Your own powerful fat has reparative cells inside (including stem cells and other important cells). Lipogems keeps all the cells intact (including stem cells and all the other important cells) and allows them to work harmoniously (like it does naturally inside your body) without the need for any additional materials (such as enzymes or scaffolds). That's what makes Lipogems different!

Lipogems transfers the tissue that contains a variety of structures of cells including:

  • Stem cells
  • Adipocytes
  • Pericytes
  • Muse Cells

These cells inside of your own powerful fat stay intact and act harmoniously in the body to repair, restructure, replace to cushion and support the tissue during the repair, replacement, or reconstruction of damaged or injured tissue.

Contrary, stem cells involve the isolation, purification, and expansion of stems cells that are stored and returned to the patient at a later date.

More than 200,000 Lipogems procedures have been performed worldwide, and your physician can speak with you about the possible outcomes associated with this procedure. Your own powerful fat has 100-500x more reparative cells than other similar therapies. Lipogems is the only technology that is FDA cleared for use in orthopaedics.

In our minimally invasive, point-of-care procedure, your physician will make a tiny puncture through your skin and take a small section of fat from either your midsection or “love handles.”

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Next, your collected fat will be processed in the special „Lipogems“ device using sterile saline solution. This occurs through a very gentle process called micro-fragmentation, during which your fat is washed, rinsed, and resized into smaller clusters while maintaining the natural beneficial properties of your fat. Impurities in your fat such as blood, cell debris, and oils are removed as the desirable remainder of your fat is concentrated.Your physician then will use a small needle to inject the microfragmented tissue into the treatment site.

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The simplicity of the procedure means that it requires only local anesthesia (you won’t have to be put to sleep) and can be performed in approximately one hour in an outpatient facility .There is minimal recovery time from the Lipogems procedure.

As with all procedures, the Individual results may vary. The lifetime of any procedure is limited and depends on several factors like patient weight and activity level. Your doctor will counsel you about strategies for your post-procedural care. It is important to closely follow your physician’s instructions regarding post-procedure activity, treatment and follow-up care.

More than 25,000 Lipogems procedures have been performed worldwide, and your physician can speak with you about the possible outcomes associated with this procedure. Your own powerful fat has 100-500x more reparative cells than other similar therapies. Lipogems is the only technology that is FDA cleared for use in orthopaedics.

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You might be a candidate if:

  • You suffer from an injury or ailment that limits your normal daily functioning or physical activity
  • You have painful joints with limited range of motion, such as your knee, ankle or shoulder
  • You have a soft tissue defect in your tendons, ligaments, and/or muscles (in order to restore orthopaedic function, these defects may require tissue repair and regeneration, as well as cushioning and support)
  • Treatment options, such as physical therapy, NSAIDS, or steroid injections have not provided you with significant relief
  • You would like to explore Lipogems as a minimally invasive alternative to a major surgical intervention
  • Your doctor determines Lipogems may be used in addition to your surgery


You may not be a candidate for Lipogems if:

  • You currently have a systemic infection
  • You suffer from an autoimmune disease
  • You currently are taking blood thinners or anti-coagulation medication
  • You are being treated for any other malignancy or blood borne disease
  • You have an allergy to Lidocaine
  • You are currently breastfeeding or plan to begin breastfeeding in the near future
  • You have undergone previous abdominal surgery
  • You have a hematologic condition

Lipogems was awarded Best New Technology in Sports Medicine in 2016 by Top Sports Medicine Physicians from leading institutions in the United States.

Patients who choose St. Catherine Hospital have the unique advantage of receiving care from a team of doctors who are leaders in the fields of sports medicine, regenerative medicine and stem cell therapy.

The expert orthopedic physicians provide patients of all ages with the latest nonsurgical regenerative therapies and rehabilitation treatment options that promote the body’s natural ability to heal itself after injury. Individually and as a team, the doctors possess a wealth of knowledge and years of experience in the fields of non-operative sports medicine, regenerative medicine, and stem cell therapy.

The doctors at St. Catherine Hospital are proficient in the latest regenerative therapies and sports medicine treatments, including stem cell injection therapy. These innovative, minimally invasive treatment options relieve all types of joint pain, including osteoarthritis and other degenerative conditions. They also help athletes heal faster after injuries, and help many adults avoid painful joint replacement surgeries and long recovery periods.

With the goal of getting every patient back to optimal health and well-being, the doctors accurately diagnose the source of pain, restore mobility, and improve the quality of life for every patient.

The friendly staff strives to help each patient improve their health and the physicians take time to ensure that patients progress and heal as anticipated. Families can expect state-of-the-art treatments in a warm, welcoming, compassionate atmosphere.

