600-900 cc's of lipo aspirate. "We have to find a way to make this fat survive better. Maybe place it on some type matrix frame work - this is what I'm studying now at this point. What I recommend when the patients come in is that they can have an enhancement, a filling effect."

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