Are Stem Cells Found in Normal Facial Fat or Just Body Fat?

I know that it has been discovered that fat is a rich source of stem cells. Are there typically stem cells in normal facial fat or just body fat?

Doctor Answers 4

Adipose Stem Cells

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During the past few decades, many Plastic Surgeons in various parts of the world have been noticing positive changes to the skin with fat grafting.  However, *the discovery* of adipose tissue as a source of mesenchymal stem cells (MSC's) was first published in 2001 by a group of plastic surgeons and ph.D's from the University of Pittsburgh. They were the first group to propose adipose fat as an alternative source of MSCs and identify the cells with flow cytometry. Prior to that, bone marrow was the primary source of  stem cells. This discovery opened up a whole new world. Likewise, it has put the spotlight on 'fat grafting'.  

There are now hundreds, if not thousands of publications on adipose stem cells.  Several labs have compared  cell count from different anatomical areas of fat distribution.  However, the  consensus is that adipose stem cells exist in all adipose tissue. Having said that,  it is much easier to extract adipose tissue from your body, than from your face. 

Read more about the future of adipose stem cells in my blog post from June 2009.

Baltimore Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 98 reviews

Stem cells & youthful skin

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The current opinion nowadays is that the fat tissue contains stem cells. This applies to bith facial & body fat. Dr Amar ; the proponent of FAMI technique for fat transfer, noted the imrovement & glow that occurs in the skin of the face after fat transfer. Back in 2001, he did not know the explanation. It looks like we now know that the stem cells in the transferred fat may be the answer.

Khaled El-Hoshy, MD
Detroit Dermatologic Surgeon

Stem cells in fat

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There is abundance of stem cells in fat all over the body.

So when we do fat transfer we are also transfering stem cells.

When fat is centrifuged it is believed that the lower 1/3 of the column of fat contains the majority of stem cells. The question is how and to what these stem cells differentiate to other cells. What is the long term effect? These are some of the areas of research.

Samir Shureih, MD
Baltimore Plastic Surgeon

Stem Cells in Both Facial and Body Fat

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Stem cells are found in both facial fat and body fat. When fat is transferred to the face, it is thought that stem cells are responsible for the improvement in skin texture and even overlying scars.

Dr. p

Michael A. Persky, MD
Encino Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 39 reviews

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