There has been a growing concern in the surgical community over practices emphasizing the benefit of stem cells in fat grafting procedures. So much that it has obligated two leading surgical associations (the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery (ASAPS) and the American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS ) to release a joint statement on the matter.
Patients have been bombarded by ads claiming fat graft with stem cells is superior to fat grafting. There is just one problem with that claim. There is absolutely no scientific proof that stem cells for aesthetic surgical procedures is better let alone successful than the latest standard fat graft procedure. Both ASAPS and ASPS have concluded that today’s research could not back up any stem cell claims made by practices. Fat grafting, an innovative and popular procedure has been a major stepping stone, particularly in the Natural Breast Augmentation industry. Fat Transfer involves the harvesting of the patient’s own fat to naturally increase her cup size.
The technique has been gaining in popularity as breast implants continue to suffer from safety issues and bad press. Now, there is a growing number of practices that are intentionally undermining the fat graft alternative by focusing on stem cells as a major selling point of the procedure. The business strategy has caught the attention of the ASAPS and the ASPS with a joint statement clarifying there is no proof while remaining open to stem cells possible benefits in the future.
The joint Statement has given fat graft surgeons a sigh of relief. “This systematic review brings into sharp focus the fact that the marketing for stem cell therapies in aesthetic surgery is pushing far ahead of the current science,” said ASPA President Phil Haeck,MD. The two entities adhere to a strict code of ethics that benefits patients and surgeons alike. One of the recommendations from the ASAPS/ASPS is the following:
Terms such as “stem cell therapy” or “stem cell procedure” should be reserved to describe those treatments or techniques where the collection, concentration, manipulation, and therapeutic action of the stem cells is the primary goal, rather than a passive result, of the treatment.
For instance, fat grafting naturally transfers remnants of stem cells but should still be considered fat grafting. In this case, stem cells are a byproduct of the fat graft procedure rather than the ultimate objective.
The primary purpose for the joint statement is to show the public the leading figures in the industry do not condone misleading claims that would cause patients to question the latest platform.