The stem cell facelift is a non-surgical facial rejuvenation procedure to restore youthful volume and texture to the skin. The procedure avoids any incisions, removal of tissue and should markedly reduce the need for other maintenance procedures such as cosmetic filler injections.

The function of the procedure is based on the regenerative capacity of multi potent stem cells most commonly found in one’s own fat. Stem cells are among the few cells in the body that have the potential to become any particular cell type and can replace worn and damaged cells. They are currently being extensively studied and actively used in almost every aspect of medicine throughout the world.

A large number of stem cells exist in fat. When stem cells are isolated, nourished with growth factors from your own blood (PRP), and transplanted with micronized fat, the majority of them take route and exist in these new areas helping to form new healthy tissue at the transplanted site. For two decades, Dr. Frank has been a renowned expert in extraction and fat transfer procedures. With the popularity of various temporary and semi-permanent fillers that are currently on the market, for the last few years fat transfer went out of vogue due to the longer recovery, lack of permanence, and predictability. As a pioneer in newer techniques of stem cell facial procedures, Dr. Frank’s Stem Cell Facelift involves a specialized processing of one’s fat to a very thin micronized state optimized for ease of transfer. During the procedure we draw the patient’s blood and process it to isolate platelet-rich plasma (PRP) which contains essential growth factors that the body uses to feed tissue. Using a specialized technique of mixing micronized fat, stem cells, and PRP, the transfer of the product is performed using thin microcannulas very similar to how traditional fillers are used. The difference is a dramatic facial volumization, lifting and textural effect that will last for years, rather than the months associated with other fillers. With the stem cells and growth factors promoting the regeneration of structural components throughout the face, the effects on the quality of the skin, texture, and wrinkles offer an added bonus.

The stem cell procedure is performed over 1-2 hours total under topical and local anesthesia only. The procedure is done in our office after injection of local anesthesia to either the lower abdomen or hip. After a few-minute waiting period, a small syringe is utilized to suction the fat. This is accomplished through a small hole that closes without a stitch and minimal trauma. Fat is then processed to optimize stem cell concentration and injection thickness. At this time, the patient’s blood is drawn to run through the PRP process to isolate growth factors for the injection mixture. Growth factors and anesthesia are then added to the micronized fat cells and stem cells to create a potent, natural, and personalized injectable filler. Using his signature facial revolumization technique, Dr. Frank delivers this autologous filler at several planes throughout the facial structures. This allows for a more complete facial rejuvenation, an even and smooth contour to both the underlying soft tissue and the skin, and avoids the lumpy irregularities sometimes seen with a standard fat grafting technique.

 Before & After

Stem Cell Facelift Before and After photo by Dr. Paul Jarrod Frank of PFRANKMD in New York City, NY

What is the Recovery Time for Stem Cell Facelift?

The vast majority of patients recover from this procedure in anywhere from 2-7 days depending upon the occurrence of any swelling or bruising which is usually minimal. An improvement in the overall facial contour is noted immediately and most patients can interact with others the next 1-2 days. For the following weeks, residual swelling continues to decrease and the face changes to its ongoing youthful new contour in both volume and shape, and skin texture and quality.

There is an ongoing improvement in the quality and texture of the skin for up to a year. The volume and the shape of the face stabilizes at approximately three to four weeks.