I have been ready that studies have shown fat cells die and then get replaced with new cells. If this is the case, when fat has been grafted to the face and the cells die, do the new cells reproduce into the face or back to the original site ie the stomach?
Do Fat Cells Die and Reproduce and Does This Effect Grafted Fat?
Doctor Answers (6)
Fate of grafted fat cells
If grafted fat cells die they will not necessarily get replaced with other fat cells, although the fat inside the cell may to some extent be taken up by other surviving fat cells.
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Do Fat Cells Die and Reproduce Following Transfer?
Fat cells that die after transfer to a new area do not reproduce, but are permanently lost. Fortunately this is rare in most people when the work is done by an experienced surgeon. Living cells provide the results seen after successful fat grafting. Normal fat cells will increase or decrease in size as we gain or lose weight. Liposuction or fat harvesting will decrease the number of fat cells in that area.
Dead cells do not reproduce with fat transfer
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Fat cells may become dormant after grafting
There is evidence that some of the fat cells that have been transferred may become dormant or be re-absorbed. This is highly dependent on the fat procurement and grafting techniques, as well as the preparation of the recipient site.
We have seen an actual increase in volume after 6 months in some cases of macro fat transfer (breast and buttocks). This is actually due to the fact that the fat cells that survive are normally functioning fat cells and will behave like normal tissue, responding to weight gain and loss as they would have in the body area where they came from.
There are other cells (sometimes called stem or pluri-potential cells) that are present in the grafted fat. These cells may produce more fat cells, and therefore increase the total numbers. Studies on this matter are being added every day. Dr. Rigotti's studies on the matter are very informative.
Definition of Fat Cell Death
Horror movie zombies and vampires are the only dead things that get around and reproduce. Although genetically, inability to reproduce is defined as death, physiologocally the lack of sufficient oxygen needed to sustain the most basic processes required to sustain function leads to irreversible breakdown of the cell and its eventual break up.
- heart muscle death = heart attack
- brain death = stroke
- fat cells death or non-take means those fat cells will go away forever and be replaced by some scar tissue.
Dead fat doesn't reproduce
When fat if grafted, the cells that regain blood supply survive, also called "take." These are now living viable fat cells that will not go away. Those fat cells that don't "take" will be absorbed by the body over months. Dead cells of any kind don't reproduce.
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.
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