2016 Plastic Surgery Techniques Showcase Regenerative Medicine

Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery

There have been numerous advances in Plastic Surgery over the past 10 years — both socially and medically. Patients wonder what advancements are on the horizon in the realms of Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery? Looks like regenerative medicine may be the next big thing in this constantly evolving field.

Matthew Q. Miller of the University of Virginia, Charlottesville, and fellow coauthors have recently written a review article that considers regenerative medicine techniques in Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery and revealed suggested directions for future studies. The researchers studied stem cells, growth factors as well as synthetic scaffolds. This burgeoning field provides hope to patients suffering crippling disorders of the face and other body parts, in addition to individuals seeking anti-aging remedies.

For instance, “Plastic Surgeons and researchers are developing regenerative medicine-based treatments for people with congenital anomalies of the hands and face, such as microtia, cleft lip and cleft palate; burns; limb and muscle loss; facial aging; facial nerve injuries; breast cancer; and other reconstructive needs,” the Mayo Clinic reported.

“Regenerative medicine is an exciting field with the potential to change standards of care in FPRS [Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery]. This review touches on soft-tissue, cartilaginous and bony regeneration in Facial Plastic Surgery using stem cells, growth factors, PRP [platelet-rich plasma] and/or synthetic scaffolds. Our subspecialty has to continue to clinically investigate these techniques to show whether the new frontiers of regenerative medicine improve outcomes and cost-effectiveness in FPRS while not adding to the risks of treatment,” the review article noted.

As reported by Miller, regenerative medicine focuses on unlocking the regenerative potential of allografts and flaps, which are the foundation of surgical reconstruction.

“Regenerative medicine is a game-changing area of medicine with the potential to fully heal damaged tissues and organs, offering solutions and hope for people who have conditions that today are beyond repair,” the Mayo Clinic stated.

“I am very excited about the possibilities regenerative based medicine opens up, as it will positively affect the standards of care we have for crippling facial disorders and anti-aging treatments.”

— Dr. Slupchynskyj

Scientists anticipate that this new field could be a supplement or replacement for other tactics and procedures that have dangerous side effects or may not be good long-term solutions like Botox.

Recently, a similar study regarding Botox has been published. It provides evidence that injected Botulinum Toxin, can actually jump between neurons and hit areas it wasn’t intended to treat — adding legitimacy to a fear that began when the product first hit the market.

In 2009, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration added a warning to Botox’s prescribing information “to highlight that Botulinum Toxin may spread from the area of injection to produce symptoms consistent with botulism.”

Source: Miller MQ et al. The next frontier in Facial Plastic, Reconstructive Surgery. JAMA Facial Plast Surg. 2016.

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