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What’s All the Buzz About Stem Cell Facelifts?

I read an interesting article in the The American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery (ASAPS) newsletter about “Stem Cell Facelifts” that was based in part on a Sept. 13, 2010 L.A. Times article by Chris Woolston.

While the procedure may be all the rage in Hollywood, stem cell facelifts, and other similar procedures have little more than anecdotal evidence to backup their credibility.

In the procedure, stem cells are retrieved through liposuction. Then the stem cells, along with fat cells, are injected into the face. Those performing this procedure claim that the injected stem cells rejuvenate the skin with new collagen and blood vessels.

President-Elect of ASAPS, Jeffery Kenkel, MD sums up the claims of this procedure by saying; “Although stem cells certainly have potential for use in the cosmetic surgery field, some of the claims being made about the procedures that are currently being marketed as ‘stem cell face lifts’ seem far-fetched. We simply don’t know enough about the safety and efficacy of these procedures. One of the major unanswered questions is whether the stem cells actually contribute to any of the positive effects that might be observed, or whether we are simply seeing the effects of injecting fat cells into the face, which can give the face a younger look.”

While stem cells may have use in cosmetic surgery and other applications, not enough is known at this time, and the studies that have been done to date, have been limited in time and scope.

The bottom line is: view articles like this with skepticism. If there are articles that you read, or news reports that you see, and you have questions, feel free to call my offices. My staff and I will be happy to answer any questions you may have.