Stem cell-enriched fat grafts may improve plastic surgery results, study shows

Doctors may soon be able to provide patients with better results from plastic or reconstructive surgeries with the help of stem-cell enriched fat grafts, Medical News Today reports.

While autologous fat grafting – the transplanting of fat from one area of the body to another – has become increasingly popular in procedures like breast reconstruction, researchers say they’ve now found a way to make this technique even more effective.

In a study published in The Lancet, researchers compared the results of 10 people who received normal autologous fat grafts with 10 people who received grafts enriched with stem cells derived from adipose (body fat) tissues. Researchers did magnetic resonance imaging (MRIs) of the patients both immediately following the procedure and again 121 days later.

Overall, the grafts that were enriched with fat-derived stem cells retained 80.9 percent of their volume, compared to the standard grafts which retained 16.3 percent of their volume. After four months, patients with the stem cell grafts also demonstrated higher amounts of adipose tissue and newly formed connective tissues, as well as less death of body tissue compared to the standard grafts, Medical News Today reported.

According to the researchers, the procedure could be very effective at improving results for patients undergoing major tissue augmentation surgeries, such as breast reconstruction in cancer patients.

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