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Opinions on Stem Cell Facelift?

Is the "stem cell facelift" hype or something worth looking into? I have seen wonderful before and after photos, but I have learned not to always trust them. Thank you for your input.

Doctor Answers (25)

Stem Cell Facelift

+7
many plastic surgeons who perform structural fat grafting report that patients often describe a variety of improvements in their facial skin following fat grafting surgery. This observation has led to the use of fat grafting in reconstructive surgery, for instance in the management of chronic wounds such as those seen in some patients following radiation treatment for cancer. Fat grafting into the tissues below a chronic, non-healing wound has been shown to stimulate successful wound healing in a number of studies.
So what is responsible for this effect? Many of us suspect that it is produced by 'stem cells' which are known to be present in abundance in human adipose (fatty) tissue. Stem cells are very dynamic human cells which have the capacity to be transformed into any number of cell types (fat, muscle, skin, fascia, etc), and which are capable of producing a variety of proteins which promote the repair of damaged cells and tissues.
Much of the evidence has been anecdotal, i.e. the personal observations of physicians made while treating patients in their usual clinical practice, outside the setting of a specific scientific study. A great deal of basic science research is now being done to specifically determine cause and effect, and it is certain that over the next few years we will gain a much clearer understanding of the healing properties of fatty tissue and stem cells.
Be aware that the term 'stem cell' is increasingly being used in what I feel may be an irresponsible manner - as a marketing gimmick to attract patients to a particular practice or surgeon. Nobody has an exclusive claim or right to the use of stem cells, and as yet no one has demonstrated an objective, quantitative method for measuring any 'stem cell effect' in facial rejuvenation surgery, if it is truly present. I believe that this effect exists, but it currently is not objectively and reproducibly measurable and therefore should not be used to 'sell' surgery.


Raleigh-Durham Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 37 reviews

Stem Cell Facelift

+4

Stem cell facelifts have been marketed as a new facial rejuvenation tool when in reality we have been performing a variant of that for many years - fat grafting (fat transfer). There are many stem cells in fat and by transferring the fat to the face (or other body part) there is not just a filling effect but a rejuvenative effect on the skin and perhaps other tissues. In a "stem cell facelift" some fat may be removed and stem cells isolated then added to other fat (also called supercharged fat grafting) prior to grafting. Current thinking is that the added stem cells may increase the take of the fat. This procedure is in its infancy and we just dont know the added or detrimental effects or the potential regulatory issues surrounding it.

Jason Pozner, MD
Boca Raton Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 23 reviews

The term "Stem Cell Facelift" is inaccurate

+3

In accordance with a few other commentators, I would have to disagree with the merits of this title.  However, I have to emphasize that we are entering an exciting time in facial rejuventation and medicine in general, as we learn more about the therapeutic effects of adult adipose-derived stem cells.

There is encouraging scientific and clinical evidence that the stem cells withn fat grafts has an additional "regenerative" effect in the surrounding tissue. In fact, currently there is technology available outside US to exctract stem cells and inject "stem cell-enhance" fat grafts. 

So I would say that the premature marketing ploy of some cosmetic doctors notwithstanding, we are entering an exciting new era in facial rejuvenation and enhancement.

Reza Nabavian, MD
Santa Monica Plastic Surgeon

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Stem Cell Facelift - If it Quacks like a Duck...

+3

You are right - it is marketing hype.

Dr. Pozner is absolutely right. Fat transfer to the face has been done for years with good results. But you got to admire the sheer marketing blarney of re-labeling it as a "Stem Cell Facelift"...Personally, I would pick a surgeon who does not resort to such self promotion.

Peter A. Aldea, MD
Memphis Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 58 reviews

It is hype

+3

i been doing fat grafting to the face for the last 12 years and there is some changes to the skin.I do not think tht stem cell will lift your tissue,and give the same results as the face lift. If you have loss of fat and volume in your face,the fat injection will help.

Kamran Khoobehi, MD
New Orleans Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 51 reviews

Stem cells in the face and facial rejuventation

+2
Stem cells are pluripotent cells that can differentiate into the transplanted tissue into like tissue. I like fat grafting to acheive filling because it provides these stem cells which give a lasting effect on the face. Our patient shown here has undergone facelift, browlift, and facial fat grafting.

Jose E. Barrera, MD, FACS
San Antonio Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 10 reviews

Stem Cell Face Lift is just marketing hype

+2

Fat grafting has been about in various forms for many years.

Dr. Sidney Coleman of New York has popularized fat grafting which is so far no different than stem cell grafting. It can be used to fill out the fat depleted face and does nothing long term for the neck and does not alter the jowls but rather disguises them.

In my hands the recovery and distortion after adequate fat grafting is actually longer than a face-lift because you have to overcorrect the face to allow for fat adsorbtion and loss over time. If you do not overcorrect the results will not be as lasting.

If you truly need a face-lift, fat grafting will not be an adequate or durable substitute. It is frequently used as part of surgical facial -rejuvination where it seems to work best/

Dr. Mayl

Nathan Mayl, MD
Fort Lauderdale Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 7 reviews

What is a Stem Cell Facelift?

+1
Stem Cell Facelift is mostly a marketing term used to describe the injection of stem cells into the skin to rejuvenate the skin and give it some lift.  Fat grafting, which possesses stem cells, is the proper term for the type of facelift described.  Unfortunately, depending on the patient, fat grafting may improve volume loss and the overlying skin appearance but it does not in itself address extra skin or skin sag.  It may be appropriate for some but not all patients.  

Mike Majmundar, MD
Atlanta Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 24 reviews

Stem Cell Facelift

+1

Since 2001, I have used stem cell therapy to improve aesthetic results for over 5000 of my patients with autologous unipotent stem cell technology.

Ross A. Clevens, MD
Melbourne Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 31 reviews

STEM CELL

+1

Stem Cell face-lift is a term use for marketing purposes. It is true that stem cell improved the skin, but to be more precise in using the term, the stem cells need to be isolated from the fat and injected in the area of desire.

Alejandro J. Quiroz, MD, FACS
Mexico Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 58 reviews

These answers are for educational purposes and should not be relied upon as a substitute for medical advice you may receive from your physician. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911. These answers do not constitute or initiate a patient/doctor relationship.