Researchers and physicians from St Catherine specialty hospital  and Genos laboratory recently published their results of a two-year follow-up study in the “Genes” journal, reporting extraordinary results of usage of AdMSCs on joints affected by OA, casting a brand new light on treatment options of this condition. Our article demonstrated new mechanisms of AdMSCs action on damaged cartilage tissue, such as the increase of the synthesis of key molecules (glycosaminoglycans) responsible for normal functioning of joint cartilage. Results indicate the effect of AdMSCs on chondrocytes via several key mechanisms, including the release of trophic factors that inhibit cell death (apoptosis) and formation of scar tissue, and stimulate formation of new blood vessels and other tissue through their mitogenic (proliferative) effect, ultimately leading to repair of damaged tissue or even complete regenerative effect. Moreover, results also showed that most OA patients had significant reduction of pain while resting and in movement, combined with the increase of their range of motion in affected joints. At the same time, by analyzing very sensitive markers of inflammation (IgG glycans), it has been observed that the inflammatory process of the joints is stabilized, which is a basis for the cartilage tissue and cells to function normally.

The results were presented at a press conference by the project leaders Professor Dragan Primorac, MD,Ph.D., Assistant Professor Damir Hudetz, MD, Ph.D., and Professor Gordan Lauc, Ph.D. Other members of the research group were Assistant Professor Igor Borić, MD, Ph.D. , dr. Eduard Rod, dr. Željko Jeleč, dr. Trpimir Vrdoljak, Assistant Professor Andrea Skelin, dr. Irena Trbojević-Akmačić, dr. Mihovil Plečko and Professor Ozren Polašek. Also, the press conference was attended by three patients who went through the process of AdMSC application during the treatment of OA of the joints of the knee and hip. All of them emphasized a significant reduction in pain and a major improvement in mobility after the treatment.

The importance of the results of Croatian scientists is best explained by the fact that OA is one of the most common health problems in the world, from which today more than 400 million people suffer, and predictions are that by 2030 more than 700 million people will suffer from this disease. According to available data in Croatia, OA today accounts for about 25% -30% of the population, while for example the number of OA patients in the United States is over 50 million.

How can I prepare for my Lipogems procedure?

Make sure you are well-hydrated. Talk to your personal care physician about any current medications you may be taking such as anti-coagulants and any allergies to medications that you may have.

What should I expect during the Lipogems procedure?

The Lipogems procedure can be performed in approximately one hour in an outpatient clinical setting. Your doctor may also decide to use Lipogems in addition to a previously planned surgical procedure. The Lipogems procedure requires only local anesthesia and there is minimal recovery time. The tissue collection procedure involves making a very small opening through the skin that does not usually require stitches.
Your physician will collect a small volume of fat from your midsection or "love handles," using a minimally invasive technique. Your physician will process the fat using the Lipogems device and inject the fat into the treatment area.

 What should I expect after the Lipogems procedure?

Your physician will apply an absorbent dressing pad and compression tape or wrap to the area and may recommend a compression garment or bandage to wear for 24-48 hours following the procedure. There may be some drainage from the harvesting site, which typically ceases within 24 hours. You should follow your physician's recommendations for post-operative medications. Do not over-exert yourself; let your tissue start its repair process! Slowly return to physical activity as recommended by your doctor.

Are there risks or possible complications from the Lipogems procedure?

Mild to moderate swelling or soreness at injection site may occur, depending on the location of the treatment site.

Is there a risk of infection?

Because Lipogems is derived from your own fat tissue and no other particles are added, there is a significantly reduced risk of infection or immune reaction with the Lipogems procedure. The Lipogems procedure is performed with sterile technique as a point-of-care therapy. However, as with any kind of injection or procedure, there is always a small risk of infection. If you experience any side effects associated with an infection (i.e., pain, redness, swelling or pus) at the injection or tissue collection site, you should contact your healthcare provider immediately.

Has Lipogems been approved by the FDA?

Yes, the Lipogems system has been thoroughly reviewed by the FDA, who has granted permission to market the product in a variety of clinical settings. Specifically, they have allowed us to market the device to collect, process, and transfer a patient's own fat for the purposes of injection in orthopaedics, arthroscopy, and other surgical specialties. Additionally, the FDA regulates the use of human cells and tissues through guidelines relating to the manipulation of the tissue. Lipogems is compliant and follows the FDA regulations because the entire process involves the use of only saline solution to wash, rinse, and resize the fat for injection. The resulting tissue (Lipogems) maintains its micro-architecture and structural form and is permitted for use by surgeons in a wide variety settings.

Have there been clinical trials?

Lipogems is FDA-cleared but it is not a drug; it is a device used for processing a patient's own tissue, which does not require the same type of human clinical trials that you may have heard of from pharmaceutical companies. Lipogems is unique in that it has been clinically and scientifically validated for more than 4 years at leading international universities and institutions, and there are many ongoing research studies relating to Lipogems.

Is the Lipogems procedure covered by insurance?

Similar to most new technologies, the Lipogems procedure is not covered by insurance at this time.

Can Lipogems be used in my knee?

Lipogems can be used in orthopaedics and arthroscopic surgery. Your doctor may decide to use the Lipogems technology in addition to your surgery. Lipogems may support the healing process and repair, reconstruct, or replace damaged or injured tissue. It is up to you and your doctor to decide what the best treatment option for you.

Can Lipogems be used in my foot and ankle?

