A stem cell “facelift” is not technically a facelift at all, but it is often called that because it works to rejuvenate the skin in an aesthetic way rather than a structural way. The procedure is completely non-surgical, involving injections of your own fat lipoaspirate (adipose) with no surgical cutting, lifting, or sewing of skin. This type of facelift is also known as a “non-invasive” facelift because the procedure involves only injections.
Stem cells are naturally occurring, specialized cells that self-renew and have the unique ability to transform themselves into specialized cell types – no matter where they’re injected into the body. Stem cells are known as “undifferentiated cells,” essentially biological “blank slates” with the capability of becoming a different type of cell, like a skin or muscle cell. When injected into the skin, stem cells work by releasing powerful growth factors that enhance tissue healing and induce the growth of new blood vessels.
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When used within the context of a facial fat transfer or fat grafting procedure, stem cells work to fill out hollow areas and improve the texture and appearance of your skin. Stem cells may also reduce the appearance of sun damage, wrinkles, fine lines, and acne scarring. Stem cells have the ability to continue to improve the appearance of the skin long after the initial procedure producing longer-lasting results.
The stem cells, along with your own fat, are taken from your own body’s fat stores – usually from the abdomen, thighs, or hips. The stem cells work to rejuvenate your facial appearance by creating an enhanced blood supply to the treated area and thus promoting healing.
The stem cell facelift begins with liposuction to harvest fat from your stomach or thighs. The fat is then placed into a spinning centrifuge that is used to separate out your own body’s stem cells – a process that allows stem cells to be extracted and concentrated. The concentrated fat is then injected into the facial area/s to be treated along with your own fat, usually the hollows of the cheeks or around the eyes.
A stem cell “facelift” is perfect for patients who are seeking non-surgical facial rejuvenation while wishing to appear younger and more rejuvenated. The procedure is ideal for those with moderate facial aging, or those who have had a facelift previously and may not wish to undergo another surgical procedure.
The stem cell fat transfer procedure is completely customized based on your own individual aging process. Upon consultation with your surgeon, you may also require facial sculpting, or removal of fat from specific areas to create a more aesthetically pleasing contour depending on your desired result.
The entire stem cell facelift procedure will be performed in the operating room using general anesthesia. Recovery time takes about 3 to 10 days, depending on age and any other medical or health factors.
For the first few days, mild swelling and redness of the skin will appear similar to sunburn. By the eighth or tenth day, any swelling will fade. At this time, an improvement in your facial contour may be quite dramatic and you can interact socially and wear makeup. The improvements to the skin quality may take much longer.
Improvements will continue for the next few months and stabilize at approximately 6-8 months after the procedure, with an ongoing improvement in the quality and texture of the skin for about 12 months.