New Procedure: Fat Grafting with Concentrated Stem Cells vs. Traditional Face Lift
“…the absence of a wrinkle is not the presence of youth”, Sydney R. Coleman, MD
Do you feel vibrant but look lackluster? Are you tired of anti-aging solutions that don't deliver? Have you succumbed to think recovering your youth is impossible? You are not alone.
For some of you, restoring tone and definition to your face through a face lift may be just what you need. For others, restoring volume and repairing skin damage from aging through fat grafting with concentrated skin cells may be the better solution. Still for others, a combination of both procedures is better suited to deliver exactly the desired result.
Amongst all the hype, fads, and new anti-aging trends available, it is difficult to separate fact from fiction. We will focus on two procedures with proven, lasting, and successful results: face lifts and fat grafting with concentrated stem cells. Sometimes, budget limitations can deter you from making a comprehensive and informed decision about the appropriate procedure for you. To this end, we offer this overview to help steer you in the right direction so you will be effectively prepared to consult with your board-certified plastic surgeon.
When should you have a face lift and when should you consider fat grafting with concentrated stem cells? Why are some people now doing both? What makes you a candidate for one over another?
Fat Grafting with Concentrated Stem Cells vs. Synthetic Injectables
Before answering the above questions, we must note the significant differences between fat grafting with concentrated stem cells and all other injectable procedures:
• All injectables such as Botox®, Dysport®, JuvedermXC®, Restylane®, Radiesse®, and Sculptra® are composed of synthetic material. In contrast, fat grafting with concentrated stem cells is completely natural because it is 100% composed of the individual's own fat cells.
• The injectables noted above are fabricated and distributed from a third party vendor which means added costs are involved with all. In contrast, fat grafting with concentrated stem cells does not incur an added cost because the fat cells are the patient's own.
• Fat grafting with concentrated stem cells offers something no other injectable today can: stem cells. This is why the results from this procedure are truly rejuvenative and repairing.
As the name suggests, face lifts lift sagging skin, tone the face and neck muscles, and remove wrinkles. The ideal candidate has suffered a loss of skin elasticity and muscle tone of the face and neck. There is also the appearance of jowls (the sagging skin along the border of the jaw line), nasolabial folds (deep creases between the base of the nose and corners of the mouth), as well as a less-defined chin-neck contour. Often, the candidate will appear tired.
Once out of general anesthesia, the face lift patient returns home with his/her head and neck wrapped in dressings that are removed within the first few days. Average recovery time is approximately two weeks and sutures usually are removed within one week. With signs of aging visibly removed, the end result is a smoother, fresher, rejuvenated appearance.
Fat Grafting with Concentrated Stem Cells
The ideal candidate for this new procedure has suffered volume loss of the face and neck and may have compromised skin texture and color. This skin damage could be due to aging or radiation exposure. Another good candidate is one who already had a face lift and therefore minimal sagging, but has thinner skin as well as volume loss.
For this procedure, the plastic surgeon harvests fat directly from the patient's abdomen and inner thighs. The surgeon must take special care so as not to damage the fat cells. S/he then must refine and concentrate the fat before putting it into a syringe, utilizing proper injection techniques with the appropriate cannula to ensure the life and longevity of the fat cells and to increase the precision of stem cell delivery with minimal damage to the surrounding tissues.
Once out of sedation, the fat grafting with concentrated stem cells patient normally returns home with surgical tape at the injection sites that is removed after a few days. Average recovery time from bruising and swelling is ten to fourteen days. However, with a little make-up, the patient may comfortably interact socially after a week. The desired outcome appears within the first month with the skin continually improving long afterwards. The treated areas will be reinvigorated, with the skin thicker, rosier, more voluminous, and pore size noticeably decreased.
For candidates desiring lift and tone of the face and neck with volume and/or skin repair, a face lift in combination with fat grafting with concentrated stem cells may be the best solution. The ideal candidate has suffered a loss of skin elasticity, muscle tone and volume of the face and neck and presents with noticeable skin damage. The fat grafting with concentrated stem cells would provide the necessary volume restoration and skin repair and then consequently the face lift would provide the facial tailoring.
The patient returns home with his/her head and neck wrapped in dressings that are removed within the first few days. Approximate recovery time is two weeks for swelling and bruising and about one week for suture removal. After two weeks, the patient may comfortably interact socially.
From the concentrated stem cells, the patient's skin quality, texture, and tone will continue to improve. The end result is a tailored and youthful appearance with volume restoration and the skin noticeably improved overall. Patients will appreciate that the rejuvenative effects are enduring.
Be an Informed Patient
Supplementing this knowledge with a medical consultation specific to your individual needs will help you make the best decision regarding your rejuvenation plan. We emphasize the importance of using a board certified plastic surgeon. Don't underestimate the process, skill, and technique required in these procedures.
For fat grafting with concentrated stem cells, the plastic surgeon's process of harvesting, refining, and concentrating the fat as well as the specific instrument and method used to administer the fat will be the determining factor in your desired result. Equally important is the proper sedation method to ensure accurate treatment of the area. Generally, this procedure should not be performed under local anesthesia because swelling from the anesthesia will have a distorting effect.