Stem Cell Facelift
Stem cells are considered the master building blocks of cellular renewal. They are known for their distinctive regenerative capabilities, and their powerful ability to promote tissue repair and healing. Although stem cells are being increasingly used throughout a wide range of medical fields, they have remarkable benefits when used in aesthetics. Dr. Benjamin Stong is an elite double board certified facial plastic surgeon who stays at the forefront of cosmetic surgery and carries deep knowledge in the latest research that surrounds the evolving use of stem cells and platelet-rich plasma in facial plastic surgery. He understands the careful blend of science and artistry that it takes to produce the most natural and long-lasting outcomes. For patients who want the latest in non-surgical facial rejuvenation, we are proud to offer the stem cell facelift.
A stem cell facelift stimulates your own collagen production and cell migration to eliminate or reduce lines and wrinkles and improve skin quality, tone and texture. It does not lift the soft tissues of the face or remove sagging or loose skin, like with a surgical facelift. Dr. Stong proudly offers a variety of stem cell facelift techniques, including fat grafting from abdominal fat or other adipose tissue, the use of platelet-rich plasma (PRP) from your blood and harvested stem cells from your bone marrow.
Regardless of the specific stem cell facelift approach that is recommended, you can trust that Dr. Stong will help you achieve results that are natural, balanced and durable. The stem cell facelift is recognized for its ability to add volume to the face while also improving the skin’s texture, tone and tightness. In general, it produces more sustainable results than using facial fillers, injectables, or lasers alone.
Although there is no cosmetic procedure that will stop the aging process, the stem cell facelift is an excellent choice for patients who do not want to undergo facelift surgery and who want an alternative or additional procedure to facial fillers, lasers, and injectables. In many cases, patients choose to supplement their liquid facelift with the use of stem cells or platelet-rich plasma for the best overall rejuvenation.
Platelet Rich Plasma
A PRP facelift is synonymous with the Vampire Facelift procedure. At Kalos Facial Plastic Surgery, LLC, we recognize the benefits of platelet-rich plasma (PRP) when performing non-surgical facial rejuvenation. PRP is blood plasma that contains concentrated platelets, leukocytes, and growth factors that can stimulate collagen production, skin renewal, cell migration, and tissue regeneration. In terms of addressing facial aging, PRP can be used in a stem cell facelift to address volume loss, reduce deep lines and wrinkles and improve photodamaged skin, especially when combined with facial fillers.
Platelet-rich plasma is obtained by drawing a small amount of the patient’s blood so that concentrated platelets and plasma are separated from the whole blood. PRP is then injected in the face during a PRP facelift. As the collagen progressively regenerates, the improved skin quality results will continue to be seen over a two to three month period. PRP can also be used with a microneedling treatment, laser resurfacing procedure or hair restoration procedure to accelerate healing and maximize results. When choosing a stem cell facelift using PRP, you can expect minimal downtime and a natural healing process from a more permanent and safe facial rejuvenation procedure.
To learn more about a stem cell facelift or to determine which non-surgical facelift approach is best for you, please contact us today. We are committed to using the most advanced, state-of-the-art techniques available to help patients gain the confident appearance they deserve.
The PRP (or Vampire) Facial
A Platelet-rich plasma (PRP) Facial, also known as the vampire facial, is performed with microneedling to penetrate growth factors and platelets into the deeper layers of the skin. PRP stimulates fibroblasts in the skin to produce collagen. The PRP facial helps to treat fine lines and wrinkles, hyperpigmentation, melasma, scars, and even dark circles under the eyes. Following the treatment the patient can expect a red face for a brief period of time and possibly very minor peeling for a day or two. The procedure is relatively pain free, with virtually no downtime.
Stem Cell Facelift FAQ
- What is a stem cell and how are they used in aesthetics?
Stem cells are precursor “master” cells in the body that have the unique ability to replicate into many different cell types during early life and growth. Within specific body tissues, they can be considered an internal repair system. For this reason, stem cells are the future of regenerative medicine. As it pertains to aesthetics, stem cells can be used to non-surgically address facial aging, including sagging skin, wrinkles and loss of volume. By injecting the body’s own stem cells along with powerful growth factors, enhanced tissue regeneration and healing is promoted by the growth of new blood vessels in the tissue and collagen generation. Consequently, the quality of the skin is improved, as the surface appears smoother, toned and more rejuvenated. Additional benefits, such as hair growth, can also occur depending on the area injected and its individual characteristics. The quality and concentration of stem cells used in a procedure should directly correlate with results. The highest quality and concentration of stem cells are in bone marrow and fat.
- What is PRP or platelet-rich plasma?
