Is The Vampire Facelift Effective?

Q: Dr. Eppley, I have read a lot about the Vampre Facelift and wanted to know what you think about it. While the name sounds a little creepy, using your own blood to help make you look younger seems like it might work.

A:Platelets are ubiquitous cellular fragments in the blood stream that is most known for helping blood clot. But platelets also make a major contribution to wound healing as they contain a multitude of growth factors which are well known to help repair and regenerate connective tissues. Application of these growth factors in high concentrations through platelet-rich plasma (PRP) has been used as an adjunct to wound healing for almost 20 years.

Platelet-rich plasma (PRP) is blood plasma that has a high concentration of platelets due to processing techniques. A small amount of blood can be drawn from the patient and the platelets removed from it by centrifugation. This creates a platelet concentrate gel that can be added to a variety of plastic surgery procedures such as facelifts and fat grafts to theoretically improve their results through the delivery of its growth factors.

While PRP can be used alone, a variety of aesthetic facial procedures have been developed that combine it with different types of injectable fillers. Marketed brand names such as Selphyl and the Vampire Facelift create either a platelet-rich fibrin matrix or are used in conjunction with other well known fillers such as Juvederm and Restylane. The benefits of PRP in these facial rejuvenation techniques, while theoretically appealing, has not been fully substantiated in widespread clinical use and ongoing patient studies continue to evaluate this autologous therapy in aesthetic surgery.

Dr. Barry Eppley

Indianapolis, Indiana