Bryan Mayou: The next big advance in plastic surgery

 

I had the privilege to introduce liposuction into the UK over 35 years ago. At the time the medical establishment scoffed at this ridiculous and probably dangerous innovation arriving without preliminary scientific research. The fact is, it worked beyond all expectation.

 

We have been waiting for the next gamechanger for 30 years. Now I believe it has arrived and with a host of science behind it. Yes, it is the Stem Cell. Where do we find stem cells? Low and behold they come from the very fat removed by liposuction. Fat is the biggest reservoir of Stem Cells in the body.

 

When 30 years ago, I was grafting fat to repair the bad results of other’s liposuction, I did not realize that it contained stem cells and this was the reason why the overlying skin looked so good afterwards.

 

So, we have been grafting fat to improve skin quality and scars for years. Surgeons often say they are using stem cells, as indeed they are, but the big advance is that we can now extract and concentrate the stem cells from fat many thousand times to really give a real boost. These stem cells have the ability to mature into almost any specialist cell it placed against. Hence the interest from orthopaedic surgeons to make fresh cartilage for a worn-out knee, the cardiologist to refresh cardiac muscle after a heart attack or a neurosurgeon to revive the brain. The hold-up has been the difficulty of producing stem cells in the operating theatre quickly enough or in sufficient numbers. One cannot keep patients waiting many hours, whilst the process serves up enough cells.

 

There have been two breakthroughs.  The first is nanofat mechanically fat can be broken down to the Stromal Vascular Fraction (SVF), which contains no live fat cells, but a proportion of live stem cells. The second development, just arriving on the market, is the Lipocube, developed by Tunc Tiryaki which, in one form, produces larger quantities of nanofat, and in another, rather bigger quantities of stem cells. The very first patients in the UK have been treated at the Cadogan Clinic in Chelsea.

 

The Cadogan Clinic is thus the leading clinic in the UK for stem cell treatment of the skin and soft tissues with 2 pioneers, Olivier Amar and Tunc Tiryaki, along with colleagues, regularly using stem cell enhanced fat grafting of the face, breast and buttocks, and concentrated stem cells and nanofat to treat scars and rejuvenate skin.

 

I have no doubt that this is the start of another revolution in plastic surgery.

 

By Mr Bryan Mayou, Consultant Plastic Surgeon and Founder of the Cadogan Clinic www.cadoganclinic.com

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