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Chronic cutaneous non-healing fistulas very often are dehiscences of surgical or traumatic wounds that do not repair properly and progressively undergo intrafistular and perifistular fibrosis. The fibrous tissue constitutes a natural barrier to the progression of the fistula repair process and represents the major cause of non-healing and chronicization even in a context of proper vascularization. The microfractured autologous adipose graft allows to provide the tissues involved in the fibrotic process with a regenerative stimulus by MSCs (mesenchymal stem cells) contained in adipose clusters of 0.3 mm. In this context, MSCs are able to secrete cytokines with antibiotic, antifibrotic, angiogenic and analgesic effects. The micro-fragmentation technique guarantees a high regenerative effect, as the MSCs are not isolated enzymatically with the simultaneous destruction of the adipose tissue. The micro-fragmentation allows the maintainance of the structure of the adipose cluster including microvessels and allows it to amplify by 6000 times the active surface that exposes the MSCs. Our experience with the mechanical microfracturing method of lipoaspirate consists of 41 treatments. In 7 cases the graft was performed due to the presence of a non-healing cutaneous fistula, which lasted from 128 to 243 days. In 6 cases we achieved immediate repair and closure of the fistula while in one case the procedure failed. The purpose of the paper is to describe in detail our experience by an accurate description of the implemented method of the used device accompanied by the document with adequate photographic documentation.
Marco De Monti, Laura De Pellegrin and Ken Galetti.