Early Stages of Research On Cell-enriched Fat Grafting Shows Promise for Future Cosmetic and Reconstruction Surgery
A recent study published in Annals of Plastic Surgery, shows promise for the future of cell-enriched fat grating in plastic and reconstructive surgery. The article titled “Supplementation of Fat Grafts with Adipose-Derived Regenerative Cells (ADRCs) Improves Long-Term Graft Retention” compared the longevity and health of traditional fat grafting techniques versus fat grafting using ADRC cell-enriched grafts.
Traditionally, fat grafting is the process of using liposuction to remove excess fat, taking those fat cells and sterilizing them and then re-injecting those fat cells into other parts of the body, most commonly the face, lips, and buttocks. What this study did, in layperson terms, is enrich the removed fat cells with ADRC, and observed the effects and characteristics of these cells once re-injected.
The study found that cell retention was doubled when cell-enriched grafting was used over the traditional fat grafting controls. This is an important discovery for plastic and reconstructive surgery, because with current fat grafting techniques, some of the fat cells are naturally reabsorbed into the body, altering the initial results of the procedure. If cell retention is greater, then plastic and reconstructive surgeons can use fat grafting with more precision and yield more effective results.
The study also found that cell-enriched grafts were healthier and more functional – with an increased number of healthy fat cells, a lower number of dead cells, and less of a chance of cyst formation. Other observations included healthier and improved blood vessel density with enriched cells.
While cell-enriched fat grafting is still in the early stages of study, scientists are hopeful that this technology can be useful for reconstruction and cosmetic surgery patients in the future.