Do Stem Cell Claims in Aesthetic Surgery Hold Up?

Experts to shed light on promising, but not quite proven, stem cell treatments as ASAPS Annual Meeting

NEW YORK, NY (April 15, 2013) – Are “stem cell facelifts” and “stem cell breast augmentation” better than traditional procedures? Although stem cell therapy may be promising for a variety of medical conditions, the jury is still out on whether stem cell-based treatments are of benefit in aesthetic medicine. A panel at the Annual Meeting of the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery (ASAPS), being held April 11-16, 2013, in New York, NY, will examine stem cell claims in plastic surgery and discuss the latest findings from this much-hyped field. “Stem Cell Hysteria – Do Stem Cells Make a Difference?  Do They Affect Clinical Outcomes? will be moderated by Robert Singer, MD, and feature panelists Sydney Coleman, MD, John Hijjawi, MD, Daniel A. Del Vecchio, MD, and J. Peter Rubin, MD.  While stem cells are being studied for the treatment of a variety of medical conditions, this panel focuses specifically on the role of stem cells in cosmetic procedures.

“There is a lot of marketing hype about the role of stem cells in aesthetic procedures,” said Dr. Singer of La Jolla, CA.  “We are hopeful that this is the next frontier, but, unfortunately, there is no current scientific evidence that stem cells improve aesthetic outcomes.”

“This panel is critical because “stem cells” is such a hot term, used to market everything from surgical procedures to over-the-counter facial creams,” added Dr. Hijjawi of Milwaukee, WI. “As ASAPS members, we are concerned about all of the amazing claims being made about stem cells, and about finding out what the truth behind the claims really is.”

Research is currently ongoing to define the potential role of stem cells in aesthetic surgery, particularly for stem cells derived from the fat tissue. Each of the presenters on the panel is actively engaged in clinical or basic science research looking at stem cell therapy, including its impact on fat grafting outcomes in aesthetic surgery. Fat grafting has been used for many years to enhance contour and shape in the face, breasts, and hands, and research continues to uncover therapeutic possibilities. However, it is unclear if methods to add additional stem cells to the transplanted fat tissue produce better results than fat grafting alone.

“Although stem cells have great promise in tissue generation as seen in animal studies, plastic surgeons continue to struggle with demonstrating their role in aesthetic medicine,” added Dr. Del Vecchio of Boston, MA.

In the decade since the discovery of abundant stem cells in the fat tissue, many physicians have begun to rebrand their procedures using the words “stem cell” for marketing purposes. Unfortunately, there are no published studies showing that stem cell-enriched fat has any effect on fat transplantation outcomes.

“In our previously unwanted fat lies a vast store of our own body’s stem cells, which we may be able to use to treat many conditions in the near future,” said Dr. Coleman of New York, NY. “However, the amazing potential of stem cells must be measured through honest scientific studies, rather than through less-than-honest marketing ploys.”

"As the field evolves, we need to take a thoughtful approach to collecting data that justifies stem cell treatments in each specific application, and a realistic and rational approach to how these treatments are presented to patients," added Dr. Rubin of Pittsburgh, PA.

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Stem Cell Hysteria – Do Stem Cells Make a Difference?  Do They Affect Clinical Outcomes?
Monday, April 15th, 11:15 am – 12:30 pm
Moderator: Robert Singer, MD
Panelists:   Sydney Coleman, MD
                   John Hijjawi, MD
                   Daniel A. Del Vecchio, MD
                   J. Peter Rubin, MD

PRESENTERS are available for interviews.
CONTACT THE ASAPS COMMUNICATIONS STAFF.

About ASAPS
The American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery (ASAPS), is recognized as the world’s leading organization devoted entirely to aesthetic plastic surgery and cosmetic medicine of the face and body.  ASAPS is comprised of over 2,600 Plastic Surgeons; active members are certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery (USA) or by the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada and have extensive training in the complete spectrum of surgical and non-surgical aesthetic procedures. International active members are certified by equivalent boards of their respective countries. All members worldwide adhere to a strict Code of Ethics and must meet stringent membership requirements.

WE ARE AESTHETICS.

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