Can I Get A Stem Cell Facelift?

Q: Dr. Eppley,  I am interested in getting a facelift but want a result that really lasts…like the rest of my life. I know that skin and muscle from the neck and jawline have to be lifted and removed and I am fine with that even though it scares me a little bit. But I don’t want to go through that if it doesn’t last a really long time. I have been reading about how stem cells are being used now and some doctors are doing a Stem Cell Facelift. This seems to make a lot of sense because one is not only getting rid of the loose skin but adding something that injects youth back in and can grow new collagen and skin. Is this a procedure that you perform as I am really interested to have it done?

A: The reality is that the use of stem cells in any cosmetic procedure, including a facelift, is both unproven but also illegal. (unapproved by the FDA) Stem cells harvested from patients have recently come under heavy scrutiny by the FDA and such potential cosmetic treatments are now regulated and restricted only to approved clinical trial settings. The widespread marketing of such procedures as Stem Cell Facelifts is now over and you will not hear much about them anymore. Their previous marketing and use was based on the appeal of stem cells and was both unproven and in some cases unsafe. Nobody knows what stem cells will do when transplanted into the body. This is illustrated by a recent report in Scientific American where a women injected with stem cells for wrinkles around the eyes developed bone in her eyelids. This demonstates that the effects of stem cells are not really understood and should be more carefully studied, as they are being done for many other medical condition treatments.

For now you will have to consider a traditional facelift procedure that has long been proven to be both safe and effective with results that last on average 10 to 12 years for many patients.

Dr. Barry Eppley