Ask a doctor

Facial Fat Graft with or without Stem Cells?

I would like to even out some irregularities (dents, PS called them "tissue deficits") and give just a tiny bit of volume to my cheeks with facial fat grafts. The PS I visited said that I do not need a lot of volume and that he has to proceed carefully in order not to do any harm, but also clearly noticed the irregularities. He offers fat grafting without and with stem cells, the later being exactly double the price. Are stem cells really worth the price? Will frozen fat be good enough later on?

Doctor Answers 4

Fat Transfer

Fat grafting and or facial resurfacing are options.  Stem cell research for this is still new so I would wait on this for a year or so. Thank you for your question and good luck with everything.


Danville Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 12 reviews

Facial fat grafts do not need stem cells for successful result

The use of adipose-derived stem cells (which come from your own fat collected by doing liposuction) is still debated and there is no consensus on whether they are particularly helpful when added to fat grafts. If you don't need high volumes of fat to achieve the desired result, it would probably work well without stem cell enhancement.

Richard Baxter, MD
Seattle Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 33 reviews

Fat graft

The surgeon you consulted may have something the rest of us do not. Isolating the stem cells from the fat is very difficult and expensive. One company has been doing the research and has a machine to isolate the stem cells(CYTORI).

In an office setting or hospital the aspirated fat contains stem cells if you do the harvesting right, and the surgeon can not take out the stem cells or add stem cells.

Some surgeons with experience in this field feel that when fat is centrifuged at 3000RPM, the lower 1/3 of the fat contains most of the stem cells. Still in research.

Samir Shureih, MD
Baltimore Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 4 reviews

These answers are for educational purposes and should not be relied upon as a substitute for medical advice you may receive from your physician. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911. These answers do not constitute or initiate a patient/doctor relationship.