Tag Archive | stem cell facelifts

STEM CELL FACELIFTS IN THE NEWS

stem cell

Three years ago a Los Angeles woman had a new cosmetic procedure, a stem-cell face-lift. During this procedure the surgeon liposuctioned adult stem cells from her stomach fat and after isolating them, injected those cells back into her face and around her eyes. In this case the doctors extracted mesenchymal stem cells—which can turn into bone, cartilage or fat, among other tissues—and injected those cells back into her face After some time, the woman was experiencing difficulty opening her right eye, and whenever she tried, she heard a strange sound. Eventually she consulted a second plastic surgeon, complaining of these symptoms. At first the consulting surgeon thought she was exaggerating, but she did indeed have a swollen, drooping eyelid. This was no overactive imagination at play! After more than six hours of surgery, the consulting surgeon and his colleagues had dug out pieces of bone fragments which had been growing in the flesh around the woman’s eye. The strange sound the woman was hearing whenever she tried to open her eye was bone grinding against bone.

Why did this occur? During the patient’s initial aesthete treatment, her surgeon had injected some dermal filler along with the stem cells. Although plastic surgeons have safely used dermal fillers for more than 20 years to plump up the skin and obscure wrinkles, the principal component of such fillers is calcium hydroxylapatite, a mineral which encourages mesenchymal stem cells to turn into bone, the probable explanation for this woman’s unanticipated predicament.

THIS STORY WAS REPORTED IN SCIENTIFIC AMERICA.

Although the consulting surgeon successfully removed the pieces of bone from his patient’s eyelid, no one can say for sure if her saga has ended as some living stem cells possibly have remained, to turn into bone in the future.

We all tend to get excited when we read about the next NEW thing to enhance our beauty. But MORE is not always better and NEW hasn’t yet stood the test of time. Cosmetic surgery is a constantly evolving field, but let’s be cautious and let the science precede the hype.

For more in depth information about Stem Cells, where we are now and where we are headed, read Dr. Alan Kisner’s informative article: STEM CELLS IN THE NEWS.