Stem Cell Research & Applications for Cosmetic Medicine
Stem cell use in aesthetics & plastic surgery
The use of stem cells in aesthetic and plastic surgery including the use for pure cosmetic purposes has great potential compared to other modalities. Can you imagine in the case of a badly burned face, simply injecting or in some way applying a cellular based therapy without surgery. Then the cells go to work reconstructing the face to a normal appearance making everything new again? Although this sounds like science fiction there is the potential for stem cells to do exactly that one day. That day has not arrived and we still have years of discovery and advancements in science before that will occur. Yet many scientist and physicians today see that day coming.One day this will be the reality and surgeons will no longer be needed at least in the traditional way as today.
What is the state of the art now?
So where are we now in such things as the “Stem Cell Face Lift” or some of the claims we have seen on the internet? We see doctors are making progress and we have noted many observations in our daily practice which convince us that this is more than snake oil. Yet we are a long way from providing solid science to this area clinically. What that means is we only have a handful of papers and peer reviewed research reports which indicate that there is potentially good outcomes which can be repeated. So no matter what you may have read on the internet by some unethical physicians or laymen who make great claims with stem cell skin care solutions or the pure stem cell face lift we cannot state its proven therapy by any means. If it sounds to good to be true it probably is the case. That does not mean it does not work, it just means it has not been proven with the science that we have today. What we have to rely on now is observations from our own practice using standard acceptable techniques of fat transfer (which brings with it stem cells and growth factors. We can add to that SVG which adds growth factors and stem cells and appears to enhance the results. We observe improvements in skin quality and what may be described as a more youthful appearance after treatment. For example in the case of badly scarred breast that had radiation from cancer after injection of fat we see improvements in the quality of the skin and softening of the tissue. These tissues prior to fat injection were firmer on touch and started to normalize after such fat transfers. These are observations by many plastic surgeons, but by no means is that scientific proven fact. Caution must be observed before any claims can be made.
We use Stromal Vascular Fraction (SVF) from your fat
The stem cells and the growth factors that are contained in the SVF that we have obtained from the patients own fat. We also use the fat cells themselves in our cosmetic practice. These fat cells are volume replacement similar to fillers which may account for a lot of the improved appearance observed. That is only part of the story, so we do believe that the regenerative cells (stem cells) play a role as well. Thus when you read this section on stem cells and cosmetic applications keep this in mind.
Some of the cosmetic applications here we do very frequently such as fat transfer with stem cells for buttock enlargement, breast enlargement or to fill in areas that have volume loss. We find potential in the face such as beautification of the skin and helping the complexion. Yet bear in mind this our opinion and not all plastic surgeons agree or even will support such efforts. Also note that liposuction was not accepted as a scientific proven therapy when it was being done by the first doctors. Now look at that technique and there is no doubt it is effective. So this area of treatment is something you can participate in, but we inform you of the options, the risk and potential benefits should be known so you can make your decision. If you have questions or interested in this please let us know.