Recoverup is a company that is now offering a stem cell treatment for hair loss that involves the harvesting of a patient’s own (autologous) stem cells, taken from body fat, and then injected them into the scalp to stimulate hair growth. Registered in the UK and a subsidiary of Rejuvenation & Regeneration Healthcare (R&R), Recoverup apparently operates a clinic in Taiwan and perhaps at other locations around the world. The company doesn’t disclose the locations of its facilities and would-be users of its services must fill out a contact form and get information that way.
The details of Recoverup’s treatment protocol are fairly clear. It involves a two-step procedure. First, the patient’s stem cells are extracted from a patient’s own adipose tissue (fat) with a liposuction-like procedure and using a local anesthetic. Approxinmately 200 ml of fat cells are removed. After that, the stem cells are then separated out using a centrifuge and alleged cultured in media until a certain concentration is met — although the “treatment” is minimal and is performed in a single day. The second phase of the treatment involves the “application” of the isolated stem cells to the scalp. The stem cells are injected into the scalp using a micro needle. The removal of the fat cells and the re-application can be done in a single day, the company says.
The cost is between USD $8,000 and $13,000.
Recoverup claims that patients see results in just two weeks. It adds that 40% of treatment areas will see either darker, thicker or faster growing hair or more hair per follicle.
We asked one of our regular writers, D.A. Leatherman, to comment on this treatment. Full disclosure: Dr. Leatherman is the CEO of Cygenx which markets a stem cell-based topical hair serum based on growth factors. We receive commissions on sales of Dr. Leatherman’s products.
“I had this exact procedure performed on my scalp three years ago with no visible improvement in hair growth. I had injected into my scalp adult autologous adipose derived stem cells with other regenerative cells (referred to as stem cell soup) that were collected from my own stem cell pellet known as the stromal vascular fraction (SVF). No hair developed, not even vellus hair.
“Although I do not know the cost of this treatment, it is a medical procedure and therefore undoubtedly expensive. Furthermore, it has no real science to lend support for any need of adding stem cells via injection into the scalp.
“The reason why I am skeptical of this treatment is because we now know that lack of stem cells is NOT the reason why people lose their hair. The University of Pennsylvania has published documented scientific data that a balding persons scalp has adequate stem cells in the scalp. So one must question, why implant more stem cells derived from your own fat?
“It is not stem cells, but progenitor cells, that are deficient in the balding scalp.
“The University of Pennsylvania did identify that what was needed to actually grow hair was to ‘wake up’ the dormant stem cells. So even if stem cells are injected subcutaneously under the scalp, how do you ‘wake up’ these stem cells? They will still need to differentiate into the hair ‘organ’ of a hair follicle, that includes, glands (both sweat and oil), muscle, nerve, hair bulb, hair shaft, and several different types of skin tissues.
“Remember, this procedure calls for the injection of stem cells, not the implantation of actual hair follicles. The growth of hair requires the actual transitioning growth from the stem cell into the entire hair organ not just a simple single cell tissue type. Regenerative medicine may have added value in the future when we can grow actual hair follicles from our own scalp in vitro (no DNA rejection) and can successf ully transplant those in vitro grown follicles into our scalp. To date, this ability alludes regenerative researchers.
“Now, let us pose the most important and essential question to shed light on identifying a real remedy for hair loss: How can we wake up the stem cells that are already in the balding scalp? Answer: growth factors, cytokines and interleukins. These signaling and communicating molecules are the normal constituents found within the body that direct the differentiation of cells and signal their associated stem cells to transform into progenitor cells with the needed receptors to form muscle, glands, hair bulbs, hair follicles and eventually hair shafts. Does this sound like a fast process? I assure you, it is not. However, science and positive outcomes are validating every day that this is the answer to correcting hair loss conditions. The sooner the candidate identifies a hair loss condition and commences use of these growth factors, the better and faster the results. The longer the condition has been present the longer it takes to reverse it.”
If you would like more information about Cygenx or wish to contact Dr. Leatherman, click here.
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