February 01, 2013 at 13:55 PM EST
Doctor Credits Stem Cells For Restoring Woman's Shrinking Face

SHELBY TOWNSHIP, Mich., Feb. 1, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Shelby Township doctor diagnosis woman with rare poorly-understood condition.

(Photo:  http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20130201/DE52888 )

Emma, a 35-year-old Detroit woman spent years unable to look in the mirror because the left half of her face had sunken over time.  She had already consulted with several doctors who said they couldn't help when she found Brett Kotlus, M.D., a cosmetic and oculofacial plastic surgeon in Shelby Township, Michigan.  He diagnosed her with a rare and poorly-understood condition called Parry-Romberg Syndrome (or Progressive Hemifacial Atrophy) that causes shrinkage of skin, fat, and bone of one half of the face.  Dr. Kotlus was able to dramatically improve her disfigurement and restore her self-confidence by injecting fat taken from her waist into the collapsed areas of her face.

The disease had affected Emma's desire to participate in social activities and had dramatically hurt her self-esteem.  "People would ask me what happened to my face when I was out," said Emma, a native Detroiter who works for the city.  "I basically just went to work and went right home because I was so self-conscious about how I looked."

Dr. Kotlus performed a mini-liposuction procedure to remove fat cells from around her belly-button.  The fat was artistically transplanted, virtually cell-by-cell, to the shrunken areas on the left side of Emma's face.  "The same specialized fat transfer techniques that I use for cosmetic facial enhancement were useful in this situation.  Studies have shown that a majority of the newly-located fat will flourish in its transplanted location. The fatty tissue is surrounded by a rich supply of progenitor cells, also known as stem cells, which I believe are responsible in part for the profound benefits of this procedure," explained Dr. Kotlus.  "Using the unaffected side of Emma's face as a template, I was able to help her regain symmetry.  Being able to help her in this way is both professionally and personally rewarding for me."

For more than 15 years, cosmetic surgeons have been performing fat transfer surgery to plump-up lips, cheeks, eyebrows, and temples, restoring volume lost in the normal process of aging.  More recently, fat transfer techniques have returned to the spotlight because of the abundant stem cell supply found in the body's layers of fat.  Stem cells have the potential to develop into more mature tissue including skin, bone, or fat components.  Dr. Kotlus says that these characteristics make fat "a valuable cosmetic and reconstructive building block for surgeons.  At the same time, many patients have gravitated toward fat transfer as opposed to synthetic materials because it is natural and has a negligible risk of rejection by the body."

Today, Emma smiles and tears form in her eyes when she recalls her experience with the procedure done more than 6 months ago.  "I look more like the person I'm supposed to be," she beams.  It's possible she may require further treatment if the disease becomes active again.  But for now she is pleased with her restored appearance.  She is especially happy that Dr. Kotlus agreed to perform the reconstruction free of charge.  "My insurance wouldn't cover the surgery because they said it was cosmetic.  But I wasn't trying to look younger or different.  I just wanted to look normal." Dr. Kotlus says he was touched by Emma's story and personality.  "This was a special circumstance and a special patient," he states.

Brett Kotlus, M.D. of Allure Medical Spa and Michigan Cosmetic Surgery Center  is an accomplished and board-certified cosmetic and oculofacial plastic surgeon who practices who offers consultations at 8180 26 Mile Road, Suite 300, Shelby Township, Michigan. Allure Medical Spa is a physician-based practice offering innovative surgical and non-surgical cosmetic services.  Individuals who think they may benefit or want additional information on various cosmetic procedures can visit www.AllureMedicalSpa.com or call 586-992-8300.  Allure Medical Spa is one of the first Medical Spas of its kind in the United States, offering surgical and non-surgical cosmetic procedures.

SOURCE Allure Medical Spa

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