Navigation Links
Creating the Bionic Woman: Making Nerves Spring Back to Life

Cutting-Edge Nerve Repair Discussed at American Society of Plastic Surgeons

Annual Meeting

BALTIMORE, Oct. 28 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- With the debut of NBC's "Bionic Woman," the notion of a bionic person is thought of as merely television fantasy. However, the bionic woman is getting closer to reality as reconstructive plastic surgeons perform quality-of-life-enhancing peripheral nerve surgeries once thought impossible. In fact, plastic surgeons are perfecting a nerve surgery that will allow humans to better interface with machines, giving amputees the ability to better move prosthetics, say presenters at the American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS) Plastic Surgery 2007 conference in Baltimore.

"Peripheral nerves control the body's motor and sensory functions and injuries can be devastating, significantly impacting a patient's ability to perform normal activities," said W.P. Andrew Lee, MD, ASPS Member Surgeon and panel moderator. "We are restoring patients' movement through reconstructive plastic surgery that allows nerves and muscles to merge with, power, and move prosthetic devices. The bionic person is no longer just a Hollywood concept."

On the forefront, plastic surgeons are perfecting a new nerve transfer procedure where nerve fibers from a neighboring muscle are redirected to the damaged muscle to provide function. The nerve branches from the original muscle and the redirected nerve branches to the damaged muscle then compensate for the loss by growing extra branches. Within months, the damaged muscle regains function from the "borrowed" nerve fibers.

"Before, we had to wait for the nerve to slowly regenerate and hope the muscle was still healthy and had some functionality once the nerve reconnected to it," said Paul Cederna, MD, ASPS Member Surgeon and lecture presenter. "While plastic surgeons have been talking about this type of nerve transfer for some time, it wasn't until recently that we've successfully performed these operations."

Plastic surgeons are using the nerve transfer technique to help amputees gain better control and move their prostheses. Often, there is little muscle left following an upper arm amputation, making it difficult to maneuver the artificial limb. Surgeons are transferring the remaining nerves in the upper arm to chest and back muscles, allowing those muscles to help control and power prostheses.

Plastic surgeons are also making remarkable progress in peripheral nerve treatments that restore symmetry to patients with facial paralysis and in pain management -- particularly for diabetics and migraine headache sufferers.

Tissue walls in the feet of some diabetics can become stiff over time and tighten around nerves. Constricted nerves are also a cause of migraine headaches. Plastic surgeons are freeing the space around these nerves to relieve pressure and alleviate pain or numbness.

Patients with facial paralysis, due to trauma or tumors, often lose the ability to use facial muscles around the mouth which leads to asymmetry or a permanent frown. Having a permanent frown may negatively impact people's perceptions of an individual. Botox(R) can be used to paralyze the normal functioning muscles while patients have physical therapy to strengthen the damaged muscles and restore symmetry to the face.

"The steps we are taking in peripheral nerve surgery are dramatically changing the way patients are treated and positively impacting their lives," said Ivica Ducic, MD, ASPS Member Surgeon and course instructor. "Considering what we've accomplished over the last several years, we are definitely entering into a new age of reconstructive plastic surgery."

Visit for referrals to ASPS Member Surgeons and to learn more about cosmetic and reconstructive plastic surgery.

The American Society of Plastic Surgeons is the largest organization of board-certified plastic surgeons in the world. With more than 6,000 members, the society is recognized as a leading authority and information source on cosmetic and reconstructive plastic surgery. ASPS comprises 90 percent of all board-certified plastic surgeons in the United States. Founded in 1931, the Society represents physicians certified by The American Board of Plastic Surgery or The Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada.

Note: The lecture "Reinnervating Muscle - The Fantastic Voyage" is being presented Sunday, Oct. 28, 10:00 a.m. to 10:30 a.m., the panel "Beyond Nerve Grafting: The Making of Semi-bionic Man" is on Sunday, Oct. 28, 10:45 a.m. to 11:45 a.m., and the instructional course "Peripheral Nerve Surgery: Indications and Algorithms for the Treatment of Compression Peripheral Neuropathies, Postoperative or Posttraumatic Pain and Chronic (Migraine) Headaches" is on Wednesday, Oct. 31, 10:15 a.m. to 12:15 p.m., at the Baltimore Convention Center, Baltimore.

Reporters can register to attend Plastic Surgery 2007 and arrange interviews with presenters by logging on to or by contacting ASPS Public Relations at (847) 228-9900 or in Baltimore, Oct. 27-31 at (410) 649-6205.

SOURCE American Society of Plastic Surgeons
Copyright©2007 PR Newswire.
All rights reserved

Related biology technology :

1. New CEO at TDS on creating a culture of innovation (Part 2)
2. Creating thousands of jobs, Chicagos biotech space to triple
3. Creating a public service for multimedia content
4. Bill would deny tax credits to firms creating stem-cell cultures
5. Grant winners hope to cultivate job-creating tech businesses
6. New Tools for Making and Processing Protein Microarrays.
7. Making deals with evolving technologies in mind
8. Fusion 2007: Making the business case for technology
9. Making the transition from Web 2.0 to Web 2.007
10. 9 tips for making 90 seconds count in an investment pitch
11. Making sure YourSpace is technologically sound
Post Your Comments:
(Date:11/27/2015)... November 27, 2015 ... popularity of companion diagnostics is one of ... market with pharmaceutical companies and diagnostic manufacturers ... tests. . --> ... report on global cancer biomarkers market spread ...
(Date:11/25/2015)... , November 26, 2015 ... Biobanking Market 2016 - 2020 report analyzes that ... integrity and quality in long-term samples, minimizing manual ... cost-effectiveness. Automation minimizes manual errors such as mislabeling ... efficiency. Further, it plays a vital role in ...
(Date:11/25/2015)... Studies reveal the differences in species of ... way for more effective treatment for one of the most ... --> --> Gum disease is ... yet relatively little was understood about the bacteria associated with ... by researchers from the WALTHAM Centre for Pet Nutrition together ...
(Date:11/25/2015)... QUEBEC CITY , Nov. 25, 2015 /PRNewswire/ ... "Company"), affirms that its business and prospects remain ... , Zoptrex™ (zoptarelin doxorubicin) recently received DSMB ... program to completion following review of the final ... met Phase 2 Primary Endpoint in men with ...
Breaking Biology Technology:
(Date:11/17/2015)... 2015 Paris , ... --> Paris , qui s,est tenu ... le leader de l,innovation biométrique, a inventé le premier ... empreintes sur la même surface de balayage. Jusqu,ici, deux ... pour les empreintes digitales. Désormais, un seul scanner est ...
(Date:11/12/2015)... 2015  Arxspan has entered into an agreement ... for use of its ArxLab cloud-based suite of ... partnership will support the institute,s efforts to electronically ... information internally and with external collaborators. The ArxLab ... the Institute,s electronic laboratory notebook, compound and assay ...
(Date:11/9/2015)... DUBLIN , Nov. 09, 2015 /PRNewswire/ ... announced the addition of the "Global ... to their offering. --> ... "Global Law Enforcement Biometrics Market 2015-2019" ... Research and Markets ( ) ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):