Wednesday, May 26, 2010


Dr. Robert J. Brueck MD frequently blogs about interesting information and news about advances in health, medicine and cosmetic surgery. He has recently completed the first facelifts in Florida using stem cell therapy. Here is some of the background. Also view the video in the adjacent posting.

I recently had my own encounter with stem cells. The mere mention of the word stem cells can evoke outrage over the political-ethical football this has become. But with recent advances, this may end and should once and for all.

As a young college student I played varsity soccer. Early one season I suffered a severe left ankle sprain. In these days, before MRI’s and arthroscopy, etc., the protocol was simple, we used crutches and elevation.

So it is now 40 years later I have severe degenerative arthritis in my left ankle. For awhile I controlled it with Celebrex. Had this been my hip or knee I would be on the table getting a new hip or knee. Total ankle reconstruction is not perfected and has many risks. Ankle fusion would be a last resort so I decided to go with the PRP (protein rich plasma) and stem cell route.

The whole process is simple in theory. We inject something from our body and heal another part of our body. The big question is “what is a stem cell?” A stem cell is a pluri-potent cell essence. A stem cell and has the intrinsic ability to differentiate to become a cartilage cell, a bone cell, a muscle cell.

Everyone has stem cells. We have them when we are born. Basically there are two types, embryos, which are ones that are creating all the controversy and adult stromal derived stem cells.

Throughout out our life our bodies produce stem cells which become skin or blood muscle cells. Through research we know that garden variety fat is a great source of stem cells. It has been estimated that 20 units of fat, a couple of ounces, contain about 25 million stem cells.

Who doesn’t have a few extra ounces of fat hanging around? In many cases, it truly is "hanging around".

Stem cells are found also in the brain, bone marrow, skin, etc. When I went to the east coast to have my stem cell injection, I spoke with Dr. Purita who did the injection.

They harvested my stem cells from my fat and then mixed it with my own PRP (protein rich plasma) and some growth hormone. Dr. Purita has done over 2000 of these and said “Bob, it works”. Obviously not 100% but the results have been exceptional.

Last week I saw Dr. Ron Gardner an orthopedic doctor here. He gave me another injection of PRP. My ankle is so much better. It feels better than ever but what is more encouraging is that I have not been on my daily dose of Celebrex for over 6 weeks.

With my success, I wondered how I might use this to help my patients. Many of my patients have severe sun damage to their skin. They try make-up, creams, light peels, lasers, high end prescriptions and not always with the best results.

I thought, why not take their stem cells and inject them into the face and try to “regenerate” their skin from the inside out. The cells were harvested, mixed with PRP and some growth hormone. With the patient comfortably sedated we injected fat into some areas plus stem cells, PRP, and growth hormone to the entire face. We injected just below the skin layer.

One of the patients I did Friday came back to work Monday. She really looked great and had minimal discomfort. So did the other two patients I did.

Be sure to watch the video.

I am excited about the prospects and am eager to learn more about this whole process. What is so great is that it’s “your own tissue”, how great is that? There is more to come.

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

I love the concept of this procedure! Looking forward to seeing some before and after pictures soon.

May 27, 2010 at 10:45 AM  
Blogger cooplmhc said...

How is your ankle NOW? I've had PRP with the adipose stem cells 3x and the PRP once to address SI instability. I went to see Dr Crane in St. Louis, MO ( the guy who trained Dr. Purita to use the fat grafts) but am interested in going to Dr Purita since I live in Naples. I was surprised that they only used 20 cc to make your PRP, since they'd always used 60 cc in my sessions. How much PRP did he make from 20 cc? Your feedback is much appreciated.

August 2, 2010 at 10:05 PM  
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Anonymous B Morris said...

Would love to see "after" results of your UTube patient about to undergo one of your first stem cell lifts. And how's the ankle coming; it's been almost a year since your procedure!

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