Adding PRP and stem cells, along with learning to navigate regulation and marketing guidelines offer benefits to the aesthetic practice.
This is part 2 of a 2-part series.
PRP is the easiest place to begin incorporating regenerative medicine into the aesthetic practice, according to Dr. Chesnut.
“There's a lot of variability around [PRP] and that's a super simple place to start because you can get an off-the-shelf kit that makes things very simple, very low touch for staff,” he says.
Initially, the quality of PRP is likely to be variable, but “as you get better at it or get more comfortable with manipulating that PRP, [you will] get higher platelet concentrations for different types of things,” he says. “Then that will evolve into changing that PRP or PRF into matrices or something you might use for a wound-healing case.”
Cosmetic or reconstructive, every physician has a need for help with wound healing, he points out.
Once comfortable with fat transfer, then you can think about increasing stem cell content of the fat.
“There's lots of papers and publications about this, and this is where we get into in vitro versus real life. But we know that we can take these things we already have at our fingertips and… be more purposeful with them in ways to augment our practice.”
As for regulatory compliance, it’s different in the United States versus other countries, he says, admitting that it can be a little scary.
“What are stem cells? How are they regulated? Most of the modalities that plastic surgeons, facial plastic surgeons, and dermatologists are using are totally within bounds,” he says.
That’s because fat-based stem cells are minimally manipulated.
In terms of regulatory compliance around PRP, there is none, he says.
Marketing, on the other hand, is where it can get sticky, though Dr. Chesnut points out that this is less of an FDA issue and more a trade issue. You have to market stem cells based on inherent purpose.
“If you're using fat-based stem cells to restore fat volume in the face, no problem,” he says.
According to Dr. Chesnut, that’s the general spirit of performing simple regenerative medicine-based treatments.
“In reality doing PRP or stem cells with a procedure they are already doing is very low touch, very low extra effort time and energy on your staff’s end,” he says. “And it's really just getting more comfortable with them over time, and building them into your practice as part of who you are and, again, you have to be interested in passionate about these things but the benefit is real.”