Platelet-rich plasma is blood plasma that has been enriched through centrifugation with concentrated platelets, leukocytes, and growth factors after separating it from other components of whole blood. PRP contains powerful growth factors that can stimulate collagen synthesis, skin renewal, cell growth, and tissue regeneration. PRP has been used in numerous fields of medicine, from orthopedics and dentistry to cosmetic surgery and hair restoration. Although PRP contains stem cells, they are in low concentrations. Thus, PRP is considered stem cell poor, but growth-factor rich. PRP’s primary benefits for aesthetic use are derived from the concentrated platelets, leukocyte white blood cells, and growth factors that can stimulate collagen growth, improve skin tone and ultimately rejuvenate the face. PRP, when injected into the scalp or other hair bearing skin, stimulates hair follicle growth. PRP also has the ability to restore dermal components that are broken down with aging and photodamage.
PRP is extracted from the patient’s own blood and can be used cosmetically in a variety of ways. It can be injected in a PRP facelift with or without facial fillers or applied topically with microneedling or after laser skin resurfacing to promote faster healing and amplify collagen formation.
- What is a Stem Cell Facelift?
A stem cell facelift is a non-surgical procedure that uses your body’s own stem cells, the master building blocks of cellular regeneration, to address facial aging. It is important to realize that a stem cell facelift can be accomplished in more than one way. A stem cell facelift may include fat grafting from abdominal fat or other adipose tissue, the use of platelet-rich plasma (PRP) from your blood or harvesting stem cells from your bone marrow. The concentration of stem cells in PRP is low, which makes it a stem cell poor treatment compared to fat and bone marrow which are considered stem cell rich procedures. Although adipose tissue has more total numbers of mesenchymal stem cells, MSC’s, than bone marrow, there is also a 100% bioavailability of bone marrow stem cells because they are directly delivered to the target tissue. Fat stem cells are housed within the connective tissue and blood vessels of the fat graft. They are released, delivering the direct benefits of the stem cells, from the portion of adipocytes in the fat graft that don’t survive while releasing these cells into the local micro-environment. With newer preparation techniques, very few stem cells are released because of the high percentage of the fat graft that survives. Therefore, bone marrow theoretically offers more active stem cells for efficacy with a treatment.
Dr. Stong is the only plastic surgeon that offers all three methods of a stem cell facelift, enabling him to produce the most ideal aesthetic outcome for each patient’s specific needs. PRP, fat, and bone marrow may be used in various combinations to tailor the procedure and customize results. A stem cell facelift stimulates your own collagen production, as well as cell differentiation and migration, to eliminate or reduce lines and wrinkles and improve skin quality, tone, and texture. The results are natural, subtle, and typically more durable than other non-surgical procedures, such as the liquid facelift using facial fillers and injectables alone.
- Why should bone marrow be considered in a stem cell facelift?
Although bone marrow is not widely used at this point for non-surgical facelifts, it contains the most concentrated and highest quality of active stem cells for a single procedure. Bone marrow contains mesenchymal stem cells and is considered stem cell rich. Consequently, bone marrow should be a preferred harvesting site over platelet-rich plasma and even adipose tissue (fat grafting) because of the low percentage of stem cells released with fat grafting. Bone marrow stem cells have been routinely used in pain, regenerative, and orthopedic medicine with positive results. Bone marrow stem cells can be harvested from the hip under local anesthesia in the office and injected into the face and scalp for its regenerative benefits. Although bone marrow is considered stem cell rich compared to PRP, it also has comparable numbers of platelets and growth factors similar to PRP.
- How is fat grafting or fat transfer used in a stem cell facelift?
A stem cell facelift that uses fat grafts or fat transfers is designed for patients who also want to add volume to the face. The procedure involves suctioning fat (usually from the abdomen) and transferring it back into the de-volumized or hollowed areas of the face. Before it is transplanted, however, it is processed and concentrated to maximize the survival of the fat graft while minimizing the amount of fat required to be injected to achieve volumization. These adult stem cells are known for enhancing skin quality and its underlying subcutaneous- tissues. As discussed earlier, the stem cell release and benefits are primarily provided by the portion of the fat graft that dies, releasing the ADSC or mesenchymal stem cells.
The term “stem cell facelift” can be misleading. It is not a procedure that actually lifts the face like a surgical facelift. It is best used for restoring volume to the face by adding transferred fat to the cheeks, folds of the face, and jawline. The downside to using fat stem cells for its regenerative benefits is in situations where volume loss is not the issue. Adding too much volume to the face when it is unnecessary can make a patient look unnatural or over-inflated, particularly if loose sagging tissue is the primary issue. Almost universally, fat and the associated stem cells are mixed with PRP to improve overall results.
- What is a PRP facelift?
A PRP facelift involves a natural rejuvenation process using powerful growth factors from your own platelet rich plasma (PRP) to add volume, improve skin tone and texture and promote collagen generation. PRP can be effective if used alone. However, PRP is often combined with facial fillers to treat nasolabial folds, marionettes lines and tear troughs under the eyes.
For the procedure, a small amount of blood is drawn (30 to 60 mL depending on the specific areas being treated). The platelets and plasma are then separated from the rest of the blood components in a centrifuge and concentrated for injection into the facial skin. Once injected, platelets and growth factors gradually increase collagen formation over time, which strengthens and tightens the skin and creates a more youthful facial appearance.
