Wednesday, August 12, 2009

The Stem Cell Facelift - Plastic Surgery

Stem Cells. Two words that can start heated conversations and end friendships. It is certainly a hot political as well as religious topic but it need not be. Here, however, we are talking about adult stem cells and their use in “stem cell” face lifts.

What are stem cells?

Basically a stem cell is a cell with multiple options. A stem cell may become a bone cell or "osteocyte" or a "collagen cell", or other types of cell within the body. Stem cells have the ability to differentiate down different cell lines. These cells can help “replenish” old tired out cells in our face.

As adults we have many adult stem cells in our fatty tissue.

These stem cells are harvested through liposuction, spun down and then re-injected into the patient’s face. So in essence you are both the donor and the recipient, which is good because there are no problems with tissue compatibility.

The physician who pioneered this procedure is Dr. Richard Ellenbogen in California.

Interestingly, the highest concentration of stem cells is found in the back fat. Think about it. You not only eliminate "love handles", you transfer them to a "lovelier" face. I knew love handles were good for something. Now we know they are a source of stem cells.

Over the years I have been injecting fat into the face with good results.

I usually use abdominal fat. Now we are considering trying the love handle fat to make sure that I have a higher concentration of stem cells. I think this is a good procedure to use but to say a stem cell face lift is the fountain of youth is a bit premature. To date we have had no double blind studies where we inject stem cells on one side of the face and leave them out on the other side. Perhaps that is in the not too distant future.

It's not just a face lift.

In any event, harvesting stem cells from the flank area and re-injecting them into the face is something I have done. I think it is appropriate because one of the early signs of aging is loss of soft tissue. Maybe we should reiterate that these are not just face lifts but "stem cell face lifts".

Stay tuned. Maybe the term "fat chance" will take on a new, positive meaning.

And check the web site at regularly for updates on these and other plastic and cosmetic surgery updates.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

I like this idea! Might be interested in this procedure! Keep us posted.

August 12, 2009 at 10:49 AM  
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