Fat gets a bad rap. It’s the topic of offensive jokes. We don’t want to see it on our bodies, so we avoid eating it. But every fat, puffy rain cloud has a silver lining. Did you know you can transfer fat from one part of your body to another to relieve pain and heal faster? Introducing Lipogems®. http://www.understandlipogems.com.
Lipogems is a cutting-edge technology that uses the natural and powerful reparative capability of your very own fat tissue. Fat tissue from one’s own body can be removed and injected into specific painful areas like the knees, shoulders and ankles. The fat tissue is used to repair damaged tissue providing cushion and structural support that enhance the body’s natural healing process.
How it works
Your doctor removes a small volume of fat, usually from the midsection “love handles”, using a minimally invasive technique that requires only a very small incision. The Lipogems are created in a device that uses only sterile saline solution to wash away impurities. The gentle process micro-fragments the fat preserving the natural and healing properties of the mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) harvested from the tissue. The optimal size of the Lipogems tissue allows the doctor to accurately inject a specific treatment site with a small gauge needle, minimizing pain at the injection site. The Lipogems injectable cells stimulate repair of injured or damaged tissue.
How do I know if it’s right for me?
One out of every two people in the U.S. over the age of 18 suffers from injury or damage to their joints, tendons and muscles. Injury, arthritis and degeneration prevent people from living life fully. Pain is a common complaint, as are:
- Trouble carrying heavy objects
- Difficulty walking up and/or down stairs
- Pain or discomfort while sleeping
- Difficulty moving around
- Pain while walking or running
The following conditions may benefit from this procedure:
- Osteoarthritis of the joints including knee, hip, shoulder, and ankle joints
- Rotator cuff tears
- Labrum tears (shoulder)
- Meniscal (cartilage) tears in the knee
- Persistent partial tendon tears, such as tennis elbow, plantar fasciitis, quadriceps and patellar tendon tears
Motrin and steroid injections may help relieve pain for a while, but they won’t help your body heal and may eventually stop working. If you’re one of those people that hates operating rooms or for some reason, aren’t a good candidate for surgery, Lipogems is an effective, restorative, non-invasive alternative.
What should I expect during the procedure?
The Lipogems procedure can be performed in the doctor’s office in less than one hour. It requires local anesthesia and there is minimal recovery time.
How many injections will I need?
The benefit of Lipogems injections is that, unlike other treatments, it has a sustained outcome that only requires one injection for lasting results.
How long does it take to recover?
Following the procedure patients may experience mild to moderate swelling, bruising and inflammation at the injection site and at the site where tissue was harvested. Patients may be given some pain medication and ice may be used to reduce swelling. A compression garment maybe given to wear for a few days after the procedure. Patients can go back to some activity almost immediately, but should avoid strenuous activity for one to two weeks following. However, each patient is different. The doctor will help determine what activities you can perform and put you on a treatment plan.
Research has shown that regardless of a person’s age, their fat maintains its reparative properties unlike other tissues, such as bone marrow, which may lose healing capacity with age. Lipogems washes your fat tissue to remove the inflammatory oils and blood but preserves the natural and beneficial properties of the tissue. Lipogems tends to stay in the area where it is injected instead of being reabsorbed by the body, allowing your body to maximize the benefits of Lipogems for an extended period of time.
The goal of the procedure is to allow you to continue enjoying normal activities, while reducing pain, and avoiding surgery.
While Lipogems is an innovative treatment option, it is not covered by insurance. There are multiple studies with clinical and scientific evidence supporting the use of this technology. Lipogems is cleared by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), but newer technologies are frequently not covered by insurance programs until they’ve been around a while.
Lipogems was awarded Best New Technology in Sports Medicine for 2016. Learn more about the award: https://ryortho.com/2016/07/the-eleven-best-sports-medicine-technologies-for-2016/
Dr. Spiegl has been treating patients at Perimeter Orthopaedics using Lipogems. Call us to learn more or make an appointment. 404-255-5595.