The words stem cell rejuvenation and face lift are the hottest topics in Plastic Surgery today. It is very trendy to talk about stem cells: there are a lot of skin care products that are based on stem cell technology and a lot of plastic surgeons are now looking in offering rejuvenation procedures based on stem cells. We are obviously talking about adult stem cells, so the controversy does not really exists: the embryonic stem cells are the one at center of ethical issues, the adult stem cell are present already in your body and there fore there are no issues about using them. We have focused our attention, as plastic surgeons, at the fat as a source of stem cells; there are other organs in which stem cells are present including blood and bone marrow, but the one present in the fat are much easier to acquire.
Plastic surgeons have been doing fat grafting for years and it is considered it an excellent tool in our armamentariun of facial rejuvenation. If it used properly, fat grafting can “volumize” the face and bring back a more youthful appearance.
Fat grafting is not free of complications if is misused. Most problems have to do with the fact that fat grafting survival is unpredictable and it is very “technique” depended: a word often used when we really don’t know the cause of is unpredictability. So fat can be absorbed by our own body almost completely, there fore making the procedure usless. Also one other problem is the fat grafting can cause irregular skin contouring especially in some areas like the lower lids were the skin is very thin: once this happens, it is very problematic to improve. Other complications of fat grafting to the face include the fact that if you gain any wheight, your face can assume a “different” and , at times, “bizzare” appearance which is not very pleasing.
All these complications make fat grafting a procedure that should be done with caution by a very experienced plastic surgeons.
When you are considering stem cell rejuvenation you have to find out what technology the surgeon uses to isolate the adult stem cell from the fat. some doctors will use the term stem cell rejuvenation but what they are really doing is fat grafting. In my opinion using a technology that will isolate and concentrate the stem cell from the fat trough a cutting edge device is the key to deliver superior results.