New hope with new skin

Plastic surgeons Bijan Beigi and Zahida Butt who run Norwich Cosmetic Clinic.
Photo by Simon Finlay.

Plastic surgeons Bijan Beigi and Zahida Butt who run Norwich Cosmetic Clinic. Photo by Simon Finlay. - Credit: Archant Norfolk

Long after the trauma has passed, scarring from burns, operations, illness, acne and wounds can remain as a reminder of what has occurred.

As an oculoplastic surgeon, with many years’ experience in the NHS, as well as in cosmetic surgery, Zahinda Butt is aware of the emotional burden that such scars can cause for those people who have lived with them sometimes for many years. That is one of the reasons why she has been so impressed by the results of a spray-on skin regeneration technology that she is now offering at the Norwich Cosmetic Clinic.

ReCell is a procedure used for the treatment of a wide range of wounds, burns, scars and skin defects. Under the technology, a surgeon collects a small sample of the patient’s own skin and, using a spray, reapplies these skin cells in a suspension of healthy cells to promote healing (keratinocytes), skin structure (fibroblasts) and cells to reintroduce the normal colour (melanocytes). The skin’s own regenerative process helps to ensure rapid healing, like a sheet off new skin growing over the wound. The technology is said to be able to use just a 2cm square skin sample to create a cell suspension within 20 minutes that can treat an area 80 times the size of the biopsy. Once applied, the cells multiply and spread throughout the skin, resulting in accelerate healing and improving skin texture and colour in old scars.

Zahinda says: “If you choose your patients carefully and have realistic expectations, you can significantly improve things for them. The beauty is that the skin grows with the patient, creating new skin.”

The ReCell treatment can be used to remodel mild to moderate scars so that they are less noticeable and it has also been used for people with skin discolouration such as vitiligo. ReCell Spray-On Skin was developed by Cambridge-based Avita Medical.

It is one of many treatments - including eyelid surgery and skin rejuvenation - available at the Norwich Cosmetic Clinic, which is co-owned by Zahinda with Bijan Beigi, a consultant opthalmic, complex oculoplastic, reconstructive and orbital surgeon at the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital. Zahinda, who worked in the NHS from 1986 until 2013 and who has been a consultant since 1997, set up The Cosmetic Clinic in King’s Lynn in 1999.

“We both have 15 years’ experience of the cosmetic industry over and above our NHS experience,” she says, adding that she is happy to talk with people who feel they could benefit from the ReCell treatment about the procedure, its aftercare and costs.

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Norwich Cosmetic Clinic, 6 Exchange Street, Norwich, NR2 1AT; 01603 877470;

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