Wednesday, May 23, 2012


Innovation is the cornerstone of progress in most human endeavors and plastic surgery is no exception.  Some of the advances I have seen in 30 years as a Fort Myers and Cape coral plastic surgeon are truly remarkable – I sometimes have to pause and catch my breath.

One area of new research and innovation has to do with the field of stem cells, autologous fat and PRP or platelet rich plasma.  There are recent trends that have received much hype and notoriety but I think it is important to not oversell something before we enough about it.

As we speak, studies and research are being conducted to unlock new avenues of clinical application of stem cells and platelet rich plasma.  The possibilities are only limited by the collective geniuses of hundreds of scientists world wide working to unlock the hidden secrets of stem cells and PRP.

For years, stem cells were a hot political issue and to some extent that persists today but to a lesser degree because of new discoveries in stem cell research.   We were led to believe the only stem cells available for research were embryonic, but we know now that the “pooch” around our stomachs – mine included – contain millions of stem cells.  It really is not necessary to go out and harvest embryos or fetuses.

Basically a stem cell is a pluri potent cell, ie. a cell looking for a neighborhood to hang out in or grow up in.  If you put a cell in say an ankle joint – the stem cell looks around and hopefully will differentiate say into a bone or cartilage cell.  I have had stem cells injected into my arthritic left ankle three times with what I consider good results.  Is my ankle like it was before my injury – no!  Is it less painful – yes.  So, many questions remain to be answered.  One of these newer trends in cosmetic surgery is to augment the face with a patient's own fat stem cells and PRP.

I would say about 30% of the time or more, I recommend patients get autologous fat to build up their facial structures.  As we age we loose volume – our skin thins – it sags – we lose collagen and elastic fibers.  Finally one day we wake up – look in the mirror and decide the time has come to do something – time to go see Dr. Brueck about some cosmetic surgery in Fort Myers, Florida.

The fat/stem cells are usually harvested from the patients abdomen.  We recommend combining the fat/stem cells with the patients own PRP.  This combination of fat/stem cells – alone or with PRP is then injected into a patient's face to build it up and replenish what was lost due to aging.


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