Liposuction with stem cells


Introduction

It is a normal liposuction with the added value that part of the extracted fat can be preserved and benefit from regenerative medicine.

For first time, today it is possible to preserve stem cells from the extracted fat in a liposuction in a private bank. All people that did not have the opportunity to extract stem cells from their umbilical cord, can now preserved them and benefit from the applications of regenerative medicine in the future. Sr. Jorge Planas, plastic surgeon and medical director of Clínica Planas, has presented for first time in the world, the validation study of this technique of preservation of mesenchymal stem cells, called lipo-save.

Aesthetic surgery at the service of regenerative medicine

After 6 years of investigation, Clinica Planas presented the validation study of the LIPO-SAVE technique so as to store stem cells from extracted fat of liposuction in October 2008. It is the validation of a process that consists of the extraction of fat via liposuction, obtaining and cultivating stem cells and later their storage and preservation in a laboratory and private bank of stem cells in UK.

In the first phase of this investigation, studies were made with the University of Barcelona. Extracted fat was sent to Dr. Senen Vilaró and he isolated and cultivated the cells in an experimental manner in his laboratory.

In a second phase, Clínica Planas created a validated and sterile extraction, container and transport system of this fat from the surgery room to the laboratory. Clínica Planas contacted also with a tissue bank so as to save the stem cells once isolated and cultivated.

For the development of this technique, known as Lipo-Save and validated by the European regulation and the Ministry of Health of UK, Clínica Planas counts with adapted equipment that allows the manipulation of fat tissue without damaging the necessary qualities to obtain stem cells. On the other hand, this centre has established the optimum periods for each phase of the process, thus guaranteeing the quality and optimum conditions of fat tissue that will be manipulated for extracting stem cells. In less than 30 hours, the container arrives to the laboratory, where the stem cells are isolated and cultivated before being frozen at -180º. The cryopreservation will save cells during years and once needed for the patient, the cells will be defrosted and 80% of cells will be restored.

This technique has been applied to more than 50 patients in Clínica Planas, who have their stem cells stored in a UK bank.

From now on, this technique will be offered to those patients that will go under a liposuction treatment and are interested in preserving their stem cells.

It is a normal liposuction with the added value that part of the extracted fat will be sent to a laboratory to isolate stem cells, which will be cultivated and preserved in a private tissue bank. This procedure is done at the same time that a traditional liposuction, with no disadvantages for the patient. The length of procedure, post surgical treatment, etc? is the same as a normal liposuction.

Stem cells for everybody
The liposuction is the most effective technique to extract enough fat to obtain mesenchymal stem cells.
All tissues from the human body have stem cells, but the adipose tissue (fat) is the one with greater proportion and its extraction is less aggressive for the patient than extracting them from any other tissue of the body.


Surgery duration

1 - 3 hours

Bed

1 day

Recovery

3 days

Anesthesia

General o local

Effect

1 month

Results

Long-lasting


Procedure

It is a normal liposuction with the added value that part of the extracted fat will be sent to a laboratory to isolate stem cells, which will be cultivated and preserved in a private tissue bank. Thus, it consists of the elimination of the excess fat in the affected area of the body via its aspiration with small cannulas that are inserted through small incisions in the fat deposits located under the skin.
This procedure is done at the same time that a traditional liposuction, with no disadvantages for the patient.


Pre-operative

As in all surgical treatments, a prior medical checkup is a must to detect any possible anomaly that may prevent from doing the treatment.

During the first examination, the specialists will asses you about the different options to solve your problem, will carefully evaluate your general conditions and will listen to your expectations. Afterwards, the doctor will check the parts of the body where fat is accumulating and will calculate the approximate volume needed to be extracted so as to recover an adequate body shape, always taking into account the quality of the skin in the area to be treated.

If you smoke and you would like to be treated on liposuction, you will have to stop smoking at least two weeks after and before the treatment, since tobacco can negatively affect the formation of the scar tissue. If you are on medication, it is very important to let the surgeon know before the surgery.


Aftercare

After liposuction, during a month, a girdle should be used. Massages on the treated area may also be necessary to control inflammation and to help the skin to be adapted to the new body shape. In most cases, post-operative control last 24 hours.

Besides swollenness and bruises of surgery, liposuction left very small scars hardly visible, since the cannulas used to suck out the fat are very fine. It is necessary to wait some time, to appreciate the results, without any signals. Regarding possible nuisances, it depends on the treated region and the extension. Abdominal area uses to be the most painful. Liposuction on knees and thighs also produces pain during the first days, but they are under control with analgesics. Lymphatic drainage massages should be done twice per week the first two months, in order to help recovery.

There are several basic cares which are important to follow to guarantee the success of liposuction. Once discharged from the Clinique, it is possible to travel. For planning future travel, it is important to take into account that you will have to come back to the Clinique to remove stitches. Former usual activities can be performed two days after the surgical treatment but physical exercise, that will have to wait at least two or three weeks, depending on the treated area. Bathing is forbidden the first week after the treatment. It is recommendable to have short showers with warm water. It is also important not to take sun baths and sun beds during the first two months, so as to avoid dark spots on the skin. It is not recommendable to use the sauna to avoid the augmentation of swollenness, until three months after the operation.


Benefits

Stem cells are applied in regenerative medicine and it is hoped that in the near future they can be used in the treatment of diseases such as diabetes, cardiovascular diseases, spinal cord injuries, orthopaedic surgery or neurological diseases.

All those people who have not had the opportunity to remove stem cells from their umbilical cord will be able to preserve them and benefit from the applications of regenerative medicine in the future


F.A.Q.

If the area to be treated presents big flaccidity, the plastic surgeon will evaluate the possibility to do another treatment. In the case of a patient with overweight, it is advisable to treat the obesity first before doing a liposuction. Finally, if you suffer a vascular sickness, a vascular specialist will examine you to valorate your case.

Liposuction is considered a safe surgical treatment and has a very low index of complications only if done by qualified specialists and the appropriate means. Nevertheless, as in any other surgical procedure, there is a risk of hemorrhage, infections and complications regarding the use of anaesthesia.

Regarding specific risks, the following risks are possible, although rare: variation of the sensibility of the skin during a period of time; persistence of swollenness, changes of colour and irregularities on the skin contour after the usual recuperation period (in these cases, additional treatments will be done); infections on the skins or excessive bleeding, two unusual complications (less than 1% of patients) that use to appear on patients under a specific medication before the treatment. The apparition of fat embolisation or thromboembolism, skin colour change and variation of the sensibility of skin on the treated areas are still less frequent.

The apparition of small haematomas and swollenness on the treated area can not be considered a complication. In 10% of cases it is necessary to retouch an area after several months.

Scar formation and final result will depend on each skin and personal characteristics of each patient. Nevertheless, there are several cosmetic treatments that help to fasten the cicatrisation and to diminish the marks, such as mosquet oil and reparative cicatrisation crèmes. The surgeon will recommend you the most appropriate treatment for your particular case.

The case of the skin before and after the operation will affect on the final visibility of scars.

Cellulites can improve, although it does not disappear definitively. Liposuction and liposculpture are treatments for the excess of fat cells. The edema and constitution defects of the fat tissue that presents cellulites do not have surgical treatment.
Dr. Jorge Planas explains the results




Expert opinion

Dr. Jorge Planas
Dr. Jorge Planas

The results are the same as in a traditional liposuction, i.e. a visible diminution of the volume and an improvement of the body shape, with the added value that part of the extracted fat can be preserved in a stem cells bank and the patient can later benefit from the applications of regenerative medicine, via the use of stem cells that can be isolated from the preserved fat.

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