Blog 02/2014

February 27, 2014


The word “Laser” has enticed patients since the technology was first associated with medicine. Anything “laser” meant better, less pain, better technology, which of course meant that it was the best.

Lasers are an amazing technology.  But just because something has a laser does not mean it is better.  For instance laser liposuction devices such as SmartLipo have been fairly well debunked as marketing gimmicks.  Yet that never kept patients from flocking to have that procedure done.

The newest term that is the darling of unscrupulous medical marketers is the term, “Stem Cell.” With little doubt stem cells will end up improving health and lives as much as any innovation in the history of medicine.

But at this point there is no evidence to justify the use of the term “Stem Cell Facelift.”  Fat is injected to fill the face, and along with it some stem cells.  But does any technique that minimally increases the amount of stem cells make a difference from just using fat alone?

At this time absolutely no evidence suggests that current stem cell purification technology makes a difference in the face, and to suggest that it does is unethical marketing hype.

In any case, adding fat or stem cells is not a lift; it is a filling.  Adding volume is important to reverse aging.  But calling what at best is “Stem Cell Filling” a “Stem Cell Lift” is an example of “bait and switch” at its very worst.

The American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery released a position paper on this.  The chair of the task force was Peter Rubin, the world’s authority on stem cells.

For a very nice discussion of this topic, see a recent video from the Plastic Surgery Channel.  It is interesting and a well-balanced story.


February 25, 2014

It is important that patients have a detailed record of every medical device implanted in their body. That’s why every breast implant patient is given a card with all the details of their implant, we keep it on record in the office, and it is kept on file with the device manufacturer.  That’s a system that has a double back-up.

Just because we have the technology to encode electronic information does not make it necessary.  Not only is it not expensive, but any such technology itself introduces risks to the durability of implants.  Even something as simple as thickening or reinforcing one area to hold the device in place risks causing failures at the margins of those reinforcements.  Nearly every effort to do so on an implant in the past eventually led to an increased rate of early failure.  At best it would take decades to know that this wouldn’t happen.

KISS: take your device card, make a couple of Xeroxes, and put it in a couple of safe places in the house.  Done.

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