Surgeons Urge Caution: Stem Cell Treatments Untested in Aesthetic Surgery

Share Article

Doctors Haeck, Eaves, and Rohrich write joint ASAPS/ASPS statement calling for more research into stem cell facelift and stem cell breast augmentation.

Further direct, approved clinical research is needed to validate those claims, but the future is potentially bright for the use of adult stem cells in both plastic surgery and facial rejuvenation.

There is little evidence to support the safety and effectiveness of procedures, equipment and treatments that have been advertised using adult stem cells for aesthetic reconstruction, including plastic surgery and facial rejuvenation, according to physicians writing in Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery.

Dr. Rod J. Rohrich, chairman of the Department of Plastic Surgery at UT Southwestern Medical Center and editor-in-chief of the journal, published a position statement on “stem cell facelifts” and “stem cell breast augmentation,” also known as “natural breast augmentation.” Dr. Felmont F. Eaves III of Chapel Hill, N.C., and Dr. Phillip C. Haeck of Seattle, Wash.,collaborated on the statement on behalf of the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery (ASAPS) and the American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS).

“There are encouraging data from studies in laboratories to suggest that the use of adult stem cells is a very promising field and may produce beneficial medical therapies to treat a variety of diseases,” the doctors said in the statement. They emphasized that there is a lack of consistency in the way stem cell facelift procedures are performed, and pointed out that many procedures are being advertised by physicians who are not board-certified for this type of treatment, and devices being sold for aesthetic stem cell treatments have not been approved for human use in the U.S.

In the report, the doctors encourage their peers to continue reporting clinic results and experimental research to peer-reviewed plastic surgery journals to both promote good science and to foster safety and best practices for stem cell use in aesthetic procedures. “Much more research needs to be conducted before any definitive statements can be made,” the report said. “[Until then,] stem cell based procedures should be performed in compliance with FDA regulatory guidelines.”

Dr. Rohrich said many of the advertisements claiming stem cells can aid in restoring facial and body youthfulness come from outside the U.S. “Further direct, approved clinical research is needed to validate those claims,” he said, “but the future is potentially bright for the use of adult stem cells in both plastic surgery and facial rejuvenation, as well as in medical procedures, such as restoring nerve and brain damage resulting from trauma or cancer, as well as reversing the severe effects of auto immune disease.”

To read the complete joint ASAPS/ASPS position statement on stem cell use in aesthetic surgery, including stem cell facelifts and natural breast augmentation, visit the ASPS, at their website.

About Rod J. Rohrich, M.D., F.A.C.S.
Dr. Rod J. Rohrich holds the Betty and Warren Woodward Chair in Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery at UT Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas, Texas. He also holds the UT Southwestern Medical Center Crystal Charity Ball Distinguished Chair in Plastic Surgery. He is a graduate of the Baylor College of Medicine with high honors, with residencies at the University of Michigan Medical Center and fellowships at the Massachusetts General Hospital/Harvard (hand/microsurgery) and Oxford University (pediatric plastic surgery). He has served as president of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons. He repeatedly has been selected by his peers as one of America's best doctors, and twice has received one of his profession's highest honors, the Plastic Surgery Educational Foundation Distinguished Service Award, which recognizes his contributions to education in his field. Dr. Rohrich participates in and has led numerous associations and councils for the advancement of plastic and reconstructive surgery. He is a native of North Dakota. He is married to Dr. Diane Gibby, also a plastic surgeon. They live in Texas with their two children.

###

Share article on social media or email:

View article via:

Pdf Print

Contact Author

Rod J. Rohrich, M.D.
Visit website