Adipose (Fat) Tissue
Stem Cell Treatment
Adipose (Fat) Tissue
Adipose (Fat) Tissue
- Source of Stem Cells: Autologous (from you)
- Treatment Areas: Knees, Hips and Shoulders
- Stage of Arthritis: Moderate to Severe
At NeoGenix, we have been using autologous adipose (fat) tissue injections successfully for years. Adipose tissue is a great storehouse of specialized adult stem cells, including types of stem cells that can lead to regeneration and healing of cartilage, tendon, ligament, or bone and muscle tissue. In fact, adipose tissue has the highest concentration of stem cells anywhere in the body.
Adipose tissue also acts as scaffolding when injected into your joint, which helps support the growth of stem cells as they regenerate and repair tissue damage. PRP is utilized along with fat tissue because platelets store extremely important growth factors that help activate stem cells and allow them to work more effectively.
About Adipose (Fat) Tissue Stem Cell Treatment
How is Adipose (Fat) Tissue used in joint regeneration, cartilage, muscle tendon, and ligament repair?
Adipose tissue is found superficially all over the body, but the best sites for stem cell harvesting are the abdomen, flanks, and buttocks. Adipose tissue injections have been used for over a decade worldwide in millions of patients. These injections have proven to be safe and effective for millions of patients. Adipose tissue has many times more mesenchymal stem cells than bone marrow does, and these are the types of stem cells that can induce the formation and growth of new cartilage.
Who is a candidate for treatment utilizing Adipose (Fat) Tissue?
Adipose tissue is best used in large joints, like knees, hips, and shoulders because the fat tissue itself acts like a scaffolding to help support the growth of stem cells as they regenerate and repair tissue damage. With additional processing, it can even be used to treat tendon defects like rotator cuff tears or patellar tendon tears. For knee, hip, and shoulder joints with moderate arthritis or worse, we rarely do an injection without adipose tissue because it works that well in these large joints. Adipose tissue has helped many of our patients avoid surgery over the years.
Is the procedure painful?
Adipose Tissue is obtained via a short (less than 20 minute), minimally invasive liposuction done right in our office using only local anesthesia. After the fat is collected, it is spun in a centrifuge for a few minutes to separate out the anesthetic solution and any oil that separates out. The fat tissue is then emulsified or made into a thinner consistency so it can be easily injected through a needle. Nothing is added to the fat tissue prior to injection and there is no need to count the number of cells obtained. (Please review our FAQ on cell counting and why it is not necessary).
Less than 1% of patients will say obtaining the adipose tissue was an extremely painful process. Most patients state at most they felt a “twinge” around the area the fat was being extracted. Once the procedure is done, you will have a tiny incision covered with a small bandage. You must keep the incision clean and dry for a couple of days to prevent infection.
How long before I can expect results?
This depends on the severity of the underlying joint, muscle, tendon or ligament problem and patient’s adherence to physician-recommended post-procedure protocols, like physical therapy. The stem cells themselves take a few weeks to start working. Usually by week 3-4 most patients are beginning to see a noticeable decrease in their pain levels. The good news is the improvement continues during most of the first 6-8 months after the injection, so every month you get better! Of course, we always recommend physical therapy along with stem cell injections. Studies have proven that stem cell therapies work even better and faster to get patients out of pain when combined with good physical therapy.
Is it true the number of stem cells in our Adipose (Fat) Tissue decreases with age?
Even in elderly patients, adipose tissue remains the most concentrated source of stem cells in the body and they are exactly the types of stem cells required to help repair tissue damage in cartilage, tendons, and ligaments. It is NOT true elderly patients must only be given stem cells and growth factors from birth-related products. However, that is exactly what patients are told from clinics ONLY providing birth-related products. Most of these clinics in our area are run by a physician assistant or a nurse practitioner that see all the patients and perform all the injections. Most of them do not have the training or skills to perform adipose tissue harvesting procedures.