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Where is aesthetic medicine headed?

Regenerative medicine and robotics are the future of aesthetic medicine, according to leading practitioner Dr Reza Mia of Anti-Aging Art in Houghton, Johannesburg.

He continues: “Regenerative medicine is something that will allow us to use patients’ own cells to produce desirable outcomes i.e. to get them to look healthy, happy and youthful without having them look like they have been worked on. This means less of a reliance on foreign products and more dependence on the stimulation of their own cells in desirable ways. For example, we are looking at ways to stimulate collagen and elastin in the skin or muscle mass.

“However, stem cell use is currently illegal in our country and punishable by 10 years in prison. The reason for this is that laws were designed to protect fetuses from being aborted in order to harvest stem cells from them. But, stem cells can now be obtained from patients’ own cells, or from umbilical cord blood, and therefore these laws are no longer relevant. We have started an NPO (Non-Profit Organisation) to fund stem cell research, because research under ethically approved studies is allowed and this will, in turn, give us the opportunity to further our stem cell goals. Additionally, we would also look to address the Department of Health in the appropriate forum in order to get them to revise the law to allow us to use stem cells, but obviously in a regulated manner. It is important to point out though that, just as in any other medical treatment, the use of stem cells can carry risks.”

As for robotics in aesthetic treatments, Dr Mia says: “Robots may be equipped with special censors to enable us to detect things such as underlying structures like blood vessels, making them safer to use than hand injecting. At the same time, robotics will allow us to direct injectables. Of course, these will have to be altered and approved by aestheticians or aesthetic doctors who, again, have an understanding of beauty, but a robot may inject more reliably, with greater accuracy and consistency. A robot can inject for many hours without rest.”

To find out more about these fascinating topics, read the in-depth interview with Dr Mia on pages 40-42 in the July issue of the Professional Beauty magazine. Click here