Fat grafts, Stem cells, and the Fountain of youth

Anybody who has read this blog knows I have been doing fat grafts for years. I have performed fat grafting to the face, hands, breast and buttocks. I love doing it and it seems every day I think of something else to do with fat grafts.

I did my first case of micro fat grafting to the face over 7 years ago. It was a patient that had acne scarring in her face. During the decade of the 90’s I had tried laser for that problem, under the theory that you could level the skin. Frankly the results were OK, not great, because the pits were not filled. Fat grafting was used to fill the pits under the skin. The great surprise was how good the skin looked after the fat injections ! The skin became rosier, softer, and just younger looking.

Afterwards I started using fat to fill the volume of the cheeks under the eyelids. Again, the fat does a great job of filling the volume. The big surprise again is the skin. It looks great! Soft, rosy, just young looking!

How can just fat cells accomplish all of that? The answer is that the fat cells don’t. But fat grafts have a small number of stem cells mixed in and it is these cells that do the magic. These stem cells can form new connective tissue cells, new blood vessel cells, in short, everything you need to make your skin not just young looking, but YOUNG.

Forget injectables, vitamin potions, european embryonic cultured cells (lotions), lasers, etc. Your own fat grafts have little fountains of youth built in. The clinical applications are just beginning to be understood. They are the real deal. Fat grafts are being used for difficult problems such as reconstructing breasts that have been heavily damaged by irradiation.

I challenge any beauty product out there, whether it be laser, any of the injectables, or any fancy creams (some even claim to be stem cell creams!) to match the record of fat graft stem cells in treating damaged irradiated tissue.

When it comes to your own face, trust only your body to do its magic.

By Dr. Ricardo L. Rodriguez MD Board Certified Plastic Surgeon Cosmeticsurg Baltimore, Maryland Ricardo L. Rodriguez on American Society of Plastic Surgeons.