Expert Says Patients Should Be Wary of New Stem Cell Procedures reports Dr Gerrish
Woman has bones removed from around eye following earlier stem cell surgery
The Women, who is from the United States, had more than six hours of surgery to remove the bone fragments from her eyelid around her eye. The removal was held three months after cosmetic surgery she had at the Beverly Hills clinic.
The first procedure, which was outlined in a December edition of Scientific American, utilized the stem cells extracted from her abdominal fat, which was then injected into her face.
The facelift cost the patient $20,000 and incorporated a dermal filler that contained calcium. The surgeons believe that this filler reacted with the cells to create the bone.
While the procedure is not illegal, there are only a small section of bone marrow transplant procedures that have been okayed medically. Those procedures are usually from leukemia patients, which have been about for 40 years.
Associate Professor of Stem Cells Australia at the University of Melbourne, Megan Munsie, stated that the report showed a reason for caution when approaching the concept of stem cell therapies in general.
"There is no doubt that stem cells have an incredible capacity to act as the body's repair kit," Assoc Prof Munsie told AAP.
"But they need to be given the right instructions otherwise, as happened to this women, they can turn into the wrong type of cells. I'm concerned that potential patients might think that because the treatment involves using their own stem cells, there is no risk.”
She continued, "But as this case graphically illustrates, this is simply not true. The unproven stem cell cosmetic procedure caused substantial discomfort to the patient and may have cost her sight in the affected eye.
"This, together with the reputed US$20,000 charge, is too high a price."
Munsie stated that the case was a strong example of why new stem cell treatments should be seriously monitored and considered as experimental. She urged understanding that they must be shown to be safe and effective before widespread use to avoid equally widespread problems occurring.
The cell types used for this particular patient were the same stem cells used for osteoarthritis patients in countries like Australia.
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