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Germany: Fat Stem Cells Used to Repair 7-year-old Girl's Skull

Doctors: Fat Stem Cells Used To Repair Major Skull Injury

POSTED: 6:54 am EST December 17, 2004
UPDATED: 7:18 am EST December 17, 2004

Surgeons in Germany are describing a breakthrough procedure in which they were able to use stem cells from fat to help repair skull damage in a 7-year-old girl.

It's believed to be the first time that cells derived from fat have been successfully used to grow bone in a human.

The child's injury was so severe that, at times, her brain could be seen pulsating through the missing patches of skull. Surgeons said after fragments of the child's bone were mixed with her own stem cells, the cells apparently reacted by creating additional bone.

A U.S. expert in reconstructive surgery called the study "a very big deal."

Dr. Roy Ogle at the University of Virginia said it also shows the implanted cells did no harm, which is a concern within the medical community.

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