Stem Cell Facelifts – Are They for Real?

It seems today that, “everyone wants a shortcut across the canyon.” In other words, is there a quicker or easier way to achieve a result than in the past? Time is so valuable to each of us.

In the last few years there has been a significant amount of marketing of “stem cell facelifts.” The promises include facial rejuvenation through the use of your own fat that is collected through liposuction from wherever, then processed in such a way as to stimulate the stem cells in the fat to remodel and rejuvenate your skin once it is re-injected. Another purported method is to use more traditional facelifting procedures, but then inject stem cell-rich autologous fat (i.e. your own fat that has been processed in different ways) to concentrate the stem cells. Different systems and processes are being marketed, some claiming proven results.

Do know that your surgeon, as much as you, really does want you to achieve the rejuvenation result you are looking for. And, yes, for progress in treatments to be made, new techniques must be introduced. So it is with stem cells and their incredible potential to cure so many conditions and make our health better. However, these new procedures must be rigorously studied and tested to assure their safety and efficacy. To this point in time, there are no good, reliable, statistical studies to support the effectiveness of stem cell facelifting. In fact, the American Society of Plastic Surgery has made a public statement to this effect.

As this is written, there are important, high-quality studies being performed around the world to determine how stem cells can be utilized to promote cures for disease, create new cells for regeneration of tissue that has been lost through trauma or cancer, and even some day possibly avoid a surgical procedure for a facelift. But that day is not here yet.

Indeed, we have many effective non-surgical ways to rejuvenate the face today. These include botulinum toxin for neuromodulation, soft tissue fillers, laser, peels, etc. It is best to speak to your surgeon or dermatologist to determine which of these proven procedures will work best to obtain the improvement you seek.

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