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Advances in health and medicine.
Marjorie Bekaert Thomas
Advances in health and medicine.
Nutrition & Wellness Channel
Reported June 8, 2010

Fat Working Overtime

ORLANDO, Fla. (Ivanhoe Newswire) -- No matter how much we diet and exercise, we still don't have complete control over where on our body we lose weight. What if you could take fat from one area and move it to another? It's a trend in cosmetic surgery, and now doctors are adding stem cells to the mix to make your fat and you look younger.

It's a scary three-letter word. But what if fat was your friend? Plastic surgeon Ulysses Scarpidis is using fat from Nina Sernaker's thigh to plump up her face.

"There is this area right here under my eyes that alternates between wrinkly and baggy and or dark circles," Sernaker told Ivanhoe.

Before it's re-injected into her cheeks, he mixes a cocktail of growth factors, proteins and peptides to rev up the stem cells in the fat. It tells them to “turn back the clock."

"They're more resilient. They survive longer, and they're younger and better." Dr. Scarpidis explained.

The stem cell-activated fat adds volume, improves skin texture and color. It costs between $3,000 and $5,000 and can last five years. Artificial fillers like Botox last about nine months.

"It's more natural, and it uses your body’s own cells," Sernaker said.

Fat grafting is used to plump faces, eyelids, hands, behinds and breasts.

"There's actually the highest concentration of stem cells in adult fat versus any other part of your body," Roger Bassin, M.D., board certified cosmetic surgeon, Bassin Center for Plastic Surgery in Orlando, Fla. told Ivanhoe.

This doctor is using a patient's stomach fat to enhance her bust line. Unlike liposuction, which destroys fat cells, he uses special instruments to preserve them.

"It's really revolutionary to think about involving stem cells in improving one's looks," Dr. Scarpidis said.

Making your fat work for you.

Because of the success stem cells and fat grafting has had in the cosmetic surgery world, other researchers are testing out the trend to help people suffering from facial wounds and scars. Clinical trials to help wounded soldiers will start later this year at the University of Pittsburgh. 

For additional research on this article, click here.

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If this story or any other Ivanhoe story has impacted your life or prompted you or someone you know to seek or change treatments, please let us know by contacting Melissa Medalie at





Tiffany Hodges

Chelsea Eye and Cosmetic Surgery Associates

(212) 727-3717


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