A facelift done only by injections, sans scalpel. The “Stem Cell Facelift” has gone through a lot of controversy, no thanks to its name. Firstly, many argue that it isn’t really a facelift – no surgery is performed to lift and anchor facial tissues. Secondly, stem cells are not the star of the injections, fat is. When fat transfer is used to volumize an aged, deflated face, the reinflation brings about a lifting effect. It is no secret that fat is a rich source of stem cells, adipose-derived stem cells, or ADSCs, to be exact. It is believed that these stem cells are behind the reason why the skin is greatly improved after fat grafting. The benefits include less wrinkles and an improvement in pigmentation. Moving beyond cosmetic surgery, new reported applications of ADSCs include anti-scarring, bone and even myocardial (heart muscle) regeneration.
When the face ages, it is dominated by 3 tissue changes – Descent, Deflate and Degenerate. “Compatibly, to reverse these aging changes, my three simple principles are to Lift, Fill and Refine,” explains Dr. Chia Hui Ling from SW1 Clinic, a plastic surgeon specializing in facial rejuvenation and facial contouring. “I prefer to refer to this procedure as facial fat grafting ,” says Dr Chia, who feels that her clients may misunderstand the process and outcome of the procedure, using the term stem cell facelift. Facial fat grafting, although sounding less sexy then a stem cell facelift, does fulfill all 3 principles of lifting, filling and refining. The lifting capability may be less compared to a full surgical facelift, but the improvement in facial contour and skin quality has made this minimally-invasive procedure increasingly popular.
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