Water Jet Lipo for Havesting Stem Cells for Cosmetic Surgery?

I would like to have some work done on my breast, face, and backside. Interested in the stem cell fill for under my eyes and to plump up by cheeks, stem cell Breast augmentation, and a Brazilian butt lift.

And would like to know if the Water Jet Lipo would be good for harvesting the stem cells from fat?

Doctor Answers (2)

Water Jet Lipo for harvest of stem cells for Breast Augmentation and Brazilian Butt Lift?

+3

Hi there-

Wow. Your question raises many issues.

First of all, it is important to know that the effective harvest of stem cells for use in cosmetic surgery is not FDA approved, nor is it possible in the practical setting of a hospital or surgery center. Harvesting and cultivating stem cells requires specialized equipment and technicians (read $$$) which are not readily available outside of a very few university research labs. I suspect you've met a surgeon who told you they could place stem cells for your cosmetic benefit, but doubt you will actually be getting stem cells- probably just fat grafting. Now, I would not want you to misunderstand- I do think that fat grafting is effective, and that fatty tissue does contain stem cells- but grafting fat that might have a few stem cells in it is MUCH different that actually harvesting, cultivating, and grafting stem cells...

Secondly, breast augmentation through fat grafting is not a procedure most experienced breast surgeons would recommend to you... First of all, the amount of augmentation you can achieve is limited because the blood supply is not rich enough to support a large fatty tissue graft. Secondly (and perhaps most importantly), there is great concern that the scar tissue that forms in the breast as a result of the surgery (and there would be scars even with the most gentle technique) would be difficult to distinguish on mammogram from breast cancer like changes. I personally never want to complicate a patient's future breast health and cancer diagnosis...

Fat grafting into the buttocks is very effective, provided proper technique is used, but preservation of the fat is critical. Many of the newer liposuction techniques would make me nervous if fat preservation was a priority. Please read the following to understand better.

Tumescent liposuction, VASER Lipo, Smart Lipo, Cool lipo, Pro Lipo, Slim Lipo, Water Jet lipo...

What does this all mean? If I don't get Smart lipo does that mean I'm dumb? If my surgeon recommends Slim Lipo does that mean he/she isn't a "Pro"? It truly is a ridiculous situation we have come to with regard to liposuction and the number of people trying to cash in on America's desire to be rid of its collective fat.

In well motivated patients, body contour improvement can be a very healthy endeavor, but how is an otherwise intelligent and well-adjusted person to know the difference between a responsible provider of aesthetic services offering them safe options for help with their body contour and a poorly trained and inexperienced provider more interested in their wallet than in your outcome and safety?

It is first important to realize that all of these devices will require you to undergo a liposuction procedure. The only difference is the approach to the treatment of the fat prior to its removal.

Because they all involve liposuction, and this is in fact a surgical procedure, it is very important that you "do your homework" and find a surgeon certified by The American Board of Plastic Surgery who has the years of training in liposuction necessary to give you the safe experience and superior outcome you deserve and desire. Behind the amazing number of machines now available to remove your fat, there has followed an army of their sales representatives and an equally impressive number of providers marketing themselves as "liposuction experts".

What has made them "liposuction experts"? In almost all cases, a few days or weekends training with the salesman for the device or with someone more experienced in the procedure. It is their promise that if you have the device in their possession brought to bear on your behalf, your fat will be gone, your skin will miraculously shrink away, you won't need any anesthesia because the device allows painless removal of the fat, and it can be done on your lunch hour. The only thing I am surprised by at this point is that they don't promise you'll get rich and be more sexually alluring after the procedure too.

Selling the particular device to patients is not unlike someone saying to you that because they will give you access to Tony Stewart's racing car that you will be able to win this weekend's race and make a million dollars. Tony Stewart wins races because he is a great racing car driver AND he has a great car...This is no different.

Getting the best outcome from a body contouring procedure depends most on finding a well-qualified and experienced surgeon, and much less on the device used.

Most of these people are so aggressive in their marketing of these questionable devices because they are, in fact, not trained plastic surgeons but rather are either not physicians at all, or they are doctors with core training which would not have prepared them to do liposuction. Many have read recently about a death in my home state of Florida after a healthy 40ish year old mother had liposuction performed be a rehabilitation medicine doctor. Amazingly, I know of eye doctors (!!) doing liposuction as well- and yes, they market themselves as "liposuction experts".

The particular device used can affect the overall experience, however.

Despite the claims of the manufacturer and the practitioners who plunked down the large sum the device costs, Smartlipo has never been proven to shrink skin better than tumescent liposuction. SmartLipo, SlimLipo, Prolipo, and Coolipo all use a laser to destroy the fat cells, allowing them to be removed by liposuction. My problem with these is that, first of all, as a scientist and doctor I am offended when false claims of benefit are made, and that because the lasers will burn whatever you point them at, I worry that your nerves, blood vessels, muscles, and skin may be injured by the laser.

With the use of water (as in the "waterjet"), I am concerned that injecting that much water under the skin may cause excessive pain (because water is not physiologic- our cells are full of saline, NOT water), and even electrolyte disturbances. Any fat cells exposed to the water are likely to burst in response, therefore making them unusable for grafting in your buttocks.

Bottom line (and in my opinion) -- there is no benefit to these devices, they are expensive (meaning that the cost to you, the patient, will be higher as well), and the risks are higher.

Tumescent liposuction is the gold standard to which all other techniques must be compared. It has been proven to be safe and effective over many years (provided that it is performed by a well-trained surgeon). It involves the injection of a fluid into the fatty tissue layer that causes blood vessels to shrink and the fat to expand, making it easier to remove and lowering the risk of a complication.

VASER lipo involves an additional step, in which the fat (after injection of fluid but before suction is applied) is treated with ultrasound energy. Unlike the laser filaments used in SmartLipo and the other devices mentioned above, the VASER probe is blunt and the ultrasound energy it uses is much more specific for fat, so that the risk of injury to the blood vessels and nerves, as well as the muscles and skin are much lower. This is seen in the patient experience of reduced swelling and bruising.

Each time a new (revolutionary!) liposuction machine comes out, I think the most important questions to ask are not "Does it work?", but rather, "Does it work better than what is already available, is it less expensive (not more), and is it safer than what is already available?"

The VASER (in my opinion) passes this test, while the laser based devices do not.

Having said all of that, I would emphasize that it is the education, training, experience, and skill of the surgeon at the end of the liposuction device that will make the greatest difference in your outcome and safety. There is not substitute for the years of training Board Certified Plastic Surgeons receive in liposuction, directly supervised by other Board Certified Plastic Surgeons. A well trained and Board Certified Plastic Surgeon would be more than capable of achieving a better outcome through tumescent liposuction than any eye doctor with a Water Jet. As in the analogy of Tony Stewart above- a great professional with a great tool (like the VASER) would only make those results and their safety even greater.

Please know that I have no financial relationship with any of these companies and have personally tried each of the discussed technologies myself on patients.


Orlando Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 98 reviews

Brazilian Butt lift or Breast augmentation with the water jet lipo and stem cell transplant

+2

Dr. Soto has addressed many o fthe pertinent issues. Generally the use of stem cells for aesthetic purposes is not a standard practice and may be cost prohibitive in addtiion to other regulatory issues.

Furthermore, the success of any of these depend on the viability of the tissues harvested. I am not aware of any study which has assessed the viability of tissues obtained using the water jet.

Otto Joseph Placik, MD
Chicago Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 43 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.