If combining the PRP with a facial filler, Dr. Stong will recommend the best product based on your specific areas of concern. This unique and powerful combination is injected into areas of the face to smooth wrinkles around the mouth, eyes or forehead and add volume to the cheeks. The PRP Facelift is an excellent option for patients that want a natural, safe and effective solution to restore youth and beauty to their face. When choosing this procedure, you can expect minimal downtime and a natural healing process that gives fuller, longer lasting results within two to three months.
- What is the Vampire Facelift?
The Vampire Facelift is a trademarked term or proprietary system that essentially follows the principles and procedural guidelines of a PRP Facelift in the three-step process. In simplest terms, The Vampire Facelift is a non-surgical rejuvenation that involves using your own blood, in the form of platelet-rich plasma (PRP), to rejuvenate the appearance of facial tissue. The PRP is used along with filler to reduce wrinkles and fine lines and provide a more youthful appearance. Although the Vampire Facelift is the most widely known system using PRP, there are other PRP facelift procedures on the market that produce equivalent or better results. Our practice offers the most advanced PRP treatments on the market.
- How is PRP used with microneedling?
The use of both platelet-rich plasma and microneedling creates a unique treatment combination that effectively initiates the skin’s cellular turnover while naturally addressing the appearance of fine lines, wrinkles, hyperpigmentation and even acne scars.
Micro-needling uses a tiny needle-tip that quickly punctures the skin’s surface, which triggers a natural repair process that results in collagen and elastin production. In turn, facial skin is smoothed, firmed and rejuvenated during this process.
By applying the powerful benefits of a patient’s own platelet-rich plasma (PRP) to the skin’s surface with a microneedling procedure, the body’s repair process is accelerated and the production of elastin and collagen is maximized. In turn, patient results can be significantly boosted. This procedure has been trademarked as the Vampire Facial using the same proprietary system as the Vampire Facelift, but as noted previously, there are higher quality PRP systems available for equivalent or better results.
- How is PRP used with facial fillers?
The use of facial fillers in combination with platelet-rich plasma is the emphasized approach of the Vampire Facelift or PRP Facelift. Restylane, Juvederm and even Botox can be used in conjunction with PRP. Patients gain the advantage of two effective non-surgical treatment techniques in one procedure, facial fillers which fill deep lines or address volume loss along with PRP which stimulates the body’s own collagen production for smoother skin and youthful tone. It has been hypothesized that when used together, the PRP attaches to the filler to provide better results making the facial filler last longer. The Vampire Facelift has also been explained in that “the hyaluronic-acid filler acts as scaffolding on which the new PRP-induced tissue growth occurs.” We do not guarantee that PRP makes facial fillers last longer, and there will be volume loss from filler resorption over the coming months after the facial fillers are injected.
- How is PRP used with Laser skin resurfacing procedures?
Platelet-rich plasma, or PRP, is known for its ability to promote wound healing and support tissue repair. Therefore, when applying PRP topically to areas that have been treated with ablative laser skin resurfacing, it can accelerate recovery, improve results and potentially lessen redness. PRP is a natural, minimally-invasive and simple adjunct to laser skin resurfacing that ultimately reduces patient downtime.
- How is collagen production in the skin stimulated by PRP injections?
When the platelets and growth factors are separated from the rest of the blood and injected into specific areas of skin, they act as a matrix and release a number of additional growth factors and enzymes that promotes the body to repair itself by stimulating cells to generate new collagen and repair damaged soft tissue. As a result, new collagen is deposited. As the collagen matures, the skin tissue tightens and creates a smoother skin texture and more youthful tone. We do not advocate PRP injections as a stand-alone skin tightening procedure, and it certainly cannot produce the results of a surgical facelift.
PRP injections can cause collagen and elastin to regrow over a 3-month period. It is a procedure that carries no risk for disease transmission, allergy, anaphylaxis or cancer.
- How does PRP therapy differ from other injections or fillers?
Hyaluronic acid fillers, such as Restylane and Juvederm, are composed of a gel material that fills in lines and folds in the face. These fillers are often indicated to soften deeper lines such as nasolabial folds and marionette lines, or to plump lips. They generally last from 6-18 months with repeated treatments necessary.
In contrast, PRP stimulates your own collagen to grow for a more permanent facial rejuvenation rather than individual wrinkle or fold improvement. PRP can be combined with fat stem cell treatments or hyaluronic acid fillers to volumize the face, including plumping sunken cheeks and softening under eye hollows as well as improving the tone, tightness, and texture of the skin. Results from PRP can continue to be seen months after the injection due to the progressive regrowth of collagen and elastin that the platelets and growth factors stimulate. The results are considered permanent, although additional treatments will be needed to maintain the results over a patient’s lifetime and can be repeated as often as the patient prefers. It is important to understand that no procedure stops the aging process.
When used together, PRP and hyaluronic acid fillers can complement one another and produce superior, longer-lasting results and better overall rejuvenation for patients who want to address the signs of aging without surgery.