Cosmetic Surgery and Procedures in Development

The Cleveland Clinic

New cosmetic surgery techniques will continue to be developed as demand for newer and better procedures grows. Procedures such as facelifts, which were previously performed with scalpel, will in the future be done with lasers. Recovery times will be quicker and scarring will be less.

In decades to come, the possibilities in plastic and cosmetic surgery will become close to endless. Tissue engineering is no longer something out of a science fiction novel. The creation of living tissues in a laboratory setting for use as a replacement for damaged or diseased body parts is on the horizon.

Think about it -- the growing and reproduction of skin grafts, breast tissue, muscles, cells from vital organs and even nerves ? lie just ahead in the medical future. And though the science is still in its infant stage, there is no doubt that the future of cosmetic and reconstructive surgery will likely have tissue engineering at its core.

In the short-term, however, keep your eye on news about the products and techniques listed below. They are either newly available, or will become available in the near future.

  • Artecoll. Used in Europe since 1989, Artecoll may be the first permanent injection to treat wrinkles . The science behind it involves the injection of microscopic plastic beads suspended in collagen derived from cows into the area needing treatment. Once the body absorbs the injected collagen, the tiny beads trigger the body to produce its own collagen, thus keeping cycle of collagen production permanent. Every time the collagen depletes, the beads tell the body to produce more.
  • Botulinum toxins. For some people Botox is not strong enough, does not last long enough, or may simply not be an option due to their body's natural resistance to the botulinum toxin. For these people the future may hold Myobloc or Dysport. Myobloc is botulinum toxin type B (Botox is type A) and therefore may benefit people who are resistant to Botox. Its dosage is larger than Botox, but its effects are more immediate and studies have suggested that they last as long or a little longer. Like Botox, Dysport, too, is a botulinum toxin type A. It also is a larger dose than Botox. Patients treated with Dysport require two treatments a year as opposed to the four treatments a year often needed by Botox patients.

    Neither of these products is yet approved by the FDA for cosmetic treatment and both carry the same risk of allergic reaction as does Botox.
  • CosmoDerm and Cosmoplast. Out of the mouths of babes? Not quite. To understand the technology behind these products you must go a little lower; specifically to the discarded foreskins of infant boys after circumcision. Using the collagen producing cells found in newborn foreskins scientists have been able to isolate and then replicate these cells to produce the collagen needed for injection. Like the bovine collagen commonly used to treat wrinkles today, these products are eventually reabsorbed by the body and require another treatment 3-6 months later. However, unlike bovine collagen, Cosmoderm and Cosmoplast - used to treat fine lines and deep wrinkles respectively¬†- the patient does not need to be test for allergies to the collagen. CosmoDerm and Cosmoplast were both approved by the FDA for use on March 12, 2003.
  • Hyaluronic acid. This is a component of skin tissue. Its function is to provide cushioning and lubrication to the skin. Currently, two brands of hyaluronic acid ? Restylane and Hylaform are approved for use in mild wrinkle and scar treatment in Europe, Canada and South America. Restylane, which is a synthetic form of hyaluronic acid, has been shown to last up to an entire year, while Hylaform, derived from the hyaluronic acid of rooster combs lasts anywhere from 3-6 months. Both of these products were recently approved by the FDA.
  • Radiance. Derived from calcium hydroxylapatite, a substance found in human bones and teeth, Radiance is an injectable paste used to enlarge the lips and fill folds and lines that reportedly lasts 2-5 years. Because it is derived from human tissue, there is little chance of allergic reaction. Radiance is not approved by the FDA for use in cosmetic treatment.

Reviewed by the doctors at The Cleveland Clinic Department of Dermatology.

Edited by Charlotte E. Grayson , MD, July, 2004 WebMD.

Portions of this page © The Cleveland Clinic 2000-2003.

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Last Editorial Review: 1/31/2005