Similar to bone marrow, one’s adipose tissue or fat has shown similar properties of differentiation to MSC’s. These Adipose Derived stems cells (ADSC) have also been used for orthopedic application. Fat contains a network of blood vessels, connective tissue and important regenerative cells including adipocytes, adipose-derived stem cells, perictyes, pre-adipocytes and the other cells. The tissue works together as a functional unit. This unit contains many reparative cells that not only regenerate fat cells, but also promote a healing environment throughout the body. Research has shown that regardless of a person’s age, their fat maintains its healing and reparative properties , unlike other tissues such as bone marrow, which may lose healing capacity with age. The physician’s at Washington Orthopedics and Sports Medicine (WOSM) utilize Lipogems for orthopedic application. Lipogems is a cutting edge technology that gently processes and uses your body’s own fat tissue to cushion and support areas of injury or damage as your body heals itself. It utilizes an FDA approved device that rinses and cleans the inflammatory oils and blood from the patient’s harvested fat and keeps the natural and beneficial properties of the fat tissue that contribute to the healing process.
How it is performed?
Done in the office , or in the operating room at the time of surgery, the procedure takes approximately 30-60 minutes. The fat is taken from the stomach, “love handles” or thigh areas, using a local anesthetic to numb the area. Lipogems uses an FDA approved device that rinses and cleans the inflammatory oils and blood from the patient’s harvested fat and keeps the natural and beneficial properties of the fat tissue. One benefit of Lipogems is that keeps all the special cells (adipocytes, adipose-derived stem cells, perictyes, pre-adipocytes and the other cells) in the fat without jeopardizing the cell structure and function. This harvested fat is then precisely injected into the patient’s injured areas with the use of ultrasound guidance shortly after the harvesting procedure. Can be done individually or in combination with a concurrent surgical procedure to enhance healing.
What are the Risks?
Patients may experience mild to moderate swelling and/or local inflammation at injection site and/or site of tissue harvest for up to 4-5 days post-procedure.
Narcotic pain medication and instructions will be administered. Ice may be used to reduce local inflammation/swelling. A compression garment maybe given to wear for a few days after the procedure. Patients may experience some bruising at or around site of tissue harvest. Patients should not engage in strenuous activity for at least 1-2 weeks following the procedure.