Stem Cell Facelifts

There was an interesting article today in the LA Times. It was focusing about a new trend to offer so-called stem-cell enriched facial rejuvenation procedures. While there is an obvious knee-jerk, almost giddy appeal to such a sexy newsworthy procedure, there is also a more scientific and sober take on the subject.

Before I begin, one must first understand that these stem-cell facelifts are basically high-priced fat transfers that are supposedly enriched with stem cells. They are branded under many different names such as Stem Cell Facelift®, FAMI, Naturalfill® , Celution, etc. Experienced fat grafting surgeons have long known that successful fat grafting is highly dependent on the techniques used for extracting, processing, and reinjecting the fat cells. Surgeons are beginning to understand that fat processing techniques which result in high concentrations of adult stem cells produce not only long lasting results, but also have therapeutic results in injured tissues. However, it is already well accepted that properly performed fat transfers already come replete with stem cells.

I have been performing fat transfers for over 15 years and know that the results are often spectacular and permanent, recreating youth not only in terms of facial contour but also in terms of skin quality. I realize that stem cells are a normal component of the fat-mix that I or any other experienced plastic surgeon transfers and success basically relies upon the surgeon’s technique and artistry. Those that claim they have the magic-mix or snake elixir because they utilize stem cells in their fat transfer are essentially taking credit for the sky being blue. Their claims of superior results are currently unsupported and amount to nothing more that marketing- a way to get more patients in the door and charge higher prices. It is also important to know what these practitioners are comparing their so-called superior results to- facelifts, fat transfer, Restylane or a healthy diet?

My concern with the “stem cell facelift” is not that it’s a bad procedure, but rather that this is not the most accurate description. Some doctors even feel that calling fat grafting a “stem cell facelift” is misleading. When seeking treatment, make sure that your surgeon relies on science, experience, and skill rather than catchy marketing phrases.

For more information, go to the source, read this article and decide for yourself: Stem Cell LA Times Story