Advanced technology in stem cell research has revolutionized the cosmetic surgery industry, offering what many plastic surgeons and beauty experts say is a better, faster, and less painful way to rejuvenate your appearance. The new procedure, referred to as stem cell facelift, is growing in popularity among aging patients who wish to firm their sagging skin and regain that youthful glow without the pain and recovery time associated with traditional plastic surgery.
During a stem cell facelift procedure, a plastic surgeon will use a liposuction-like technique to remove a small amount of fat cells from your abdomen (a technique that some may see as an added benefit) and then transplant them into the face, a process that takes about an hour in a doctor’s office. Unlike traditional cosmetic surgery, patients do not have to suffer a lengthy hospital stay or go under general anesthesia for this procedure. Patients recovering from stem cell facelifts can expect to look and feel better in about a week. Before then, the face will be red and swollen and may be tender to the touch.
The procedure is somewhat natural in that it uses the body’s own stem cells to correct the signs of aging and restore the face’s youthful appearance. This reduces any kind of rejection or allergy reaction you might experience if someone else’s cells were used instead.
The science behind the groundbreaking procedure is fairly straightforward. When transplanted into the face, the stem cells promote the growth of new facial tissue, tissue that has not been damaged by the aging process. This new tissue makes the face firmer, smoother, and more vibrant.
Many doctors and experts in the field of cosmetic dermatology tout the long-term effects of the procedure including virtually erasing the signs of aging on the face for about five to ten years depending on the patient’s biological makeup. At $5,000 per procedure, stem cell facelifts offer a less expensive alternative to a traditional surgical procedure which generally costs anywhere from $7,000-$10,000.
Far less invasive and risky than cosmetic surgery or even dermal fillers, stem cell facelifts promise comparable results with convenient benefits. Not everyone is a fan, however. Some plastic surgeons have argued that there is no evidence to suggest that stem cell facelifts are any different from the fat transfers that have been around for years, yet they cost about $3,000 more on average.
Other critics point out that like any medical procedure, stem cell facelifts are not without risk either. There’s no guarantee that you’ll like the results, and there is a slight possibility that you could end up with abnormalities around the face or the abdomen. It’s a good idea to talk to your doctor in-depth about any potential side effects and existing medical conditions to determine whether you’re a good candidate for a stem cell facelift. Another thing to consider, although already in practice in Europe, the procedure has yet to be approved by the FDA, and since it’s a relatively new technique, there’s really no way to know what the long-term effects might be.
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