Every year there is something new to be done in the world of cosmetics. A while ago it was the wonderful world of Botox and now we have the stem cell facelift.
The stem cell facelift is a facelift that you can have without going under the knife. The process is removal of fat from your lower stomach or buttocks area and injected into the face to restore your youthful look. The process has been touted to reduce wrinkles, discoloration and make sagging skin taut again.
The cosmetic community debates the particular procedure and the benefits and applications of the stem cell face lift. The debate continues because there is not sufficient evidence it actually uses stem cells but it does provide a traditional “lift” to the face.
Stem cells do occur naturally in human fat around the body and numerous doctors believe they hold the key to not only stem cell face lifts but other medical applications such as rebuilding knee cartilage or heart muscle. However, these same physicians admit that there is not enough evidence to suggest that they are actually working on producing a more youthful appearance in stem cell face lift procedures.
Fat cell grafting is another procedure that uses the same technique as stem cell face lifts. Whether stem cell face lifting is really not fat cell grafting is unclear. The FDA has not approved the use of any stem cell activating agents or devices and large scale studies have not been conducted to prove whether or not they are effective or safe.
Alternatives to stem cell facelift
There are advantages to stem cell facelifts. Prior to this new technology patients had several other choices with advantages and disadvantages.
- Synthetic fillers such as juvederm, restylene, perlane radiesse and others
Effective but temporary
Wear down in approximately a year
Must be repeated to keep results
- Traditional facelift
Major surgical procedure
Long recovery time
Scarring can occur
Injecting poison could result in death
Short term results must have repeated procedure
Numbing agent to muscles
Sometimes appeared unnatural or negative results
Must be repeated regularly to keep results
Advantages to stem cell face lift
With stem cell face lifts there are several advantages.
- you have fat from your own body used, no foreign agents are used
- services can be performed in doctor’s office
- rapid recovery time
- no scarring will occur
- skin tone is better as a result
- lasting results, on average up to five years
Cost of stem cell face lift
On average the cost of a stem cell face lift is $4000 to $8000 per year. This is without any costs for hospital charges since the process is performed in your doctor’s office. Compared with the cost of a traditional facelift that can be as high as $20,000 or more, it looks pretty good. The repeated costs of other procedures can add up to the cost of a stem cell face lift and more in the long run.
Are there risks associated with the procedure?
Because the process is not FDA approved as of yet, there are some risks involved. However, when compared with the other alternatives risks are fairly small. There is the risk of bruising, swelling, redness at the injection site, lumps, and general dissatisfaction with the outcome.
The American Academy of Plastic Surgeons (ACPS) has a news release available on their website that indicates the potential medical benefits of stem cell research is enormous and go well beyond the cosmetic applications. Further research and documentation is needed concerning this application for stem cell face lifts.