There are various reasons your face may appear worn out, loose, and unhealthy. It may be the aging process or factors such as stress, illness, and pregnancy. And there are various surgical processes to consider. However, in this article, we will discuss the low-risk, cost-effective procedure known as Stem cell facelift -a non-invasive procedure that explores the regenerative properties of the body stem cells, resulting in complete facial rejuvenation. This procedure has been widely embraced to improve skin vitality and youthful glow. But first, we try to understand the basics of this procedure.
What are Stem Cells?
Stem cells are naturally occurring, vital building, specialized cells in our body. They possess a unique ability to split, self-renew, make identical copies of themselves, and transform into specialized cell types to suit the body’s needs (1). They are also referred to as undifferentiated cells. This means they are blank slates that can be injected into any part of the body. When injected, they can take the form of whatever cell is needed at the target location, skin, bones, muscles (2).
Its mechanism of action on injection releases powerful growth factors that facilitate tissue healing processes and induce the growth of new blood vessels.
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Stem cells are of two categories.
The Embryonic Stem Cells – These stem cells are supplied in the womb through the umbilical cord. They are responsible for the development of the fetus, all the body’s new cells, systems, and functions. For example, they regenerate muscle cells, red blood cells, brain cells, heart, and all body parts.
The Post-Natal Stem Cells – These are the adult stem cells used in clinical experiments and applications (3). The application of these stem cells in facelift procedures has been a breakthrough in cosmetic surgery.
What is a Stem Cell Facelift?
As mentioned earlier, as we age, the body’s collagen level is depleted, resulting in a loss of skin elasticity. As a result, the skin loses its suppleness and appears deflated and worn out. This becomes visible at target locations such as the cheeks and the areas around the eyes (4). The area appears to bulge for the eye location because there has been a loss of volume under the eyes. The face droops, and every fine line becomes deeper and more pronounced, resulting in wrinkles and sagging skin. At that point, the face requires a rejuvenation process of the cells.
The stem cell procedure takes care of all these skin concerns without surgical incisions. These stem cells are harvested from the body through another procedure known as liposuction. The stem cells are concentrated healthy doses administered without any incisions or surgery processes. When the stem cells are injected into the target skin area, they identify damaged tissues and trigger chemical signals that repair these body tissues. This results in the regeneration of stronger, healthier, and younger facial skin.
The stem cell facelift procedure is carried out by a certified medical professional. It’s a procedure carried out for cosmetic and aesthetic purposes.
How Does it Work?
The stem cell facelift process is a non-surgical, non-invasive procedure. The procedure involves the injection of stem cells (fat lipoaspirate cells) into the skin. There is no lifting, surgical cutting, or sewing of the skin during this procedure. It targets and fixes volume loss which is the primary cause of aging face. The stem cell facelift procedure can simultaneously fix conditions on the
- Laugh lines
- Cheeks, and
The stem cells used in the procedure are extracted from your own body’s fat stores like thighs, hips, and/or abdomen. And here is how the procedure works.
- For this procedure, fat adipose tissues are harvested from your body’s fat deposit locations during a different invasive surgical process – Liposuction.
- These harvested fat adipose tissues are processed in the laboratory, and the stem cells are extracted.
- The separated stem cells are sterilized, treated, and refrigerated. Then, they are mixed with a special combination of various growth factors.
- This stem cell preparation is injected into target skin areas on your face during the stem cell facelift procedure – this time, a non-invasive procedure.
- The injected cells mimic the cells at the target area and stimulate the existing cells, enhancing the natural cell development processes.
- This enhancement awakens your skin, triggering the release of chemicals and completely rejuvenating the skin tissues, improving skin appearance.
- The procedure restores skin volume, improving the face plumpness, texture, and tone.
Ideal Candidate for the Stem Cell Facelift?
You may consider the stem cell facelift procedure if you seek a non-surgical facial rejuvenation procedure. The procedure is intended to treat skin conditions and improve skin appearance. Some of these skin conditions include
- Fine lines and wrinkles
- Other visible facial aging spots
- Skin pigmentation
- Face scars
- Sun related damages
You may need to discuss with your dermatologist to explore the use of the stem cell facelift procedure for your intended results.
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Stem Cell Facelift Procedure – What to Expect
- This procedure is a quick one usually completed within 4 to 5 hours.
- It is minimally invasive with no stitches or heavy dressings afterward. There is a low downtime/recovery period, and you may go on with your daily life processes as soon as possible.
- The procedure is carried out as a painless one with the administration of numbing agents or local anesthesia.
- The first stage is a liposuction procedure. This is a skin invasive procedure during which the cosmetic surgeon or dermatologist harvests fat adipose tissues from your body’s fat deposits. This may be from your thighs, hips, or abdomen.
- The stem cells are extracted from these fat adipose tissues in the laboratory, concentrated, and prepared for the stem cell facelift procedure (5).
- These concentrated, pretreated stem cells are injected into the facial skin during the stem cell facelift procedure. The target locations for injection are usually around the eyes and the hollows of the cheeks.
- Also, small incisions of 2mm-3mm are further made on different areas of the face, within the natural face lines and creases. These incisions are injected with small amounts of fats. The injection is specifically made in three facial layers—one in the mid-face, at skin areas near the bones. The second injection layer is the facial muscles, and the third made below the skin surface.
