Frequently Asked Questions

What is the Stem Cell Facelift?

The stem cell facelift is a complete facial rejuvenation procedure without involving any surgery. The procedure avoids any incisions and the actual were lifting of the skin itself. The procedure has been performed at the Plastic Surgery Center Internationale for over four years with outstanding results.

The main function of the procedure is to restore both the youthful contour and shape of the face as well as a marked improvement in skin quality, tightness and color irregularities caused by the aging process as well as exposure to the sun and environment.

Patients who have undergone this procedure frequently avoid or markedly reduce the need for other maintenance procedures like Botox and cosmetic filler injections.

The function of the procedure is based on the regenerative capacity of a group of cells called ADULT STEM CELLS.

Of the hundred trillion cells that make up the human body, stem cells are the most important category. They are among the few cells in the body that are specialized and have the potential to become a particular cell type and replace worn and damage cells.

A large number of stem cells exist in adipose or fat tissue. When stem cells are transplanted with fat in the different parts of their body, the majority of them grown and exist in these new areas helping to form new tissue at the transplanted site.

By using the regenerative properties of stem cells along with transplanted fat, a marked improvement of survival of these tissues occurs.

What makes the stem cell facelifts unique and different from other fat transplant procedures is the fact that the abdominal fat and stem cells are mixed with a specific combination of growth factors that help both the stem cells and adipose tissues grow into the needed tissue to restore both the fat to enhance the volume of the face as well as skin elements to improve both the quality and texture of the skin.

What is The Procedure?

The stem cell procedure is performed under local anesthesia with oral sedation. No general or intravenous anesthesia is utilized. The procedure is done in a sterile operating room setting where after injection of local anesthesia to either the lower abdomen or inner thighs, the face is also then anesthetized with local anesthesia similar to a dental procedure.

After a few-minute waiting period, a small syringe is utilized to suction the subcutaneous fat of the abdomen or medial thigh area. This is accomplished through a small needle puncture. These preselected donor sites have been documented to have high stem cell concentrations and contents. The fat is neither centrifuged nor washed as in other fat grafting techniques. Removal of the oil and blood products from the fat is achieved through a special blotting technique which is atraumatic and does not damage the cells to be transplanted.

Growth factors are then added to the mixture of adipose fat cells and stem cells. These growth factors are embedded in micro-hyaluronic acid beads that allow for the release of these growth factors over three months that continuously stimulated the transplanted fat and stem cells.

At this time, a multi-planer technique is involved in transplanting the fat and stem cells to the face. This mixture of cells and growth factors is transplanted at the level of the bone in the mid face initially and a second layer into the muscle and mid structures of the face and finally, in a third layer right below the skin surface to help regenerate the aging skin components.

The last superficial layer of stem cells and adipocytes are mixed with a different growth factor combination to help stimulate the dermal elements differently in a different fashion than the deeper elements are.

The injection technique utilizes a transplantation of very small amounts of the cell mixture complex in a linear fashion to allow for a rapid ingrowth of blood vessels from the surrounding tissues.

The above technique is very different than the standard fat grafting technique where it uses the graft fat only into one plane. By utilizing this multi-planer technique along with specific growth factors, the stem cells have the potential to turn into the specific tissue present at each plane that has been injected. This allows for a more complete facial rejuvenation, an even and smooth contour to both the underlying soft tissue and the skin, and avoids the lumpy irregularities frequently seen with a standard fat grafting technique.

The final step of the stem cell procedure is a chemical resurfacing of the skin to accomplish both the removal of the fine lines and skin damage present as well as to stimulate the underlying stem cells through the specific chemical process utilized.

In this fashion, a complete facial rejuvenation is accomplished augmenting the area to the face and increasing the facial volume with the aging process as closest to the loss, as well as improving both the quality and quantity of the skin. Selected patients frequently have fat sculpted out of specific areas of the face to a small needle puncture particularly in the jowl area and jawline area. Therefore, depending upon the patient's specific aging features, the fat is both transplanted in certain areas and removed in others while the skin is tightened throughout the whole facial surfaces.

