Ever heard of the Vampire Facial or the Vampire Facelift? If you are reading this then you probably have. The trend of drawing blood and injecting blood products back into the face or applying topically is the concept of both “Vampire” procedures. These two procedures are some of the latest in the trend of harnessing the body’s own healing powers in areas that need rejuvenation. I perform PRP injections, nanofat injections, and Adult Stem Cell injections in my Southlake and Fort Worth clinics and the demand has increased. Therefore I wanted to touch on a few of those procedures here.
What is PRP and how is it used for facial injections?
Platelet Rich Plasma, or PRP, comes from your own blood which is drawn prior to the procedure. Blood is composed of blood cells and also of plasma which contains many of the clotting factors, signaling molecules, electrolytes, proteins, and water that surrounds those cells.
By using a centrifuge, the blood cells are separated from the plasma. Through spinning in special test tubes, the concentration of platelets is increased to higher levels that is found in the normal circulation. This platelet rich plasma is then either injected under the skin or applied topically to the skin after microneedling. Indications for PRP injections have expanded from skin rejuvenation to hair restoration and more. These injections are performed in my Southlake and Fort Worth clinics after simple topical anesthesia similar to injectable fillers in the office.
What is Nanofat?
Nanofat is a procedure that is different than traditional fat transfer to the face for a number of reasons. To briefly summarize, nanofat isn’t really injecting fat cells, it is injecting everything around the fat cells that help stimulate growth of collagen and elastin. By removing the large fat cells but preserving the surrounding growth factors and adult stem cells (don’t confuse with embryonic stem cells), an environment is developed that helps restore the skin.
How is the facial Nanofat procedure performed?
The procedure can be done under local or general anesthesia depending on the preference of the patient and if they are undergoing any other procedures. This begins with harvesting of fat, usually from the outer thigh or abdomen. The fat in the syringes is then broken up and separated so that the large fat cells are not preserved but only the growth factors and adult stem cells.
Nanofat can then be injected either into or under the skin in order to improve skin texture and volume (if desired). Oftentimes nanofat is combined with traditional fat transfer in order to add additional volume.
What are adult stem cells and how are they used in facial rejuvenation?
Adult stem cells (or stromal cells) are involved in cell repair and regeneration. These cells can turn into any other type of cell – including muscle, blood vessels, fat, etc. The role of blood vessel formation is probably one of the most important functions of adult stem cells and is one of the reasons why they are found in high quantities in human fat. In fact, there are more adult stem cells in our fat reserves than in our bone marrow.
By harvesting fat and preserving the adult stem cells, there have been shown improvements in new collagen and elastin formation. The possibilities of this exciting new technology are emerging but I am very excited to the be at the forefront of this technology and have been very pleased with the results I have seen.
I hope that helps. As always, please let me know if you have any questions or thoughts. Thanks for reading.
Dr. Rihani performs fat transfer, nanofat injections, and PRP injections in his Southlake and Fort Worth offices. For more information see the Fat Transfer page.