As cosmetic medicine advances, and the trend continues to be towards less invasive, natural procedures that maintain youth with minimal trauma to the body and face. And while muscle relaxant injection, dermal fillers, and a million different laser options are now widely available to the public, there is a new generation of cosmetic medicine that now threatens to make everything else obsolete: stem cells.
Instead of relying on fillers, synthetic ‘implants’ and all manner of artificial ways to turn back the year, what if there was a way we could use our own cells to regenerate, lift, firm, and regrow the damaged and degenerated parts of our body that not only wear us down but age us visibly. Well, scientists have now began experimenting with procedures that utilise our own stem cells – cells which have the chameleon ability to grow into a variety of different cells in the body – to do just this.
One of the first places where stem cells are being used to aid cosmetic procedures is in fat transfer. In traditional fat transfer procedures, an amount of fat from one part of the body is harvested (usually via traditional liposuction), and then literally shifted to another part of the body. This is particularly common in breast augmentation, but can be used for increasing volume in the face and other parts of the body. The only problem with these procedures in the past was that when harvesting fat cells, a large proportion would inevitably die, which meant that the results achieved in surgery would fade as time went on, and the fat cells that were already dead would be slowly dissolved by the body’s natural systems.
What is different about the new stem cell approach is that when the patient’s fat is harvested, a certain amount is set aside for transfer while another amount goes through a process to extract a mixture of cell rich in precious stem cells. With the addition of these stem cells to the rest of the fat, these harvested fat deposits can be kept alive and well throughout the procedure, meaning that the proportion of cells in the area fat has been transferred dying is drastically decreased. This allows the results of a fat transfer operation to be maintained well after the surgery has been completed.
Just a few of the other areas that can be improved with this new stem cell fat transfer include the hands. While many of us ignore our hands for years, they are one of the biggest indicators of age as the sun and general wear and tear add liver spots, wrinkles and a general lack of volume. Using a stems cell aided fat transfer to the hands can fill them out naturally and organically.
While these procedures are not necessarily approved for use in every country, the stem cell revolution is certainly coming to cosmetic medicine. To find out if these fat transfer procedures are correct for you, consult with your cosmetic physician or plastic surgeon first.