Wound Healing using Modern Science
Wound healing and the science behind it are an integral part of plastic surgery. The cascade of wound healing is integral to every plastic surgery operation that is done. Whether it is simple suturing of a wound or an incision or during a complex reconstruction, no medical specialty is faced with more diverse wound healing challenges, being a referral source for difficult and non-healing surgery sites and wounds. Plastic surgery offers a wide spectrum of wound healing methods from tissue flaps, skin and fat grafting to topical therapies. Several exciting new technologies use products harvested from one’s own blood and body tissues such as platelet-rich plasma (PRP) and fat. (stem cells) Others use biologic scaffolds derived from human or animal sources such as Alloderm or Matristem. Depending upon the wound healing problem or tissue deficiency, the concept is that these agents encourage accelerated wound healing, tissue ingrowth and even tissue replacement in some cases. By aiding the body’s natural healing processes, new natural tissue develops that may result in less scarring than would normally occur.
PRP (platelet-rich plasma) is a natural concentrate of one’s own blood that contains platelets and other growth factors. By drawing a small amount of blood, it is centrifuged and a concentration or plug of platelets is obtained. This can be injected into wounds, mixed with other wound healing agents, or sprayed onto the surface of the wound. Because it is natural and contains potent healing agents, it has become popular for many wound and surgical procedures.
While fat can be removed by liposuction, it has historically been discarded. Now recognized as containing stem cells and other growth factors, it is being ‘recycled’ in patients for treatment of a variety of problems from tissue and volume loss to wound healing. Being a natural product and one that most everyone has a little too much of, it is harvested by liposuction techniques and concentrated to include mainly the cellular material. In is then used as an injectable material which can be placed virtually anywhere. In that lies an assortment of stem cells, while whether and how they work is not yet fully understood, whose addition to the wound site is known to cause a beneficial effect with new blood vessel ingrowth and better resultant tissue quality.
MatriStem (Acell) is a non-synthetic implant that is completely resorbable and acellular. It is a unique implant because it induces healing by triggering extensive new blood vessel formation and recruiting specific cell types to heal the wound site. These cells have the potential to become tissue that is natural to the specific tissue site rather than undifferentiated scar tissue. During the healing process, the implant material is completely resorbed, leaving behind natural tissue replacement and not just a scar or an unnatural residual implant. Less scarring means more natural tissue replacement, which can improve the appearance of the scar and lead to improved mobility and function of the specific body part or surgical site. MatriStem is currently available in both sheet and micronized particle form (powder). The availability of these two forms allows the material to be applied on any wound. It can be used for the treatment of a wide variety of either chronic non-healing wounds or in primary surgery to facilitate faster recovery and better results.
Dr. Barry L. Eppley is an accomplished Indianapolis cosmetic surgeon who performs an array of plastic surgery procedures for the cosmetic enhancement of the face, body and breasts. His breast augmentation Indianapolis patients frequently extol Dr. Eppley in admiration of his unsurpassed surgical skills and natural talent. He also offers tummy tuck surgery and is known as a leading Indianapolis liposuction provider. Dr. Eppley is well-versed in a range of facial rejuvenation procedures and strives to produce optimal results through facelift and rhinoplasty procedures.