“Do you do this new cosmetic surgery procedure that I saw on television?” This is a question I get from patients all the time! I stay away from the hottest and latest techniques when they include unproven procedures (injection lipolysis) and those not FDA approved. On the other hand, if it is just an old technique with a different name (stem cell face lift, Lifestyle Lift®) newly re-packaged with a marketing budget, I will evaluate the the procedure and make my decision based on current results.
The current fad is the “stem cell face lift.” The formula is simple, take a trendy buzzword or phrase and combine it with something already accepted. What could be more appealing than a non-surgical facelift using stem cells? However, it does not matter whether a “stem cell face lift” is effective, long lasting, safe or even really new for the trend to become popular. Fat grafts have been around for more than a century. A physician in New York City, Dr. Sydney Coleman personally coined and trademarked the term Lipostructure® in the early 90’s. He described the gentle removal, cleansing and reinjection of fat into the face. He stands by his claim that this is the best way to rejuvenate the face. In fact, not all plastic surgeons agree with Dr. Coleman. Actually, many patients require surgical skin tightening to achieve the rejuvenated appearance they want.
New techniques come along all the time. Generally these new plastic surgery procedures are developed from an idea or developed to fix a problem. In the past 25 years of my practice, there have been many claiming to be “the hottest or the latest.” I can only point to three that have made a real difference. These are liposuction, Botox and skin glue. The remainder have fallen by the wayside because the technique did not produce the results desired or had an unacceptable complication rate or morbidity rate (undesired result or complication). Some of these include, peanut oil filled breast implants (oil became rancid after time), bio-oncotic gel filled implants (FDA stopped production for non-compliance), laser liposuction (made no difference in the surgery), periumbilical breast enlargement (inconsistent results), injection lipolysis (never tested and not approved by the FDA).
An easy rule of thumb is this; if a new procedure is really new and effective with acceptable complication rates, every plastic surgeon will be doing it within about two years. Perhaps patience is a virtue in this case.