Surgical Scaffolds, 3D Imaging, 3D Printers and More

Thursday March 5th, 2015

World Wars I and II established the need for modern day plastic surgery. As a Marine, the Korean War convinced me to become a plastic surgeon. Working my way through medical school as a pharmacist provided me with tools that have been useful as I evolved into the area of regenerative medicine. My residency years included general surgery, cardiovascular surgery, hand surgery, maxillofacial surgery as well as plastic surgery. In 1973, I became board certified in plastic surgery. However, my education never ceased.

I have worked with fat and an adipose source of stem cells for 35 years. In the beginning, I had no concept of stem cells or why I was observing regenerative changes in my patients after fat injections. 25 years ago, my hand surgery professor referred a patient that had a severe de-gloving type of injury to her right upper extremity with high level damage to all three nerves (median, ulnar and radial). She was left with a claw type extremity with only shoulder motion. The exposed nerves were causing such severe paresthesias and phantom pain that she was considering a high level amputation. Three years post injury I performed multiple fat injections in an effort to insulate the exposed nerves. I was confounded by the return of both sensory and motor nerve function as well as significant decrease in pain levels. 20 years later she has continued with improved function with the later use of processed stem cell rich fat grafts.

right upper extremity injury

Almost five years ago I was awarded the first FDA approved Medikan Lipokit, a totally enclosed fat processing unit imported by Palomar. Combining SlimLipo laser neck tightening with large volume Lipokit processed fat and PRP to the face resulted in my OPERA Lift procedure. The OPERA Lift is a totally non-surgical –3D Space Lift”. Soon after my first case, I began enhancing my results by integrating Cell Assisted Lipo transfer technique (CAL). CAL is produced by adding collagenase digested stem cells to the processed Lipokit fat. This increases the fat graft survival to almost 100%

OPERA lift

Shortly afterwards, Dr. Melvin Shiffman of L.A. asked me to contribute a chapter to the first book ever published on –Stem Cells in Aesthetic Procedures”. Springer Publications released the book last November, almost three years after I had written my chapter (chapter 29).

stem cells in aesthetic procedures

Chapter 29: Specializ