Not Ready For Major Invasive Surgery? Our Manhattan Office Now Offers Lipogems

January 25, 2021


Besides surgery, what are my treatment options?

At Integrative Spine & Sports in NYC, we specialize in providing an integrative approach to treatment that reduces and sometimes eliminates the need for traditional surgery.

As part of our integrative process, we treat many of our patients with Lipogems.

Lipogems is a minimally invasive and FDA-cleared procedure that is safely performed at our practice.

Lipogems treatment uses the patient’s own fat to help heal and repair the body.

We sat down with Dr. Sonali Lal at Integrative Spine & Sports in Manhattan to discuss how Lipogems works and why people choose this new type of procedure over traditional surgery.

Why might someone not be ready for major invasive surgery? 

“Many people who come to our practice are trying to avoid or prolong the need for surgery, for a variety of reasons. Some patients may be reluctant to undergo major surgery or simply are not surgical candidates. Other patients prefer treatment options that are more natural and/or minimally invasive” said Dr. Lal.

 “Surgery is not always the only option. Our goal is to prevent unnecessary surgery and to get busy New Yorkers back to work or play as soon as possible.”

“Some patients are stuck in the “treatment gap” for 9-20 years, and even 40 years for younger patients. The treatment gap is the time between limited relief or failure of conservative efforts (such as physical therapy, pain medications, activity modification, viscosupplementation) and the time when they undergo surgical intervention. Our goal is to help patients by providing FDA cleared treatment options backed by peer-reviewed scientific literature, to help them live happier and healthier lives.”

Why does Lipogems use the patient’s own fat tissue?

Dr. Lal says that “fat is one of the most powerful tissues in your body! In fact, fat has been used for healing and injury repair since World War I. Fat is easy to collect from the belly or ‘love-handles’ using a minimally invasive procedure and local anesthetic. And most importantly, studies have shown that the quality of the reparative cells in fat do not decline with age in comparison to other tissue sources.3,4,5,6

What is Lipogems, and is it FDA cleared for use in orthopaedics? 

Lipogems provides patients a natural, FDA-cleared option that can be performed at our Manhattan office in about an hour using a simple, minimally invasive procedure,” said Dr. Lal.

“I like using Lipogems because it is FDA-cleared for use in orthopaedics and it’s backed with strong scientific evidence. Lipogems uses the patient’s own fat tissue. The patented technology processes and resizes the tissue in minutes, using saline. This processed tissue is called Microfragmented Fat™. Since fat is a structural tissue that provides cushion and support, when injected, it supports the healing of damaged or injured tissue.”

Dr. Lal goes on to say “a great analogy is filling a pothole in the ground so that cars can drive over it. Like a pothot, the damaged or injured tissue is filled with the Microfragmented Fat which allows the tissue to heal naturally. This is a great option when compared to using synthetic painkillers like corticosteroids.”

What are the potential benefits of Lipogems if you are not ready for major surgery?

Here are Dr. Lal’s top reasons for using Lipogems:

  1. Multiple injections in the same session: “Many patients suffer from multiple orthopaedic issues. One of the reasons I like using Lipogems is because we are able to use your own fat tissue for multiple injection sites during a single session. For example, if you suffer from orthopaedic issues in your knees and shoulder – we can inject in three different joints, with minimal downtime and minimal pain medication. This is an ideal option for patients who may not be ready for surgery or who do not qualify for surgery.”
  2. Natural, minimally invasive procedure with minimal complications/risk: “The procedure is performed in our Manhattan office using the patient’s own fat tissue. Using the patient’s own tissue reduces the chance of rejection or infection. There have been over 40,000 Lipogems procedures performed worldwide with a low rate of minor complications (1-2%) and with no major complications reported.”
  3. Strong scientific evidence from leading institutions: “It’s important that the procedures that we offer are supported by strong scientific evidence. There’s more than 80 peer-reviewed publications with a 3 year follow-up supporting Lipogems treatment. The scientific and clinical studies were performed at leading institutions such as New York University, Harvard University, Emory University, and others. It’s important for me to see that leading physicians around the world are using and offering this technology. Physicians who use Lipogems have a high satisfaction rate for the procedure in patients who have tried or failed conservative efforts and who are not ready for major surgery.”
  4. Economical and efficient: “The procedure is economical and the majority of patients receive only one procedure. In addition, Lipogems is more cost-effective than major orthopaedic surgery. Major orthopaedic surgery is not only expensive but the recovery period can be cumbersome and lengthy too. But with Lipogems, there is minimal down time required”  

Did you know?

The national average cost for a total hip or knee replacement can range from $4,000-$6,000 with in-network insurance, or $15,000-$22,000 with out-of-network insurance, and $36,500+ with no insurance. These estimates don’t even include anesthesia and facility fees.