Lipogems can be used in orthopaedics and arthroscopic surgery. Your doctor may decide to use the Lipogems technology in addition to your surgery . Lipogems may support the healing process and repair, reconstruct, or replace damaged or injured tissue. It is up to you and your doctor to decide what the best treatment option for you.

Can Lipogems be used in my shoulder?

Lipogems can be used in orthopaedics and arthroscopic surgery. Your doctor may decide to use the Lipogems technology in addition to your surgery. Lipogems may support the healing process and repair, reconstruct, or replace damaged or injured tissue. It is up to you and your doctor to decide what the best treatment option for you.

Can Lipogems be used as an alternative to a knee replacement? Hip replacement?

Lipogems may support the healing process and repair, reconstruct, or replace damaged or injured tissue. Your doctor will work with you to decide on the best treatment option available.

Can Lipogems be used as an alternative to a hip replacement?

Lipogems may support the healing process and repair, reconstruct, or replace damaged or injured tissue. Your doctor will work with you to decide on the best treatment option available.

 Can Lipogems be used for a rotator cuff repair?

Your doctor may decide to use it as an alternative to surgery or with your surgery. Lipogems may support the healing process and repair, reconstruct, or replace damaged or injured tissue. Your doctor will work with you to decide the best treatment option for you.

Can Lipogems be used for a meniscal repair?

Your doctor may decide to use it as an alternative to surgery or with your surgery. Lipogems may support the healing process and repair, reconstruct, or replace damaged or injured tissue. Your doctor will work with you to decide the best treatment option for you.

 Can Lipogems be used for a tendon repair?

Your doctor may decide to use it as an alternative to surgery or with your surgery. Lipogems may support the healing process and repair, reconstruct, or replace damaged or injured tissue. Your doctor will work with you to decide the best treatment option for you.

Roland Neff, Thailand
"They really take care of you, 100%. As a physician, I know what is working well. From the check up process they were very innovative. The medical staff and rehab staff communicate very well with me, I feel like I am in a family hospital. Very personalized treatment. I would fly all the way from Switzerland for the hip replacement I got here, no hesitation, its worth it."

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Robbie Richmond, UK
"Thank you to everyone at St.Catherine! Everything from the care to the surgery was extremely professional. I was made to feel very welcome. I would recommend the hospital to anyone. I can not speak highly enough at the care and treatment I received. Many thanks."

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Alojzije Sobočanec, Croatia
"I was diagnosed with osteoarthritis of my right hip and I was supposed to go for a total hip replacement surgery. I was looking for options to avoid this type of surgery. Soon I found out about this method. I was advised that I can always do the total hip replacement surgery and I have nothing to lose if I try the stem cell therapy method. I decided to do it in no time and went for surgery in a week from my first examination. My condition improved really fast, all the pain was gone and now I even exercise a lot. I go swimming four times a week and I do home exercising twice a week."

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Dražen Hrkač, Croatia
"I had seven knee surgeries. I was in a state that I couldn’t enter my vehicle without problems, I could walk only 50 meters without stopping and I had constant pain. Simply, I couldn’t do my daily dues without a problem anymore. Now, year and a half after my stem cell treatment, I am back to my normal life routine, I do everything I want without pain. I even went skiing. The only thing I don’t do is that I don’t play tennis anymore, but that is because I tend to be cautious. Entering and exiting my vehicle is no longer a problem. I walk normally, even up to 10 kilometers without stopping. I am very active again, all the pain is gone and my life is back to where it was before all problems with my knees."

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Želimir Šikonja, Croatia
"Three years ago I had a drastic change. I started to feel a great amount of pain. All activities I was earlier doing on a regular basis were in question. This includes everyday activities such as walking up or down the stairs or entering to vehicle. I was in a state that I had to take pain medications almost every day. I wanted to do anything to make my condition better. I came across an article in the local newspapers which was about a novel treatment with adipose-derived stem cells. I informed myself on that topic a bit, asked around for experiences from others and decided to go to St. Catherine’s hospital. After my examination with Doctor Hudetz and Professor Primorac, I decided to do this kind of treatment. I wanted to postpone a total knee replacement surgery as much as I could. Now I feel a big difference. I feel much better, I don’t take pain medications anymore and I walk normally, but I still avoid extreme physical activity such as skiing."

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Madeleine Laporte, Paris, France
"My mother wants to thank you prof. Primorac as well to the Hospital for the amazing treatment that you done with stem cells. She already feels much better for the knee after three month and expecting to be much better in the future. She believes strongly in the future of the stem cells and orthopedy and the amazing work you are doing in St. Catherine Hospital so thank you again."

Our Patients

Luka Modrić

Luka Modrić

 

Ivan Rakitić

Ivan Rakitić

 

Vedran Ćorluka

Vedran Ćorluka

 

Josip Pivarić

Josip Pivarić

 

Mirko Filipović

Mirko Filipović

 

Marin Čilić

Marin Čilić

 

Cynthia May

Cynthia May

 

Roland Neff

Roland Neff

 

St. Catherine Hospital sees over 35.000 patients every year. Read their real and inspiring stories. x
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