What is The Augmented Stem Cell Facelift Procedure?

The augmented stem cell facelifts is the exact same procedure described above with the patient's own actual stem cells added to the adipocyte growth factor mixture complex. The augmented stem cell facelift requires the actual collection or harvesting of adult stem cells which can be accomplished the same day as the procedure. This involves the collection of adult stem cells through a process called apheresis, which involves placement of two intravenous lines where blood is then transferred to a specific machine where the stem cells are removed over approximately a two- to two-and-a-half-hour process. Patients then have the option to utilize these highly concentrated large numbers of adult stem cells with the transplantation of her own body fat and local stem cells allowing for an enhanced final result in transplanting level of the fat and stem cells. At the same time, patients can have their stem cells bank for future use for both regenerative medicine and cosmetics procedures through the storage and maintenance of the stem cells by NeoStem Incorporated. See collection information below.

How is this procedure different in a conventional fat grafting or lipo transfer?

As initially described, the stem cell facelift transplants fat stem cells and specific growth factors to three different levels of the facial tissues allowing for the potential for these cells to regenerate into the specific cell type in each area. The injection technique involves a linear, a small amount of the stem cell fat complex, in a mesh-work fraction allowing for maximal blood vessel growth into the transplanted tissues and, therefore, allowing for maximum cell take and survival. Furthermore the procedure is combined with a skin surface restoration process utilizing specific combination of chemicals that allow for an immediate improvement in the surface of the skin as well as stimulating the underlying stem cells within the dermis

What is the Recovery Time?

The vast majority of patients recover from this procedure in anywhere from 7 to 10 days depending upon the severity of the aging process and the procedure tailored to that individual patient. For the first two to three days, mild swelling and redness of the skin is present, similar to a sunburn. On the 4th, 5th and 6th days, the surface of the skin will shed itself leaving a light pink color beneath itself. On the 8th to 10th day, a dramatic improvement in the color and quality of the skin is present with minimal pinkness. An improvement in the overall facial contour is noted, and mostly patients can interact socially. For the following weeks, residual swelling continues to decrease and the face had changed its ongoing youthful new contour in both volume and shape, and skin texture and quality.

There is an ongoing improvement in the quality and texture of the skin for up to a year. The volume and the shape of the face stabilize at approximately three to four weeks.

Am I a candidate?

The stem cell facelift is an ideal procedure for patient's wishing a nonsurgical facial rejuvenation without the risks of facelift surgery or the protracted recovery time. It is ideal for patients who have moderate facial aging and/or who have had previous facelifts and do not wish to undergo another surgical procedure.

The procedure is customized based on the patients' individual aging process and they involve not only a transplantation of fat to specific areas of the face, brows, chin and jaw, but may also involve a sculpting or removal of fat from the specific areas to create a more useful contour to the face as well as to enhance the skin contraction process for a specific patient's result.

In summary, those patients who are looking for a natural unoperated look with a marked youthful improvement are ideal candidates.

Why should I collect my stem cells now?

As mentioned above, the procedure can be performed in its maximum state by actually harvesting a large number of adult stem cells from the peripheral blood at the same day or prior to the stem cell transplant procedure. The harvesting of adult stem cells is becoming the cutting edge approach to optimal aging as well as to treat.

Is There any Follow Up Procedures Involved?

It is recommended that patients undergo a second growth factor injection at approximately four to five months after the procedure to help with ongoing stimulation of the transplanted cells. This growth factor injection is accomplished in the office and results in virtually no downtime or bruising or discoloration of the skin. A topical DNA cream is also recommended on an ongoing basis for the first 6 to 12 months to optimize both skin and subsurface regeneration. This is available through the office.

How much does the Stem Cell Face Lift Cost?

In general, patients should expect to pay around $ 4000- $ 8000 dollars for the Stem Cell Facelift  Procedure.

I had the Stem Cell Facelift 6 months ago because I didn't want a surgical procedure. The results have been amazing. My face looks younger, but natural. - M.M., Seattle, WA, USA
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