Fat Working Overtime
No matter how much we diet and exercise, we still don't have complete control over where on our body we lose weight. What if you could take fat from one area and move it to another? It's a trend in cosmetic surgery, and now doctors are adding stem cells to the mix to make your fat and you look younger. Plastic surgeon Ulysses Scarpidis is using fat from a patient's thigh to plump up her face. Before it's re-injected into her cheeks, he mixes a cocktail of growth factors, proteins and peptides to rev up the stem cells in the fat. It tells them to “turn back the clock.” The stem cell-activated fat adds volume, improves skin texture and color. It costs between $3,000 and $5,000 dollars and can last five years. Artificial fillers like Botox last about nine months. Fat grafting is used to plump faces, eyelids, hands, behinds and breasts. Unlike liposuction, which destroys fat cells, the doctors use special instruments to preserve them. Because of the success stem cells and fat grafting has had in the cosmetic surgery world, other researchers are testing out the trend to help people suffering from facial wounds and scars. Clinical trials to help wounded soldiers will start later this year at the University of Pittsburgh.