The Truth Behind the Use of Stem Cells in Cosmetic Surgery

Facial rejuvenation using stem cells

Fat grafting using stem cells, also known as stem cell facelift, has become an increasingly popular facial rejuvenation procedure in recent years. Leading Baltimore plastic surgeon Dr. Schuster offers fat grafting using stem cells as a way to restore volume in the face and fill in lines and wrinkles using a patient’s fat from another area of the body. As this procedure generates more and more interest, it also continues to create a lot of confusion. Here, Dr. Schuster reveals the truth behind stem cells and their use in facial rejuvenation.

What are Stem Cells?

Stem cells can repair or replace other cells throughout the body and can also repair damaged body tissue. Because of their regenerative properties, stem cells are continuously studied to discover how exactly they can be used to treat diseases such as diabetes and heart disease. Research involving one type of stem cells, embryonic stem cells, has been at the center of controversy in recent years. Many people oppose embryonic stem cell research because it requires using and destroying human embryos. Not all stem cell research, however, involves human embryos.

What Is the Difference Between Embryonic and Adult Stem Cells?

Embryonic stem cells are derived from embryos that develop from fertilized eggs. Adult stem cells are found throughout the body in tissue and organs.

What Is Stem Cell Fat Grafting?

Fat grafting using stem cells, or stem cell facelift, is a minimally invasive facial procedure used to eliminate wrinkles and fine lines. Fat cells are removed from one body area (typically the abdomen), through liposuction. The fat is harvested and processed to activate stem cells and then re-injected into the face to add volume and generate new skin cells. Only adult stem cells are used for this procedure.

Is Fat Grafting Using Stem Cells the Same as a Facelift?

Despite its name, a stem cell facelift is not the same as a facelift. A standard facelift involves surgical incisions and the lifting of skin and connective tissues to smoothen loose, sagging skin. A stem cell facelift adds volume but does not actually lift skin or tissue.

What are Growth Factors and Cytokines?

Growth factors are substances such as vitamins, hormones and proteins that serve as messengers between cells. Cytokines are types of growth factors that help promote healthy cell growth. During a fat grafting procedure, stem cells, along with cytokines and other growth factors, are taken from a patient’s fat tissue, harvested and re-injected into the face to create more volume. Cytokines and other growth factors promote healing during and after the procedure.

Is Fat Grafting Safe?

Fat grafting is safe because it uses your own fat and tissue to add volume to your face. This eliminates the risk of allergic reactions. There is also no need for general anesthesia, therefore risks associated with general anesthesia are eliminated.

About Fat Grafting with Dr. Schuster

Many of Dr. Schuster’s patients seek fat grafting to fill in the areas below the eyes, mid-cheek area and the groove between the lip and cheek. Dr. Schuster will first remove fat from a body area, typically from the abdomen, via liposuction. The fat is harvested and transferred into the facial areas in very small droplets. Stem cells help the facial tissue grow into the fat. Most results are permanent, but in some cases, some fat gradually dissolves away over time. Usually at least half of the fat survives, providing long-lasting results that Dr. Schuster’s patients love.

Are you interested in learning more about facial rejuvenation treatment options? Schedule an appointment with Dr. Schuster by calling us today at (410) 902-9800.