Are Stem Cell Fillers The Same As Fat?
Posted: 9:47 p.m Friday, Dec. 29, 2017
By Anita Mandal, M.D.
Question: I’m looking for something long term to fill in my hollow cheeks and temples. I’ve been reading about stem cell fillers which are commonly taken from fat. Is it true that injecting stem cells is the same as injecting fat?
Answer: There is a significant difference between stem cells fillers and fat grafts. When fat injections are used to restore facial volume, an “ideal” result is when only half of the fat injected is retained in the long term.
In contrast, when using stem cell injections for facial volume loss, the fat taken from the body is actually micronized, through a special process, to separate out the stem cells from the remaining tissue. This concentrated stem cell harvest is then mixed with PRP or protein rich plasma. PRP is obtained from your own body as a quick, simple blood draw from your forearm and then mixed with the stem cell preparation. When this mixture is injected into the skin, PRP stimulates the stem cells to differentiate into collagen producing cells.
Compared to the 50 percent retention rate of fat grafts in which you can expect the end-result to be less than what you see initially, stem cell fillers seem to get better over time. The final results of stem cell filler treatments can often be seen at approximately 120 days following initial injection.
Whether you are a candidate for a temporary filler, a 5-year filler like Bellafill or stem cell fillers is best determined through a one-on-one consultation with a board certified Facial Plastic Surgeon who understands the intricate facial anatomy and function.
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