- At the end of the procedure, there is chemical resurfacing of the skin, reducing wrinkles visibility.
- After the process, skin appears similar to a sunburn – swellings and skin redness may be experienced. However, these will gradually fade off as the days go by and the healing gets completed.
- The recovery process of downtime varies from 3 to 10 days (6). This may be influenced by factors such as age and other underlying health factors.
- During these days, you may be required to avoid applying makeup and other skincare products to your face.
- Visible skin improvements may be noticeable within weeks, extending to months after the procedure, and keep improving until 8 to 12 months after the procedure, and even much longer.
- You may expect results varying from clean, smooth, wrinkle-free facial skin and removal of previously existing acne, scars, and all facial spots.
Also Read – Botanical Stem Cells in Skin Care 101
Cost of Stem Cell Facelift Procedure?
This procedure is less expensive than other facelift procedures. For example, you may estimate a procedure cost of $18,000 to $28,000.
This will be dependent on some factors such as
- The extent of the skin damage intended for repair.
- The exact treatment plan, which varies from one individual to another.
- The location you get the procedure done.
Advantages of the Stem Cell Facelift
- The stem cell facelift treatment triggers your body’s tissues to enhance skin appearance. This facial rejuvenation process is a natural procedure triggered by the injected stem cells (7).
- External facial fillers are not used; therefore, the risks and side effects are minimal.
- The results are long-lasting. The stem cells are from your body and do not need to be filled in on routines.
- There is no use of general anesthesia. This ensures the downtime from the procedure is low, and you may return to your regular daily activities as soon as possible.
- There is minimal skin swelling from the procedure, and you may not be required to use heavy dressings during the healing process.
- It results in a smooth and finer skin appearance and skin tone.
- It is a non-toxic, non –invasive procedure.
- There is a rapid recovery timeline.
- The procedure does not leave you with skin scars.
Possible Side Effects of the Stem Cell Facelift
The stem cells used for the procedure are extracted from your body’s fat adipose tissue. This means there are no external fillers, and the procedure results in minimal allergic reactions and side effects. However, some of these minor effects need to be mentioned, and they include
- Skin scarring
- Skin bruising
- Skin swelling
- Redness of the skin
The stem cell facelift treatment procedure has been widely embraced for cosmetic and aesthetic improvement of facial skin. The procedure involves the injection of stem cells into the target skin areas for skin rejuvenation. Stem cells possess the unique ability to split, self-renew, make identical copies of themselves and transform into specialized cell types to suit the body’s needs. This has been harnessed for various cosmetic treatment procedures to improve skin appearance. In this article, we have shared guidelines on what the stem cell facelift procedure involves and what you may expect if you opt for it.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
How are these stem cells created?
The stem cells are not created. Rather they are extracted in the laboratory through a centrifugation process from fat adipose tissues. These fat adipose tissues are harvested through a liposuction surgical procedure from the body’s fat deposits. These deposits are usually in areas such as the abdomen, thigh, or hips.
Are the stem cells always in an active regenerative form?
No, stem cells are in a dormant form until activation. They are activated when they identify target tissues damaged and in need of new cells for healing. Only then do they start the regenerative and splitting processes to become whatever cell is needed. This may be bone, muscle, heart, brain, fat, or cartilage cell.
Is the stem cell facelift procedure safer than other facelift procedures?
This procedure may be considered safe for some reasons. It is non-ablative; the injected stem cells are extracted from the patient’s body, there is no use of general anesthesia, and the recovery time is low. Foreign fillers may result in allergic and adverse reactions. And there are risks associated with being put to sleep for a procedure. The stem cell facelift treatment procedure is much safer because it does not expose you to these factors.
Does the stem cell facelift procedure leave scars?
No scalpels are used for this procedure, so it does not leave you with scars.
Do you need to be unconscious for the procedure?
General anesthesia is not used for the stem cell facelift procedure. However, for comfort, the non-surgical process may require the administration of numbing agents or local anesthetics.
Is the stem cell facelift procedure painful?
You may feel some form of discomfort during the procedure. Hence, local anesthetics or numbing agents are administered before the procedure is carried out.
How long is the recovery/downtime for this procedure?
You may be able to return to your regular daily routine within 3 to 10 days. Factors that may influence this healing process include the extent of the procedure carried out and the degree of resulting swellings.
How long do the results from the stem cell facelift procedure last?
The results may last as much as 5 to 10 years and even further. The procedure triggers your body’s cell regenerative potential, so it becomes a natural process. However, this may be altered by your lifestyle and daily habits.
How long does the stem cell facelift treatment procedure take?
The procedure may be completed in 50 to 90 minutes. The entire procedure, including liposuction to harvest the stem cells, may be completed within 4 to 5 hours.
- “Sources of stem cells” -medicalnewstoday.com
- “What Is A Stem Cell Facelift?” – mouradnyc.com
- “Stem cell facelift: between reality and fiction” – pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov
- “Stem Cell Lift® Facelift” – stem-cell-lift.com
- “Stem Cell Treatments ‘Go Deep’ to Regenerate Sun-Damaged Skin” – plasticsurgery.org
- “Stem Cell Facelift” -londonfamiclinic.com
- “STEM CELL FACELIFTS: SIMPLE PROCEDURE, POWERFUL RESULTS” – tamparejuvenation.com