Stem Cell Facial Fat Transfer Procedure

As part of a facial fat transfer procedure, physicians are now able incorporate stem cells to help patients achieve the best possible results. Traditional facial fat transfer procedures involve using the patient's own body fat to plump up sunken or emaciated areas of the face—but the results don't usually last very long. Adult stem cells can be introduced to the process to improve long-term results. Stem cell facial fat transfer procedures are used to treat chronic skin conditions like wrinkles, sun damage and redness.

Stem cells are being used in facial fat transfer procedures because they help stimulate fat cells, which die as we age. When fat cells die, they often cause areas of the face to look sunken, which can cause wrinkles and sagging skin. Stem cells are also believed to encourage cell regeneration, which repairs cells damaged by the sun and aging. Stem cells also stimulate skin cells to produce more collagen and elastin, which thicken and firm skin. Stem cell facial fat transfer procedures are a noninvasive way for patients to reduce natural signs of aging in a natural way.

What are Stem Cells?

Adult stem cells are used during fat transfer procedures. These stem cells are different from embryonic stem cellsbecause they are autologous—meaning they are extracted from fat in the patient's abdomen or thigh. During facial fat transfer procedures, the fat removal and stem cell removal is accomplished at the same time.

Adult stem cells are naturally occurring and regenerative, so the patient is not affected by the removal. Stem cells can be found in various tissues throughout the body and are often referred to as “undifferentiated cells”—meaning they are essentially a biological blank slate. Because of this, stem cells are capable of becoming another differentiated type of cell—such as a skin cell, a fat cell or a muscle cell. Stem cells are added to facial fat transfer procedures to improve the quality, health and appearance of the skin over the long-term.

What is a Stem Cell Fat Transfer Procedure?

A stem cell fat transfer procedure is accomplished in less than an hour, and the patient is given a local anesthetic—no general or intravenous anesthesia is necessary. The physician will start by removing the subcutaneous fat from the abdomen or thigh area using a small syringe. Once it's harvested, the physician will separate the fat cells, stem cells and growth factor from the fat. This mixture will later be re-injected into the treatment area.

What makes stem cell facial fat transfer procedures different from other fat transfer procedures is that the fat cells and stem cells are mixed with specific combination of growth factors that help them survive. Autologous growth factors—such as platelet-rich plasma (PRP)—are embedded in micro-hydraulic acid beads to allow for the release of these growth factors over longer periods of time. By constantly stimulating the fat cells and stem cells, growth factors help the damaged tissues develop into healthy tissue.

This anti-aging process can ultimately restore lost fat, enhance the volume of the face, and improve the quality and texture of the skin. The procedure usually involves up to three injections of this mixture so that each layer of the skin receives even treatment.

Recovery and Results:

Each patient's recovery from a stem cell facial fat transfer procedure will be different depending on the condition being treated. It's important to note that it is not just the face that needs to heal, but the donor site as well. Following the procedure, patients may experience some swelling and bruising around the treatment area during the first seven to 10 days. During this time, patients want to avoid movement in the treatment area to avoid damage to the graft. Minor soreness is expected within the first couple days at the donor site, but it is usually manageable with over-the-counter pain medications.

The effects of this procedure typically last for five to six years. However, with regular care and follow-up appointments to reintroduce growth factors as a way to increase tissue survival, results can last up to eight to 10 years. Results develop over time and are seen during the course of three to four months. Patients have been thrilled with their results because their skin looks and feels better.

Request more information about stem cell facial fat transfer today. Call (408) 946-9453 or contact us online.

Author
Gul A. Zikria, MD, FACOG As an expert in preventive care, innovative treatment solutions, and laparoscopic surgery, board-certified OB/GYN Gul A. Zikria, MD, FACOG, is a trusted practitioner who’s been in private practice since 1985. Dr. Zikria earned his doctor of medicine from Rutgers New Jersey Medical School in Newark. He went on to complete a competitive surgical residency program at Georgetown University in Washington. Dr. Zikria then went through a comprehensive obstetrics and gynecology residency program through the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center at the Magee-Women’s Hospital. He welcomes new and existing patients to his practice in Milpitas, California.

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