Recent Biological Advances in Facial Plastic Surgery
29 January 2002 (online)
Over the last decade, significant strides have been made in understanding several biological processes that will result in new improvements in facial plastic surgery. This issue of Facial Plastic Surgery describes some of these recent and promising biological developments in facial plastic surgery. Due to this large amount of information that has accumulated, it can be difficult for the practicing facial plastic surgeon to be informed of these many developments. This publication provides an interesting overview and insight into several ``cutting-edge'' areas of biomedical investigations that will affect facial plastic surgery.
Several exciting subjects are covered in this issue. Commercial blood products have recently been publicized to aid in hemostasis, wound healing, and tissue adhesion. One article describes the present state of these blood products and their future potential in facial plastic surgery.
The innovative use of botulinum toxin has been demonstrated to reduce scar formation. Another article shows promising clinical results to improve the cosmetic appearance of cutaneous scars by reducing the surrounding wound tension by chemodenervation of underlying muscles.
The use of various soft tissue replacements has become more available to the facial plastic surgeon. One article discusses some of these homologous tissue matrix materials at our disposal.
The following article reviews how the past, present, and future uses of bone substitutes have evolved over time for facial recontouring. Much progress has been made in the orthopedic realm with bone substitutes that will inevitably make a major impact in facial plastic surgery.
A subsequent article describes the use of tissue engineering methods to grow cartilage outside the body for later reconstruction. The benefits of extracting living chondrocytes and embedding them into biodegradable polymers would make it possible to replace cartilage defects with pretailored shapes and sizes.
In facial plastic surgery, the impact of growth factors to influence wound healing has emerged. Various soft tissues of the head and neck area (skin, mucosa, and nerve) are being investigated with growth factors to improve wound repair. This topic is reviewed in respect to facial plastic and reconstructive surgery. In administering such growth factors, effective methods for delivery are crucial to control their dosages and duration. This subject describing possible methods of growth factor delivery is discussed in the next article.
In summary, this publication presents many exciting biological developments in facial plastic surgery. This issue does not intend to include all of the recent biological advances related to facial plastic surgery but describes some recent areas of interest.
It has been a pleasure to have had the opportunity to edit this issue of Facial Plastic Surgery. I would like to thank the contributors to this issue for their hard work and participation in this endeavor. I hope you find this issue of Facial Plastic Surgery both informative and fascinating.