Stem cells are biological cells that can divide and differentiate into specialized cell types. These cells can act as a repair system for the body. There are two types of stem cells, adult and embryonic. There are currently no approved treatments using embryonic stem cells. Adult stem cells are also known as somatic stem cells. They are found in children and adults. A number of adult stem cell therapies already exist, such as bone marrow transplants that are used to treat leukemia. Another current treatment is the formation of skin grafts grown from stem cells to treat burn patients. The process of stem cell grafting is also known as a stem cell transplant. This procedure was first envisioned and attempted in the mid-20th century. The two types of stem cells, adult and embryonic, offer many known and many potential benefits. The anti-aging benefits of adult stem cells are related to fat grafting for facial rejuvenation.

How are Adult Stem Cells used for Cosmetic Purposes?

Stem cell grafting can be performed for cosmetic reasons.  Stem cell grafting for cosmetic purposes does not utilized bone marrow, umbilical, or fetal sources. Adult stems cells are found in a small but viable quantity in the peri-umbilical fat cells of the abdomen. Surgeons can transfer fat stem cells from the abdominal fat to the face. The adult stem cells present in the abdominal fatty tissue act are beneficial because they do more than add volume.  The adult stems cells help to heal the aging tissue and regenerate cells lost by the aging process.

The Procedure

During the operation, doctors remove a patient’s fat from the abdomen with delicate liposuction cannulae. The stem cells lie within this extracted tissue. The fat cells and accompanying stem cells are then injected into specifics points on the patient’s face. The surgical team uses micro-needles to implant the fat samples deep inside the facial tissue.

The Effect

In restoring volume, these fat cells rejuvenate the face. Wrinkles are lessened or even eliminated. The effects are more profound than those of a chemical filler, such as Botox or Radiesse.

Most chemical fillers last anywhere from a few months to a year. Doctors estimate that half of the fat cells transplanted in this procedure may be permanent. Techniques that treat the transplanted fat gently with minimal manipulation of the delicate tissue allow for the best fat survival long term.

As with any surgical or medical procedure, it is likely for the patient to experience bruising and swelling. Infection is always possible when the skin is penetrated, but this is rare in these cases. Fat embolism is the one serious complication that could result and may even be fatal. This occurs when injected fat enters into the bloodstream through a ruptured blood vessel. This result is extremely rare, however.

If you are considering such a graft for your face, you should consult with your physician about the possibilities. Many people have lauded the way that this procedure restores their appearance in a natural way. However, you should be aware of all the possible side effects. Doctors cannot make any promises about the quality of the effects because each person’s body will react to its own tissue in a different way.

Dr. Elizabeth Harris is retiring, she will no longer be doing surgeries, but she will be available for existing patients until January 31st, 2023.DIRECTIONS