ASAPS Annual Meeting Reflection: What’s Ahead?

Written by Joseph Gryskiewicz, MD, PSEN Aesthetic Assistant Editor

I am particularily excited about the prospects in the future for cryogenically stored fat for smaller procedures. The day is coming when a patient can donate a teaspoon of his/her own fat, store it in a fat bank CD, and cash it in for a future procedure where gallons of their own tissue would be available for instant withdrawl. Cryopreservation of fat or adipose-derived stem cells (ASC’s) is being done in Europe and future prospects for a transatlantic migration here are on the horizen.

How about the possibility of removing fat without invasive surgery in the future? The two competing external fat removal devices may be soon cleared for safety and efficacy for lunch hour treatments. This drive through experience will remove rather than add weight. How about injecting a fat dissolving compound into your tissue? There is such a compound and it is in final (Phase 3) clinical trials in Europe. The jury is still out on how well it works and in what areas. It is my impression it works pretty good on localized fullness in the neck area, and merely works so-so or not at all elsewhere. There are many variables to be sorted out such as dosing and level and frequency of injections. Don’t count on it to get rid of your saddlebags.

In the area of Military Medicine, General Gamble, who trained in plastic and reconstructive surgery at Walter Reed Army Medical Center sees total limb replacement with both mechanical as well as by surgical transplants as possibilities. It will be fascinating to see in 50 years what stem cells will be achieving to grow new body parts and reverse aging.

New tissue fillers are pointed our way. Almost 100 different types of fillers are used throughout Europe. We have only scratched the surface because of tighter FDA clearance. Thinner, more moldable fillers will soon enable you to have more precise and rapid treatment of fine wrinkles. Finer micro threading techniques to apply these thinner fillers will become commonplace. Even additional botulinum formulations are on the horizen including one that can be rubbed directly on the skin rather than injected.

Cellulite is a bane for many women, and I see recent laser advances as solving this problem. Cellulite is characterized by thinning of the skin, deeper fat lobules that extend upward into the skin and then tethering fiber bands grow between and separate the fat lobules. Various devices, requiring multiple treatments have been cleared by the FDA for temporary improvement of the appearance of cellulite. Dr. Barry DiBernardo will speak on a single treatment with a pulsed laser which improves the appearance of cellulite. The improvement persists for at least 1 year with minimal adverse effects.

Finally to all you mom’s out there, if you have the crepe paper skin around your tummy button then hold on for a few more years. Skin tightening technologies that really work are being used in Europe and should migrate here in the next few years.

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