Stem cells in Plastic Surgery

Natural tissue can enhance cosmetic procedures and has other benefits that might assist with repair and rejuvenation. Stem cell-enhanced fat grafts may double the survival rate of normal fat grafts in breast augmentation surgeries, but these enhanced grafts won’t immediately replace implants—they will simply make an impact on how patients decide on their own best option in aesthetic procedures.

Facts about stem cells:

  • Human stem cells participate in the healing process anywhere in the body.
  • Fat contains the highest concentration of stem cells and is relatively easy to harvest. For example, 5,000 bone marrow cells will yield 100 mL of bone marrow aspirate. Fat cells will yield 500,000 stem cells.
  • Stem cells harvested from bone marrow require much more complex manipulation than cells harvested from fat. Bone marrow cells must be cultured before they can be used, whereas fat cells are separated in a centrifuge-like process.
  • These processes can be done without ever leaving the operating room.
  • Stem cells seem to be appropriate for conditions in which there is a deprivation of blood supply. For example, they offer a huge potential in the treatment of burns.