Benefits of Lipogems

  • Lipogems is supported by strong scientific evidence in more than 80 publications with up to 3 years of evidence
  • Over 40,000 Lipogems procedures have been performed worldwide with low rate of minor complications, and with no major complications reported
  • This treatment is offered by leading orthopaedic physicians from around the world
  • For those with multiple orthopaedic issues, the patient’s own Microfragmented Fat (MFat) may be injected into and used to treat multiple problem areas at the same time
  • This procedure has no risk of rejection or infection, since we are using the patient’s own tissue
  • There’s minimal downtime after the treatment
  • There’s minimal pain medication needed after the procedure
  • It’s economical:
    • Lipogems is a one-time procedure for a majority of people
    • It’s cheaper than the out of pocket cost of major orthopaedic surgery

May reduce or delay the need for major orthopaedic surgery in the future

Dr. Lal says that “it’s important to know that individual results may vary. You may or may not need major orthopaedic surgery in the future after Lipogems. You may or may not choose to have the procedure repeated down the road. You may want to try this treatment option if you are still suffering from your orthopaedic issue, if your major orthopaedic surgery has been cancelled/delayed, or if you are not ready for major surgery just yet.”

Book an appointment today

If you are interested in learning more about our treatment options, please call Integrative Spine & Sports Medicine in Manhattan at 212-362-4742.

Or click here to learn more about Lipogems.


  1. McAlindon TE et al. Effect of Intra-articular Triamcinolone vs Saline on Knee Cartilage Volume and Pain in Patients With Knee Osteoarthritis: A Randomized Clinical Trial. JAMA. 2017 May 16;317(19):1967-1975.
  2. Kompel A et al. Intra-articular Corticosteroid Injections in the Hip and Knee: Perhaps Not as Safe as We Thought? Radiology. Dec 2019.
  3. Accessed on April 20, 2020. 
  4. Beane, O.S., et al. (2014). “Impact of aging on the regenerative properties of bone marrow-, muscle-, and adipose-derived mesenchymal stem/ stromal cells.” PloS one 9.12. e115963. 
  5. Stolzing, A., et al. (2008). “Age-related changes in human bone marrow-derived mesenchymal stem cells: consequences for cell therapies.” Mechanisms of aging and development 129.3: 163-173. 
  6. Kern, S., et al. (2006). “Comparative analysis of mesenchymal stem cells from bone marrow, umbilical cord blood, or adipose tissue.” Stem cells 24.5: 1294-1301


Individual results vary. Not all patients will have the same post-procedure recovery and activity level. See your physician to discuss your potential benefits and risks.The Lipogems System is a sterile medical device intended for the closed-loop processing of your own fat tissue in medical procedures involving the harvesting, concentrating and transferring of your own fat (adipose) tissue harvested with a legally marketed lipoplasty system. This can be a minimally invasive procedure that’s done in the office, to support soft tissue defects and may promote healing in orthopaedics and arthroscopic surgery. Lipogems may or may not be appropriate for all patients. Like any medical procedure, there is a risk for soreness, redness, swelling, and/or pain. These procedures require needle access (size, location and depth vary depending on the procedure) and this may result in (but not limited to), discomfort, pain, apprehension, bruising, tenderness, bleeding, swelling, or infiltration at the injection site. Other symptoms that may occur include lightheadedness, fainting, nausea, or vomiting. There is a slight risk of infection at the injection site and minimal risk of adverse reactions or complications as with any other injection procedure. Since the fat is from your own body there is little concern of disease transmission, allergic reaction or tissue rejection. For patients with chronic medical conditions such as autoimmune, diabetes, heart or lung disease, circulatory diseases or obesity, extreme caution may be necessary. There are rare but possible risks and complications due to fat transfer including an allergic reaction to the local anesthetic, damage to underlying structures,hematoma or seroma (an accumulation of blood or fluid under the skin that may require removal), changes in sensation, unsatisfactory results that may necessitate additional procedures, permanent discoloration caused by a ruptured blood vessel at the treatment site, calcification, a divet in the area of the tissue harvest, perioperative bleeding, a blood clot at the treatment or donor site, an infection, scar tissue, and a fat embolism caused by a fat injection mistakenly directed into a blood vessel, and death. The information presented is for educational purposes only. Speak to your doctor to decide if Lipogems procedure is appropriate for you. Individual results vary and not all patients will return to the same activity level. 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. Ask your doctor if Lipogems procedure is right for you. Lipogems or other corporate affiliated entities own, use or have applied for the following trademarks or service marks: Lipogems. All other trademarks are trademarks of their respective owners or holders.