Stem Cells and Plastic Surgery
If you have liposuction and fat cells are removed from your body, those cells can be recycled. They can be grafted or injected to another part of the body where more fat is wanted or needed. When that is done using the correct techniques, the stem cells in the fatty tissue can provide improved healing after an injury or disfiguration. An example is breast reconstruction after a mastectomy.
What are Stem Cells?
There are two types of stem cells in mammals:
- Embryonic stem cells
- Adult stem cells
Use of embryonic stem cells is controversial, potentially illegal, and perhaps unnecessary in any case. All research on stem cells has so far used only adult stem cells. It has opened many doors in healing work and disease treatment.
Adult stem cells have the ability to change themselves into specific cell types for different body areas, such as muscle cells, bone cells, or heart cells – an ability called plasticity. They can do this for your entire lifetime. They can be obtained from bone marrow, blood, liver, skin, pancreas, eyes, tooth pulp and the digestive tract. Regardless of where stem cells are collected, they can transform themselves into different cell types.
You can obtain your own stem cells and store them in a stem cell bank in case you should need them for treating a future severe injury or disease. You can also collect your child’s stem cells when baby teeth fall out and there is a bank that will extract those stem cells and store them until your child might need them.
Using Your Own Stem Cells
The FDA (Food and Drug Administration) has not yet approved the use of adult stem cells for any disease treatment, although it is done in other countries. However, you can use your own stem cells for cosmetic enhancement, as this is not within the FDA’s “drug therapy” classification.
Cosmetic surgeons have been experimenting with fat extraction and reinjection for about ten years. They have successfully rejuvenated the face, using fat with stem cells as more than a facial filler – the stem cells help to create new facial cells, including new blood vessels for increased blood supply. Breast enlargement can be done in a similar way. The hands can be revitalized and a Brazilian Butt Lift can help create an hourglass figure by using stem cell fat transfers.
Before the fat is re-used, the stem cells are separated out, processed to increase concentration, and reinserted into the fat. When they are your own fat cells, the body does not react against them and it is a safe procedure.
Experienced plastic surgeons like Dr. Rai use only the safest and most reliable techniques and procedures. If you would like to schedule a complimentary consultation with Dr. Rai, please contact our office today.