Reconstructive and Aesthetic Surgery

The Blond McIndoe Research Laboratories, with support from The Healing Foundation, are investigating the potential use of stem cells from fat tissue to apply to reconstructive and aesthetic surgical techniques towards improving outcomes for patients.

The group is currently focusing on the use of stem cells to augment fat grafting surgery (the transfer of fat from one site into the defect), which may be indicated in breast reconstruction following breast cancer, traumatic injuries, congenital deformities and aesthetic surgery.

Research group members

Mr Kavan Johal

Mr Kavan Johal is a trainee plastic surgeon investigating the role of adipose-derived stem cells as an adjunct towards improving autologous fat graft survival. Using human fat has been shown to have widespread benefits for patients, notably for the treatment of soft tissue defects present after trauma and cancer treatment including breast reconstruction. The focus of this research is the use of stem cells, taken from human fat, to improve the survival of such fat grafts.

Mr Patrick Smith

Patrick SmithPatrick Smith is a PhD student working towards improving fat grafting surgeries for reconstructive and aesthetic purposes. Using adipose stem cells derived from patients' own tissues, and targeting distinct subpopulations of these cells, Patrick hopes to enhance the cells' natural ability to assist in fat survival and growth. Enriching fat grafts with these cells is a promising and novel approach to the problem of poor fat graft survival.


Patrick studied Neuroscience at the University of St Andrews before achieving an MSc in Neuroscience at the University of Manchester, where he investigated the role of P2X7 receptors in peripheral myelination with Professor Alexei Verkhratsky and Dr Alessandro Faroni at the Blond McIndoe Laboratories. Patrick is funded by the Blond McIndoe Charitable Trust and The Healing Foundation.