Stem cell facelifts are something that is heavily debated. We hear a lot about stem cells on the news, but what are stem cells? Stem cells are biological cells that are undifferentiated. Meaning that they are not specialized cells yet and can change into any type we want them to become such as blood cells, heart cells, or in our case: skin cells.
In a conventional facelift, it requires surgical cutting, lifting, and sewing of sagging skin. However in the stem cell facelift procedure, this is not the case. The procedure is nonsurgical and patients receive injections of fat that “plump up” the skin and restore youthfulness.
The procedure starts by harvesting fat from places that tend to have a bit extra such as the stomach or thighs. Then from there they can be injected into places that may not have enough, such as the hollow of the eyes or the cheeks. However, this is just a simplification of the actual process that occurs. There is a mechanical process in which collagen and stem cells are separated out when the initial fat withdrawal occurs. From there the stem cells are concentrated, and then re-injected into the patient. This increase in stem cell concentration will give patients some of the youthful appearances they are seeking. If fat was just injected into patient’s faces then the result would not be the same.
However, the science seems iffy at best as you can tell. So where is the debate coming from? Most of these claims are anecdotal and there is no hard data which supports this. There are thousands of articles published in peer-reviewed medical journals. However, very few of them actually present real clinical data on aesthetic use. There exists no experiment where a patient has ½ their face treated with stem cell injections and the other ½ regular fat injections. This way a doctor can qualitatively observe which side of the face has better results.
It is also important to note that each doctor has their own “procedure” for stem cell facelifts and there may be no standardization across the board regarding stem cell concentrations, injection amounts, etc. It may be a marketing gimmick so caveat emptor. In order to make sure that the procedure is correct for you really make sure you do your research and know the exact processes, how it differs from the other doctors and find studies which back up claims made