Fat Cell Donors?

Blood can be donated. Plasma,RBC,etc. crazy as it sounds,has anyone looked into researching Lipase(fat cell)Donations?Like to burn victims or anorexic/bulimic patients?Or researched ways to utilize fat cells for anything used in everyday life.whale fat is used for many things.Even burned & used for warmth/energy.I know it sounds silly & I'm not sure this is a question for a doctor or engineer but with the majority of Americans overweight it seems to be a plentiful & renewable. Any insight?

Doctor Answers 6

Grow Fat In the Labratory

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Donating fat from one person to another would cause rejection, infection and other issues. If the Immune reaction of the host or recipient is reduced to overcome the issue of the rejection, then other problems can surface. For practical proposes it is not possible. However, there are groups looking into growing one's own fat outside in the laboratory and then injecting it back to the patient.

Orange County Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 205 reviews

Value of fat transfer is not likely to be worth risk of immunosuppression

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Yes, fat is a tissue not unlike skin or cartilage or bone. IF the immunogenicity of the tissue can be reduced it would be possible. Therefore bone grafts are essentially dead when transferred from one individual to another. You can't simply transfer blood cells without matching blood types. In rare cases, in which individuals are severely traumatized or immunocompromised or immunologically suppressed, they may be able to accept grafts for short periods of time but ultimately they will require long term suppression which has it's risks, including development of cancer, and is generally not worth it in the case of fat transfer.

Otto Joseph Placik, MD
Chicago Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 86 reviews

I did hear of a surgeon who was allegedly making biodesiel from this fat.

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Dear C-pax

Dr. Aldea is absolutely correct.  There are a lot of barriers to using tissue from other people.  When the medical necessity warrants immunosuppression to save a life or for very specific other situations (face transplants are a good example) it is done.  Heart, kidney and liver transplant are good examples.  However, fat for filler is not worthwhile especially when other excellent products are available.  Fat from surgery is handles as a hazardous biological waste product and very carefully disposed of.  That doc making biodesiel, he fled the country and I suspect that he is wanted by the authorities.  

Kenneth D. Steinsapir, MD
Beverly Hills Oculoplastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 26 reviews

Fat donors

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There is research being done with stem cells and adipose stem cells from one individual might in the future be utilized for the same person. If fat is harvested from a different person and transplanted into a different recipient, the patient receiving the fat would have to take large doses of medications that decrease their immune respone to prevent rejection of the new material from another human being.  This can cause serious side effects and increases the prevalence of new and potentially serious skin cancers that can become innumerable.

Ronald Shelton, MD
Manhattan Dermatologic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 39 reviews

Fat donation

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Sounds liek a great idea to donate fat.  However, everyone has a different immune system and what are called HLA types which make our tissues different.  Therefore, rejection is an issue. The only way to get around this is with immunosuppression.

Steven Wallach, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon
4.2 out of 5 stars 30 reviews

Fat Cell Donation is not realistic for many reasons

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Red blood cells have far less immunogenic markers than do fat cells. When someone receives blood, they are in dire need for its oxygen carrying capacity (heart surgery, trauma, on going blood losses) and the donor and recipient blood types are carefully matched.

Fat grafts do not have anywhere near the life saving importance and urgency that blood transfusions do. Moreover, they have a much more complex presentation of immunogenic proteins which would require immunosuppression of the recipient. These drugs are related to an increase in the risk of infection and cancer.

No one in his/her right mind would suggest that a fuller rounder butt justifies the huge cost of immunosuppression medications and its medical risks.

As regards your suggestion that we harvest the fat off obese Americans and use it the way the world used whale blubber in the 19th century for "warmth/energy", your suggestion is both highly illogical and not fully thought out. Even if the Political Correctness Police took the day off,

- how do you propose to relieve the "majority of Americans " of such fat?
- In the 1800's whale fat was used in lamps and candles, since we use electricity to light our homes are you suggesting we turn it off and use either whale fat  or candles to light our evenings to light our nights?
- How would such human fat be screened to exclude HIV and other infectious diseases before it was released to the once who would like to follow this logic?
- How much would such processed human fat cost in comparison to electricity?

Peter A. Aldea, MD
Memphis Plastic Surgeon

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.