Stem Cells in Plastic Surgery?

Stem Cells Plastic Surgery

When it comes to advertisements of cosmetic procedures that claim to use stem cells, potential patients should be very wary. Stem cells may hold incredible potential for cosmetic use, but at the moment, “the marketplace is saturated with unsubstantiated and sometimes fraudulent claims that may place patients at risk,” according to the authors of a recent review of these procedures in Plastic and Reconstruction Surgery, the American Society of Plastic Surgeons’ official medical journal.

A field that continues to see steady growth in popularity, plastic surgery includes a wide range of proven procedures that reshape or repair areas of the body like the face or breasts with the goal of improving a patient’s physical appearance. These procedures generally result in a leaner, firmer, more proportional physique that boosts patients’ self confidence.

While only one cosmetic stem cell procedure has been approved by the Food and Drug Administration, a growing number of advertisements for unproven cosmetic stem cell procedures are flooding the airwaves with promises of anti-aging benefits. Concerned, researchers used Google to identify and study the ads for these procedures. Although most claimed to utilize stem cells derived from fat, others were actually plasma-rich protein treatment with no real stem cell use at all. Of the procedures that did actually use stem cells, little data was offered regarding the quality of the stem cells. Researchers determined that many of these treatments were really examples of lipofilling, an established fat injection procedure.

“This is a good example of the importance of caution,” says Dr. Shahram Salemy, a respected Seattle-area plastic surgeon. “New advances and technologies need to be carefully evaluated not only for safety, but for efficacy.” A clinical instructor for the University of Washington’s Department of Surgery’s Division of Plastic Surgery, Dr. Salemy uses the latest cosmetic surgery techniques in his own practice, but only when he is confident in them. “Patients want options that are effective and have durable results, and in our practice we are careful to adopt a procedure only when we feel strongly that it is in the best interest of the patient.”

A board certified plastic surgeon who has been consistently named “One of America’s Top Plastic Surgeons” by the Consumers’ Research Council of America, Dr. Salemy has plastic surgery offices in Seattle and Richland, Washington. With the ultimate goal of providing every patient with a safe, positive plastic surgery experience that creates outstanding, lasting results, he offers his patients a broad array of cosmetic procedures, including breast augmentation, facial rejuvenation and body contouring.

To schedule a personalized consultation to learn more about safe, effective plastic surgery treatments, call (206) 467-1101 or email our Seattle office.