Lipogems: stem cells or not?

13th January 2019

We have been asked several times whether we “do Lipogems”. In short the answer is no, we don’t. But I think the subject deserves a bit more attention. So I have done some research on Lipogems and here is what I have learned.

What is Lipogems?

Lipogems is a devise. Nothing more, nothing less. It is a sophisticated, sterile system which allows fat tissue aspiration, spins it and makes it ready for re-injection. And when Lipogems providers claim that Lipogems is FDA cleared, it means that simply the device is approved by FDA. There is an FDA letter publicly available upon internet dated 4/11/2016 confirming an approval of Lipogems as a “Suction Lipoplasty System”. So, it is a devise.

Is it a stem cell treatment?

Interestingly, the company which makes Lipogems device nowhere on their website ( claims that Lipogems is a stem cells treatment!!! What they say is precisely that: “Microfragmented adipose tissue processed by the LIPOGEMS System is used to provide cushion and support to help the natural healing process by supporting the repair, replacement, reconstruction of damaged or injured tissue.” They use a term “reparative cells” but NOT “stem cells”. There are no doubts that fat tissue contains stem cells. The trouble is that they are “trapped” in fat and very difficult to extract. The proper extraction requires a use of enzymes and it falls beyond “minimum manipulation” allowed by FDA and EU regulations.

Is Lipogems a genuine treatment?

I think it is. It provides what the manufacturer claims: “cushioning and support”. But, as far as I know, it is expensive. But as long as the provider / clinic / physician does not make you believe that you are receiving a stem cell treatment, it is your choice: get “cushioning and support” or a precise injection of high concentrated stem cells for more or less the same price… (zk)


When I published a link to this post on LinkedIn it sparked an interesting discussion. And here is the message from Dr Richard Striano, who is a Principal Investigator at Optimum Joint Intergrated Joint & Spine in New York: “Lipogems is an intact adipose cluster (…). In the USA, as the MSC’s [Mesenchymal Stem Cells] are not separated from the adipose cluster, you can’t call it stem cells. It should never be called stem cells not even in the UK but many doctors just can’t help themselves”. These are the words from a clinician who has done over 500 Lipogems procedures, not from somebody who is against it.