Currently Browsing: Cosmetic Surgery

Why ACell ECM Minimizes Scarring

When a patient gets cuts, lacerations, or burns, part of the healing process is the formation of scar tissue. Scars are fibrous tissue that bridges the gap formed when the skin and underlying structures are damaged, but differ structurally from normal skin. Depending on the extent of the damage and the patient’s age, genetic makeup, and health, scars can range from the hardly noticeable to whoppers that would be hard to ignore.

Scars may also form after reconstructive surgery, which depending on the location can significantly hamper movement or affect one’s physical appearance adversely. These are undesirable consequences, and one way that it can be minimized is by using an extracellular matrix (ECM) product in dressing areas where healing will occur. According to the website of Bergman Folkers Plastic Surgery in Des Moines which uses ECM in their procedures, ECM accelerates healing and promotes growth of normal skin while inhibiting the formation of scars.

ECM is basically the outer walls of the cells in multicellular organisms made up of fibrous proteins and mucopolysaccharides, which serves to provide the cells with biochemical and structural support. There are two types of ECM: animal and plant. Animal ECM consists of the interstitial matrix and basement membrane, the latter which is lacking in plant ECM.

The efficacy of ECM in cellular regeneration has been widely studied, and one of the better types of ECM is porcine urinary bladder matrix (UBM) because it is acellular (cellular debris removed) yet maintains its collagen structure and is easily resorbed. Commercially, the only manufacturer for UBM is currently ACell Inc., which uses it as a base for its MatriStem line of wound remodeling products. The products are acellular (cellular debris removed), non-crosslinked.

Competent surgeons know the benefits of using ECM to patients, which is seamless healing following facial, breast, and hand reconstruction as well as burn injury repairs. If you are considering having reconstructive surgery done, be sure to ask your surgery about the benefits of ECM.