Uses of Fat Stem Cells in Cosmetic & Plastic Surgery

As part of the practicing field of the plastic surgeons is performing procedures in the fields of skin and adipose tissue grafting, the reconstruction of compound tissue loss and congenital malformations, the treatment of acute and chronic wounds and burns, as well as cosmetic surgery.

The most commonly utilized stem cells for these purposes are adult stem cells (ASCs), which are present in small amounts in every tissue; among these are two types of cells: bone marrow mesenchymal stem cells (BM-MSCs) and adipose-derived stem cells (ADSCs)

Plastic surgeons historically have used tissues of human being to restore various defect sites and utilized a single cell lines for the tissue regeneration. The cell sources (autologous or allogeneic), cell types (embryonic stem cell or adult stem cell), and source of tissues (bone marrow, muscle, adipose, cartilage, or blood) are very important for stem cell-based tissue coverage.

Adult stem cells are easily accessed for plastic surgeons during many routine procedures. The major advantage of stem cell therapy is avoiding potentially harmful surgical procedures and resulting donor-site morbidity. In particular, it can reduce the surgical risk for elderly patients that even, skin grafting, or flap surgery can be a great loading due to poor general status of patients.

Indications are:

  • Bony & Soft Tissue Defect: like, traumatic skin defect, severe burn, scar, Non-healing wounds complicated by ischaemia like bed sore, diabetic foot ulcer, etc.
  • Aesthetic Applications: It also becomes very attractive tool for skin rejuvenation, scar improvement, vaginal rejuvenation, correction of soft tissue defect congenital or post-trauma or surgery. Also, enriched fat with stem cells for augmentation of breast. The research work using various stem cells is still ongoing by many plastic surgeons.
  •   There are quite rich literatures on the use of ADSC for soft tissue augmentation in plastic and reconstructive surgery. It has been proven that ADSCs can enhance wound healing by promoting collagen synthesis and the migration of dermal fibroblasts. ADSCs transplantation induces neovascularization in the ischemic myocardium, and the skin flap by paracrine vasculogenesis promoting growth factors. Today ADSC can be applied in treatments for which fat transplantations already occur, giving result 10 times higher in aging, burns, scars, breast augmentation, wound healing, wrinkle correction, and breast reconstruction.  The ADSC demonstrated strong angiogenic features in the ischemic hind limb, myocardial infraction, and wound healing. In this field they seem to be more efficient than their bone marrow counterpart; they also have the ability to modulate immune and inflammatory function, probably mediated via paracrine activity.


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