Stem Cell Technology & Facelift
Stem cell technology proposes to be the largest breakthrough in modern medicine in the modern era, the principle being to use your own body’s natural reparative and healing mechanisms to improve the function of a part of your body.
Stem cells are unique in the body as they have the potential to develop into many different cell types in the body during early life and growth. Stem cells serve as an internal repair system, dividing without limit to replenish and repair other cells and body tissues. The treatment of facial ageing in the future may be driven by triggering natural reparative mechanisms in the body that are able to regenerate and repair themselves, this is the basis of Stem-Cell based therapy and Regenerative Medicine.
At present our understanding of the Stem Cell technology is limited and there is ongoing cutting edge scientific research to evaluate treatments. Dr. De Silva uses stem cell technology to enhance facial cosmetic and plastic surgery in specific circumstances. The use of the latest Stem Cell Technology means triggering natural regenerative healing, enhancing natural surgical results and reducing downtime with enhanced healing.
What are Stem Cells?
Stem cells are distinguished from other cell types by two important characteristics. They are unspecialized cells capable of renewing themselves through cell division, sometimes after long periods of inactivity. In addition under certain conditions, they can be induced to become tissue- or organ-specific cells with special functions that include repair and replace worn out or damaged tissues.
Non-embryonic adult stem cells are found most concentrated in the fat. Adult stem cells remain dormant (non-dividing) until they are activated by a normal need for more cells, or by disease or tissue injury. Serving as part of the repair and maintenance system, they can theoretically divide without limit to replenish others. When activated, the stem cell in the fat has the potential to either remain a stem cell or become a fat cell, a muscle cell, a cartilage cell or a nerve cell.
How can the Stem Cells technology used?
Stem cells exist in all of us in parts of the body, there are high concentrations in fat and bone marrow. Dr. De Silva utilizes the latest innovations in technique enable harvesting stem-cell rich fat from around your belly-button through keyhole hidden incisions. The fat then goes through a refined processing that concentrates a “stromal vascular fraction”. These regenerative factors and heterogenous group of cells are then reintroduced into a specific part of the face. The technology is at the forefront of medical techniques and knowledge. Dr. De Silva specializes only in facial cosmetic and plastic surgery and uses the technology in specific indications to enhance natural healing. The Technology is currently being applied to plastic surgery, sports medicine, vision regeneration, chronic wound healing and dermatology.
Potential applications of Stem Cell Technology
- Facial rejuvenation & Facial Ageing
- Enhancing facial cosmetic & plastic surgery
- Revision surgery
- Reducing scarring and scar revision surgery
- Accelerate healing and reduce downtime for surgery
What is a Stem Cells facelift?
With facial ageing there are facial changes characterized by a combination of genetics and environmental factors (for example sun exposure and smoking) this result is loss of the youthful fullness of the face with deflation and loss of skin elasticity. This process causes the skin to droop and loosen causing us to look tired and often saggy.
A Stem Cell Lift technique offers an alternative paradigm in facelifting techniques as it addresses and overcomes the problems encountered with the 2-dimensional lifting of the face and older fat grafting methods. It provides a 3-dimensional face lift without scarring. The technique combines the volume loss characterized by facial ageing in some individuals with enhancing natural regenerative mechanisms. The technique is not suitable for all patients and facial surgery should be tailored to the individual based on specific facial ageing. What does the procedure involve?
- The procedure is completed in a CQC regulated facility
- For comfort sedation or twilight anaesthesia is used in place of general anaesthesia
- A relatively large volume of fat is removed from a donor site in the body, usually around the belly button, Dr. De Silva will hide two small incision of less that 5mm at your belly button. If there is insufficient fat in this area
- The fat is then processed using state-of-the-art technology to generate Regenerative Cells (with a density 10-100 fold more stem cells than other body tissues).
- The Regenerative Cells are then used with the facial procedure to heal an area of surgery, this commonly is in conjunction with facelift surgery to improve the result of the facelift and enhance recovery
- Patient is able to go home soon after the procedure with follow-up care in 1-week
What are the advantages of a Stem Cell Procedure?
The advantages of a Stem Cell Procedure:
- Using your own Natural Reparative Mechanisms to accelerate natural healing
- Stem Cell Technology is able to accelerate natural healing leading to enhanced recovery
- Stem Cells have potential to Reduce Complications such as abnormal healing including scarring
- Currently Stem Cell Research is on the forefront of medical technology and offers to cure many incurable conditions over the next decade e.g. Cure specific causes of blindness, Naturally repair your heart after damage sustained from a heart attack
- Although Stem Cell Research is at forefront of medical science, the research is relatively early stage and the benefits and limitations are still being investigated with scientific research.
What are the Risks or Disadvantages of a Stem Cell Procedure?
The risks and disadvantages of a Stem Cell Procedure
- Using your own natural reparative mechanisms to accelerate natural healing, so by definition there is no risk of allergy or a reaction to yourself
- There is very strict regulation on the use of stem cell technology in the UK, requiring increased administration and regulatory cost
- Few clinics are able offer Stem Cell Technology owing to the relative complex technology and regulation
- At the site where the fat is removed, usually around your belly button, it may be bruised for a 1-week period.
- The technology is state-of-the-art and relatively high cost procedure.
- The use of stem cell technology is between £10,000 to £18,000.
What is the recovery from Stem Cell facelift?
Some swelling and mild bruising may be expected at the harvesting or injection sites and is completely normal. You may shower and remove all dressings the next day. Most patients describe minimal or mild discomfort only that settles within 24-48 hours, and oral analgesia is sufficient. Exercise should be avoided for 2-3 weeks depending on specific surgical circumstances. Recovery for social and professional activities is one week.
Do I need general anaesthesia?
Although general anaesthesia can be used, Dr. De Silva prefers to use sedation or twilight anaesthesia, as this enhances recovery after surgery and reduces side effects associated with general anaesthesia.
Does the technique leave scars?
Dr. De Silva’s focus with facial surgery is a natural looking result without visible scars, he uses fine micro-cannulas in the procedure to avoid facial scars.
Is a Stem Cell facelift safe?
The treatment utilizes your own body’s natural reparative mechanisms so there are no allergic or adverse reaction that can happen from the fat or stem cells. The stem cell facelift is unlike conventional facelift surgery in that there is less anatomical trauma to the facial tissues so the principal risks are temporary bruising and swelling. There is more risk associated with conventional facelifting techniques.
How long will the result last?
The results should last for approximately 5 to 10 years. The results are affected by your lifestyle, habits and genetics. Your face will continue to age with time and this is partly related to your genetics, environmental factors and how you maintain your health. Stem cell technology is at the cutting-edge of modern day medicine, at present we don’t know exactly how long the results will last. The use of stem cells in other fields of medicine has provided long-term i.e. indefinite improvements in function of the treated part of the body.
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Trust your Face to an Expert
Centre for Advanced Facial Cosmetic & Plastic Surgery
Dr. Julian De Silva MBBS MD FACO FACS BSc PGc DIC
The Centre, 89 Hammersmith Grove, London, W6 0NQ, UK
10 Harley Street, London, W1G 9PF
Phone: 020 8748 2860