The topic of taking fat from one part of the body and transferring it to another is confusing to many people. So many internet blogs, posts, and research claiming to have the “best method” or get the “best survivability” of the grafted fat cells leaves most prospective patients scratching their heads and wondering what to believe and what to choose. Some physicians believe in spinning down the fat after harvesting it. Others think that storing the fat after in a freezer for a period of time produces the best results. Still others promote gently “washing” the cells enhances their ability to survive. Couple this with the buzz phrase “stem cell transfer” and it gets out of control.
It is confusing and a bit misleading not only to patients but to physicians themselves. The objective truth is that there are many good quality studies out there but they are conflicting to say the least. Why? Because it is very difficult to control all variables when trying to determine what method produces the best results when harvesting and transplanting fat cells. There has been very favorable data published with all methods but no true study able to compare each method to the others in a controlled consistent environment (i.e. patient).
The one thing I can say from 13 years of personal experience and having experimented with all methods is that there is no substitute for just gentle handling of the fat cells themselves. This means all the way through from harvest to reinjection. In my practice and those of many of my colleagues the other variables (freezing, spinning, washing, “stem cell” enhancement) seem to provide no real difference in end result and happy patients.
It is a fascinating process and a procedure that can provide very gratifying results for patients desiring enlargement in an area of their body. I think we need to be careful however to not ignore the most basic technical aspects of this procedure before searching for advanced fat grafting methods.