Regenerative Medicine in Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery: A Review

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The field of regenerative medicine aims at enhancing tissue healing and regeneration through the exogenous addition of therapeutic growth factors and cells, often in combination with tissue-compatible scaffolds. Perhaps the biggest advances in facial plastic and reconstructive surgery (FPRS) in the coming years will be the result of regenerative medicine techniques. While many articles on regenerative medicine have been published in the FPRS literature, to our knowledge there are no reviews that describe both soft-tissue and bony regeneration strategies, including scaffolds, stem cells, growth factors, and platelet-rich plasma. In reviewing the literature, we found that these strategies have produced very promising results and that regenerative medicine has the potential to augment conventional treatment options in the FPRS subspecialty. In the near future, these novel approaches may begin to replace autologous grafting and free tissue transfer in FPRS, the current standards of care. In this review we look at where our subspecialty is today with regard to regenerative medicine and suggest ways for future study and growth.

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