Background Wound healing and scar formation depends on a plethora of factors. Given the impact of abnormal scar formation, interventions aimed to improve scar formation would be most advantageous. The tissue stromal vascular fraction (tSVF) of adipose tissue is composed of a heterogenous mixture of cells embedded in extracellular matrix. It contains growth factors and cytokines involved in wound-healing processes, eg, parenchymal proliferation, inflammation, angiogenesis, and matrix remodeling.
Objectives The aim of this study was to investigate the hypothesis that tSVF reduces postsurgical scar formation.
Methods This prospective, double-blind, placebo-controlled, randomized trial was conducted between 2016 and 2020. Forty mammoplasty patients were enrolled and followed for 1 year. At the end of the mammoplasty procedure, all patients received tSVF in the lateral 5 cm of the horizontal scar of 1 breast and a placebo injection in the contralateral breast to serve as an intrapatient control. Primary outcome was scar quality measure by the Patient and Observer Scar Assessment Scale (POSAS). Secondary outcomes were obtained from photographic evaluation and histologic analysis of scar tissue samples.
Results Thirty-four of 40 patients completed follow-up. At 6 months postoperation, injection of tSVF had significantly improved postoperative scar appearance as assessed by the POSAS questionnaire. No difference was observed at 12 months postoperation. No improvement was seen based on the evaluation of photographs and histologic analysis of postoperative scars between both groups.
Conclusions Injection of tSVF resulted in improved wound healing and reduced scar formation at 6 months postoperation, without any noticeable advantageous effects seen at 12 months.