Now stem cells are being used for something a little less life-threatening -- non-surgical face lifts!
In fact, there's a new treatment which uses stem cells mixed with body fat to recontour and plump the face. "Fat grafting (extracting fat from the stomach or thighs and injecting it into the face to replace volume lost with age) gives great results, but it's a bit hit or miss," reports the Daily Mail.
"Up to 50% of the fat cells die off after being removed, so practitioners have to over-fill contours, which leads to a bad case of 'pillow face.' Using stem cells makes the fat 'take hold' better in its new location, stay alive and become part of the face," reports the paper.
The stem cells (known as "master stem cells") used in this new procedure are found in the fat around the stomach, thighs and love handles and come in concentrations a thousand times greater than in bone marrow, reports the source.
"It's a very significant move in our field," Dr. Aamer Khan, a UK practitioner who is the first to offer the treatment in the private sector using FDA-approved stem cell harvesting technology told the paper. "It will offer people a real alternative to invasive facial surgery, using their own tissues and offering long-lasting results."
But the procedure is not for the faint of heart. First around 250 ml of fat -- half of which is purified while the other half is mined for stem cells -- has to be removed from the patient via liposuction. The mixtures are combined and then injected into the areas of the face that need plumping, explains the source.
Bruising and swelling can be expected for a couple of weeks, but regardless, it still sounds loads better than going under the knife!
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