What is Regenerative Plastic Surgery ?
Regenerative Plastic Surgery incorporates the sciences of translational medicine research, tissue engineering and molecular biology to restore normal healthy structure, function and appearance. In practice, this means using your body’s own tissues, growth factors, and stem and regenerative cells to promote repair and enhance function. There is a lot of hype about stem cells, and unfortunately a lot of misleading information out there. True stem cell therapy using only pure stem cells is not yet a practical reality, and in fact may not even be necessary to treat many diseases and medical situations. Read more about this here.
What techniques are used in Regenerative Plastic Surgery?
Fat Transfer – using your body’s own fat, removed with gentle liposuction both the structural elements of fat and the stem and regenerative cell components of fat can be used both for aesthetic plastic surgery procedures and reconstructive procedures. The use of fat is well documented with hundreds of publications supporting it’s use in healing applications for plastic surgery and wound care applications, as well as orthopedic and sports medicine applications. In addition to the ability of fat to act as a natural filler of tissue defects, there is clear scientific proof of the role of the stem and regenerative cells in fat in healing and repair. Fat has been used extensively to support tissue repair and remodelling, helping repair and replace damaged tissue in many areas of the body.
PRP – Platelet Rich Plasma is a component of your blood that is rich in multiple growth factors and a type of stem cell known as a CD34+ cell. PRP is produced by high speed centrifugation (spinning) of your blood in order to concentrate the platelet and growth factor component of the blood by 5 – 10 times. The uses of PRP are extremely numerous due to these growth and healing factors, which stimulate healing and repair in all the tissue of your body, including skin, bone and cartilage, soft tissue and muscle, hair restoration, facial rejuvenationand even used in treatments such as erectile dysfunction in men and sexual enhancement for women.
Enriched PRP with Fat Transfer – can be used in combination with fat transfer procedures, and it has been shown that combining the two multiplies and enhances the effects of both procedure by supercharging the stem and regenerative cell elements of fat with additional growth factors and cytokines from the PRP. We have developed a unique Enriched PRP procedure. In this procedure small volumes of fat harvested with liposuction from the abdomen or thighs, and then further processed with extensive washing and filtration, is combined with the PRP. This fat and PRP mixture provides PRP to the tissues in a more jello like consistancy than PRP alone. This allows the growth factors within the PRP to remain within the area of concern, rather than diffusing more rapidly as a liquid. In addition there is significant evidence that the combination of PRP and fat enhances the regenerative potential of the stem and regenerative cells within fat, so together boosting the effects of both the regenerative cells within the fat and the PRP itself. Our own clinical observation has been that there appears to be a faster onset of the anti-inflammatory effects of the treatment, as well as a more sustained healing effect.
Bone Marrow Stem Cell Products – removing small quantities of bone marrow from the hip, and frequently combining this with PRP, an enhanced stem and regenerative cell preparation can be created to treat a number of degenerative processes in the body. This is particularly useful for treatment of orthopedic complaints such as osteoarthritis, and can be used in the knee, hip, shoulder and numerous other joints and soft tissue injuries such as muscle tears, plantar fasciitis, tennis elbow, and back and neck problems. There is much controversy of the benefits or advantages of bone marrow stem cells versus adipose (fat) tissue derive stem cells. Nevertheless for most purposes, both can be said to be effective, and the choice of which to use depends on the situation and to some extent which area of the body is being treated and also some regulatory factors.
Unfortunately, in the United States, the FDA has at the present time severely restricted our ability to process your own fat to separate out pure mixtures of stem and regenerative cells, claiming that this purification process, even if it is your own tissues, creates a drug.
Nevertheless it has been extensively shown that the stem and regenerative cells within your own fat, are still able to exert their normal functions when used in fat transfer, even if not separated out from the fat. Thus we are still able to obtain many, if not most, of the benefits of stem and regenerative cells with simple fat transfer, except of course where intravenous applications of these cells are required.
Treatments using either fat transfer, PRP, PRP with fat transfer and Bone Marrow Stem Cells include:
Facial volume and skin enhancement – combining fat transfer, tissue fillers and PRP in various ways, great improvements in facial and skin improvements can be expected. At the Bougainvillea Clinique we have developed our own approach to these treatments to enhance all the other facial aging and skin treatments that we provide. Our techniques are similar but not identical to advertised procedures such as the Vampire Lift® and Vampire Facial®. We do not claim to perform these trademarked procedures, but have developed our own approaches bases on Dr. Hartog’s experience as a plastic surgeon, and his background as dentist and oral and maxillofacial surgeon. This unusual combination of training makes us ideally suited to provide facial and skin rejuvenation and enhancement procedures.
Of course many of these facial and skin rejuvenation procedures can be applied to other areas of the body such as the neck, hands, breasts and cleavage areas.
Breast Augmentation and Reconstruction
Hair loss or Alopecia can be caused by a variety of factors, these include heridity, hormonal changes, stress, scalp skin disorders and numerous other medical conditions. Whenever possible the cause of the hair loss should be identified and treated if possible. Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP) has been shown to be helpful in restoring hair growth in early to moderate hair loss situations. The PRP can be administered with microneedling or direct injection to the scalp.
Using various combinations of PRP, bone marrow stem cells, and fat transfer and ultrasound guided techniques numerous orthopedic, sports medicine and pain conditions can be treated. In addition numerous treatments can be provided to assist with wound healing problems, radiation treatment injuries, peripheral neuropathies (such as in diabetes) and arthritic conditions.