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A group of local doctors on Wednesday injected grown stem cells into a severely-burnt Malaysian woman to repair her skin.
In an extremely rare procedure, doctors extracted, cultivated and then injected adult stem cells into the woman to treat intractable burn scars, experts said.
Doctors with JK Plastic Surgery Center in Seoul said the surgery on 19-year-old Hui-Linn was successful. The women’s body was scarred after her father Lim Teik Swee splashed acid on her mother and her while they were sleeping at home on Oct. 24, 2009. The mother died of her injuries.
Hui-Linn lost the sight in her right eye and had nearly all of the skin on her face severely burnt. Her other eye has limited vision.
The doctors said stem cell injections were the best way to allow Hui-Linn to smile and make other facial expressions.
“We have already performed surgeries on Hui-Linn to recover her eyebrows, and the lower lip and jaw areas last year. However, we needed something beyond plastic surgery because the scarred area was vast and she needed more flexibility and elasticity to the skin while her wounds are too deep to be covered by other methods such as skin transplantation. Stem cells could transform and grow into her skin, giving her comfort and convenience in moving her facial skin,” said Dr. Joo Kwon, chief of the JK center.
Dr. Bae Jun-sung, who will be overseeing her treatment, said Hui-Linn will be injected with a total of 90 million adult stem cells contained in 18cc of liquid over four sessions.
The stem cells were extracted from her bone marrow in June and were cultivated by PharmiCell, the only company here authorized to cultivate and commercialize stem cells.
Hui-Linn, who wore makeup and a bright-colored outfit to the press release held at the hospital, said she is thrilled to receive the treatment.
“For the past several months I have made Korean friends and am learning Korean, too. I cannot wait to start the treatment and a new life!” she said.
By Bae Ji-sook (firstname.lastname@example.org)