As many women enter their forties, they begin to notice their facial features becoming gaunt and older looking. Traditionally, face-lifts have been popular for those not happy with the visual signs of aging. However, a new minimally invasive procedure, called the stem-cell face-lift claims to plump the skin and restore a youthful, full look to one’s face.
Stem Cell Benefits
A traditional face-lift uses surgical procedures to cut and lift skin that is sagging, and sews it back tightly, into a new place. With a stem-cell face-lift, fat injections that are taken from other areas of the body, such as the stomach or thighs, are placed into the facial skin to help the face increase volume and in turn making it look more youthful.
Stem cells, also known as “undifferentiated cells” can be found in various tissue types throughout the body. Such cells are essentially ‘blank slates’ that have potential to transform into a specific, differentiated cell such as a skin cell, blood cell, muscle cell or fat cell.
Scientists have explored stem cells’ regenerative potential for decades. Those familiar with the subject believe that these cells have the ability to generate tissues that could help to heal a wide range of conditions such as heart disease, spinal cord injury and even Alzheimer’s.
Doctors that are proponents of the procedure are certain that loading the injected fat with additional stem cells will result in better skin. They believe that the youthful glow returns to the skin due to the stem cells, and that injecting fat alone will not yield the same results. These doctors claim to use a mechanical process in order to break up collagen and separate stem cells from the rest of the tissue.
Many critics are wondering how the stem cells are effectively utilized in this procedure, suspecting that the fat taken from the harvesting sites are simply spun in a centrifuge before injecting it into hollow areas of the face. This makes it a simple fat grafting procedure and does not specifically involve stem cells.
However, many critics of this new face-lift procedure, look down on this medicine for lack of evidence based practice. Consumers should be wary, they say, and make sure to distinguish between medicine and marketing techniques. Because no widespread studies have been done yet to prove the efficacy of stem cells for face-lift procedures, there is no truly supportive clinical evidence at this time.
This is not to say that the procedure or others of its type do not have potential. Stem cells found in fat release growth factors that have been proven to bolster tissue healing and can provide for the formation of new blood vessels in the skin. Clinical trials are ongoing that are weighing the impact of stem cells on fat transfers. Depending on how these trials play out, there will be an answer on the true effectiveness of the current form of the stem-cell face-lift.