Stem cells are primitive, unspecialized cells with the ability to transform into different types of cells in the body through a process called cell differentiation.
Regeneration of the meniscus and articular cartilage of the temporo-mandibular joint with stem cells.
The temporo-mandibular joint (TMJ) is that joint that allows the jaw movements and is a complex articulation, with various structures that compose it including a meniscus, similar to that of the knee, which has the function of “bearing” between the two bony ends.
The dysfunctions related to the temporo-mandibular joint are very frequent pathologies but little known by the population and consist of malfunctions of the mentioned structures essentially related to the lack of coordination of the same. Generally, the patient who suffers from the symptoms related to TMJ pathologies does not recognize them and that is why a patient will refer to other types of specialists before seeking a Maxillo-Facial Surgeon.
This is understandable, because among the most frequent symptoms are cervical pain, headache, ear pain that can be mistaken for an ear infection, jaw pain that may be perceived as toothache, tinnitus, even back pain, so that the patient often turns to a specialist or neurologist or even dentist, not deeming TMJ as the cause of his symptoms. Many of the patients suffering from cervical pain have TMJ dysfunction. Once diagnosed with Joint Dysfunction, the treatment can be contained and rarely requires surgery. Innovative therapies include stem cell treatment.
It is with pride that Dr. Andrea Carboni, the first in the world in collaboration with a team of colleagues, has demonstrated the regeneration of cartilage tissues and the TMJ meniscus by transplanting stem cells taken from the patient’s fat, resulting in a total elimination of the symptoms linked to it.
Years of scientific work have been recently published in the prestigious American medical journal “Journal of Craniofacial Surgery” (Temporomandibular Disorders Clinical and Anatomical Outcomes After Fat Derived Stem Cell Injection” Coals A. et al. J Craniofac Surg 2019.)
We have shown that stem cells from adipose tissue, once grafted into the TMJ, are able to stimulate cartilage production, improve intrarticular lubrication, increase the distance between joint heads reducing friction, maintaining joint space to improve the supplementary viscol activity of the synovial fluid and promote cartilage regeneration.
The autologous grafting of adipose tissue stem cells (ASCs) is an operation that involves the removal and grafting of fat mesenchymal cells for the patient who is simultaneously donor and recipient.
The surgery takes place without hospitalization and the full session lasts about 30/45 minutes. Only one operation is needed and is carried out with a minimally invasive technique.
After local anesthesia the surgeon makes a small withdrawal of abdominal fat with a micro cannula. The fat is processed through a special disposable kit and in a few minutes the stem cells are ready to be injected with a small needle inside the TMJ compartment and the patient can return to normal daily life, only requiring a soft food diet for the following two days.
The patient will immediately notice an improvement due to the anti-inflammatory effect of the stem cells in the following weeks. There will be differentiation of stem cells into chondrites (cartilage cells) and a subsequent regeneration of the meniscus and cartilage that make up the temporo mandibular joint. This type of treatment gives a permanent result with the disappearance of symptoms.
Facial lipofilling with stem cells
Skin aging is divided into two categories:
Intrinsic skin aging:
it is linked to the physiological process of aging due to the passage of time, it is called chronoaging and is mainly due to hormonal changes, genetic heritage and the slowing down of all biological and metabolic processes of the organism.
Extrinsic skin aging:
it is age-independent, but is linked to several external factors that attack the skin.
Ultraviolet (UV) rays are definitely the ones that most affect skin aging called photoaging. Prolonged exposure without regular use of sunscreen, causes oxidative stress that results in skin damage such as solar rash, hyperpigmentation, couperose, wrinkles, cheratosis and melanomas. Other external factors are pollution and smoking.
Aging or excessive weight loss leads to the loss of volume of certain areas of the face such as the region of cheekbones and cheeks.
Lipofilling is a surgical technique, which thanks to the grafting of fat and stem cells taken from other areas of the body, allows to redesign, restore volumes and contours, rejuvenate, give greater definition to the face and correct atrophy that accompanies aging. also aesthetic defects due to acne, temporal concavity, wrinkles of nose-lip folds and hemifacial atrophy.
Autologous fat grafting is a permanent option for many patients who are looking for aesthetic facial countouring. In some cases some minor further operations may be needed 3-6 months after the first operation.
Since this technique involves the use of autologous fat cells, no intolerances or allergic reactions can be developed and being non-invasive the patient will be able to return to any type of work and social activity in about 7-10 days after the operation. Post-traumatic or post-surgical defects can also be corrected with this technique. From our experience, autologous fat grafting is a viable option for facial rejuvenation, carried out individually or in association with a facelift.
Today it is possible to perform a lipofilling enriched with stem cells that are present in the same fat taken from the patient. Part of the fatty tissue taken is used to fill the face or other areas, such as the hands, and some of the fat is instead processed through a special disposable kit and in a few minutes the stem cells are ready to be injected. In this way, the filler effect of the classic lipofilling shows regeneration of the facial tissues. Stem cell lipofilling immediately gives a thriving, young and regenerated skin. Stem cell facelift is a minimally invasive procedure for the patient, eliminating the use of the scalpel and postoperative scars.