Regenerative aesthetics refers to an exciting advance in cosmetic and plastic surgery that uses a patient’s own regenerative cells, commonly called stem cells, to achieve more natural, lasting results when injected alone or in combination with the patient’s fat cells in such procedures as facelifts and breast augmentation. However, it is important to separate the hype from the reality.
Stem Cell Facelift
“Stem cell facelift” is the newest catch phrase for the latest and greatest in facial plastic surgery. But what does it mean? The use of a patient’s own (autologous) fat to fill in hollowed areas of the face has been called a “stem cell lift” because of the scientific fact that our fat contains 2,500 times more stem, or regenerative, cells than bone marrow does. Claims of dramatic improvement in skin texture following fat transfers have been attributed to regenerative cells present in the fat.
Dr. Glasgold was impressed with a processing technology called StemSource®, developed by Cytori® Corporation that processes a patient’s fat into concentrated Adipose-Derived Stem and Regenerative cells (ADRC’s) in about an hour. This allows the ADRCs to be added to the fat for a fat transfer, or injected directly into damaged skin within the same procedure. The use of StemSource®-processed ADRCs in plastic surgery evolved out of the RESTORE 2 trial performed in Europe where ADRCs were added to fat for breast reconstruction following cancer surgery. Dr. Glasgold is hoping to demonstrate the effect of ADRCs and ADRC-enhanced fat graft on skin rejuvenation.
Dr. Glasgold would like to share the results of some of our procedures in the hope of bringing a greater understanding of the science of autologous regenerative cells to our patients. The patient pictured had an ADRC-enhanced autologous fat transfer to the area around her mouth and lips and under her eyes as well as injection of ADRCs directly into the severely damaged skin around her mouth. The results shown are three months post- procedure. While the overall cosmetic appearance is much improved, it is too early to tell if improvement to the skin texture is permanent. This work is experimental.