Summary: Is a new cartilage injectable coming soon? According to some recent research out of China, it’s a definite possibility. The notion of injectable cartilage would definitely make waves within the cosmetic surgery community, and would subsequently be of increased interest to consumers. But how close are we to a new cartilage injectable?
Is a New Cartilage Injectable Coming Soon to a Cosmetic Surgeon Near You?
How would you like to have a cartilage injection? It sounds a bit odd, doesn’t it? Somehow we’re a little more used to more, well, artificial injectables: dermal fillers, Botox, that kind of thing. A cartilage injection just doesn’t sound quite right. But it’s definitely something that could be coming to a plastic or cosmetic surgery clinic near you.
That’s because a team of Chinese scientists have published findings (according to a Chinese state-run news website) that they’ve discovered a new technique to inject cartilage. Even though it might sound a little off, this discovery has the potential to revolutionize cosmetic surgery procedures.
The results are still tentative, of course. The techniques involved need to be replicated by other scientists around the globe. And after that, all kinds of testing will need to occur to ensure the product’s overall safety. Even still, the prospect of new cartilage injectables is exciting for a number of reasons. There are definitely some specific advantages that cartilage has over other injectable options, so let’s take a peek at what this new discovery could mean for the world of plastic and cosmetic surgery.
How is This Cartilage Injectable Made?
One of the really interesting things about this particular cartilage injectable is how it is made. According to the news report, scientists take a small sample of your own cartilage. Then, they encourage it to grow–it’s a little more complicated than that, of course, but the general idea is that they use cartilage derived from your own to fill the injection mold.
Once they have enough cartilage, they can inject it right into the patient. How, exactly, that process works is something that will likely be refined and improved well before this product ever gets near the general market.
This whole process may seem far fetched, but the scientists reporting the breakthrough do have some credibility in this arena. Earlier, they successfully grew a human ear in a laboratory setting before grafting that ear onto a human patient. Whether these findings hold up over time and make their way to your medical spa or cosmetic surgery clinic is difficult to predict with certainty. But given the advantages of a cartilage injection, I could certainly see this coming soon to a cosmetic surgeon near you.
What Are the Advantages of a Cartilage Injection?
An injection of cartilage of this type offers some significant advantages over other injection methods or other cosmetic surgery procedures more generally. Here are some reasons to get excited about cartilage injections:
- Because the cartilage is created from your own tissue, the chances of an allergic reaction of any kind is remarkably low. This cartilage, after all, is uniquely tailored to your body.
- Cartilage is effectively permanent. When it’s inside your body, it’s not going to break down, so any injections will produce a permanent effect. That’s not the case with other injectable treatments. This could have big implications for procedures such as non surgical rhinoplasty. In theory, patients would be able to change the shape of the cartilage in the nose and those results would be effectively permanent.
- Patients can make changes to their cartilage with minimal downtime. Currently, adding to your cartilage requires surgery. If cartilage injections become a thing, it’s entirely possible that surgery will be required less often, but patients will still be able to achieve noticeable results.
The potential of these procedures is tough to limit. There could be strange and new and wonderful novel uses for cartilage just waiting for an innovative surgeon to come around. The same thing has happened countless times with other injectable, so it seems reasonable that cartilage would be used that way too. But only time will tell.
How Soon Can You Get Your Cartilage Injection?
There’s still a lot of work to do in terms of getting these cartilage injections to market. It can be incredibly difficult to predict how quickly or how slowly these things move. But one thing’s for sure: this cartilage injection is only the tip of the iceberg.
New technologies–3D printing among them–are giving surgeons and patients a huge variety of new tools to play with. And with research ever-continuing, it’s not unreasonable to expect a new surge of innovations to enter the cosmetic surgery field.
This cartilage injection may be just the first step. But even if that’s the case, it’s still an exciting one. Is a new cartilage injectable coming soon? Maybe. And maybe so much more, too.
About the Author: Dan Voltz has been writing about cosmetic and plastic surgery for over four years. He’s constantly in touch with plastic and cosmetic surgeons to ensure his information is accurate and up to date.