Tags: stem | cell | surgery | mesh

Stem Cell Breakthrough Revolutionizes Surgery

By    |   Friday, 13 February 2015 04:28 PM

Millions of Americans suffer from crippling wounds that won't heal — including burn victims, cancer patients, and military veterans, injured in Iraq and Afghanistan. But one South Florida doctor is out to change that reality with a revolutionary new stem cell procedure that is revolutionizing modern-day surgery.

Harold Bafitis, M.D., a veteran plastic surgeon based in Jupiter, Fla., is essentially harnessing the healing power of stem cells by using a high-tech biological bandage that functions almost like a second skin. He is one of the few doctors in the world using the new method, which incorporates a patient’s own stem cells to treat burns, injuries, skin cancer, abdominal disorders, and other conditions.
In an interview for Newsmax TV’s “Meet The Doctors,” he explains that the technique employs a cutting-edge “biologic mesh” or “matrix,” which is applied like a bandage over wounds and surgical incisions.
“Our boys who went Afghanistan that had bombs exploded … they lost their quadriceps mechanisms they couldn’t walk,” he notes. “What they’ve done is they’ve taken the matrix, the biological matrix and they poured the powder in the middle of it and it attached to the muscle. Eight months later they grew back muscle. They get to walk with a cane, where they couldn’t walk before …. So this is the future. It’s here.”
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The biologic mesh Dr. Bafitis uses is made from human or animal tissues and resembles a thin, flexible pie crust. The material also comes in a powdered form that incorporates surrounding tissues in the healing process. When applied to a wound, it forms a natural scaffolding upon which the patients’ own stem cells grow to help heal the areas quickly and completely.

Dr. Bafitis has already used his new stem cell technique on more than 150 of his patients — performing everything from simple hernia repairs and tummy tucks, to more complex surgeries to fix serious and even previously untreatable conditions.
Micheline Small, a personal trainer and mother of 4 from Jupiter, Fla., who underwent the pioneering procedure to repair a complex hernia and says it changed her life.
“He told me prior to the surgery that he was going to do this and he thought I would be a good candidate for it,” Small said. “And I said, ‘I don’t care, I’m tired of the discomfort of this hernia’ ...I’m quite happy with it…I’m feeling awesome.”
Dr. Bafitis explains that the mesh promotes healing, stem cell growth, and resists infection, as well.
“So you’re getting basically new tissue in growth. As this goes away, it auto integrates, and you’re creating new tissue where you had old tissue — new collagen where there was old collagen,” he notes. “Which to me is almost science fiction.”
The novel approach is still in early stages and has been approved by the Food and Drug Administration only for use in treating burns and wound repair. But Dr. Bafitis believes the technique has far-reaching applications that could make it a mainstay in operating rooms for many types of surgery in the years ahead.
“It will basically be the standard for any type of hernia repair ... It will be used for wound healing because it’ll obviate the need for big surgeries,” he predicts. “It’ll save money, and it will be more cost-effective” than conventional approaches. 
Dr. Bafitis is now in the process of training other surgeons — in places like Johns Hopkins and other renowned medical institutions, where it is likely to take its place alongside other huge leaps forward in surgical procedures (such as laparoscopic procedures and robotic surgeries) that were once considered experimental.
“One of the issues is getting this information out to other physicians. And I’ve been … asked to go around the country to basically show other physicians or surgeons what’s available … they’ve heard about it — they haven’t seen it.”
Meanwhile, Dr. Bafitis is quietly going about the business of transforming lives — one at a time — by treating patients in his South Florida practice.
Stella Francis, a life coach and counselor from Jupiter, says the hernia surgery Dr. Bafitis performed was life changing.
“[It was] the best thing I could have done for myself,” she adds: “It fixed the problem. And as a result, I’m pain free — no back pain, no belly pain, and no fear that something is very wrong.”

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Millions of Americans suffer from crippling wounds that won't heal — including burn victims, cancer patients, and military veterans. But one South Florida doctor is out to change that reality with a revolutionary new stem cell procedure that is changing the face of modern surgery.
stem, cell, surgery, mesh
Friday, 13 February 2015 04:28 PM
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