What is a Vampire Facelift?
The term Vampire Facelift refers to a medical procedure in which platelet-derived growth factors obtained from a person’s own blood are injected back into the skin of their face in specifically defined areas to enhance appearance and health. The fluid that is injected, platelet-rich fibrin matrix (PRFM), is obtained by activating the platelets that are acquired from the blood sample. This procedure can be used to treat “smile lines” (the nasolabial folds that run from the bottom of the nose, around the corners of the mouth and down to the chin) and other unwanted folds and wrinkles on the face in a similar fashion to dermal fillers, like Restylane and Juvederm. It differs from them in that it does not involve the injection of a foreign substance into the skin. As a result, the rare but potentially serious allergic reactions seen with these products do not occur following the injection of PRFM.
Details of the Procedure
Blood is removed from a vein in the patient’s arm (approx. 2 vials). The blood is centrifuged (approx.15 minutes) to isolate the platelet-rich plasma (PRP) from other blood components. The platelets are then removed from the remaining red blood cells and activated with the use of a Derma Pen. This PRP is then injected back into multiple locations on the face in specific areas that define the Vampire Facelift to induce growth of new collagen, skin tissue, and blood vessels in the skin around each injection site. Collectively, this activity lifts the skin, creates skin volume and new blood flow, thereby sculpting the face and creating a more youthful and aesthetically appealing appearance. This improvement continues for approximately 12 weeks and lasts several months. But improvements are better seen when done approximately every 3 months, accompanied with Botox injections that can be done within the same appointment. There is NO downtime and only a little redness on treated areas for <24 hours.
The Vampire Facelift procedure is based on the natural role that platelets, one of the cells present in blood, play in tissue healing combined with ideas on how to improve the shape of the face. Normally, in response to tissue damage, platelets aggregate near the site of injury and begin releasing at least seven different growth factors. These growth factors are embedded in a gel-like material called a “matrix” (also made under the direction of the platelets) that hold the growth factors in place so healing can begin. Without the matrix, the growth factors would simply wash away in the blood stream and be of little use. However, when held in place, these factors stimulate multipotent stem cells to develop into new tissue and blood vessels to repair that tissue. Because these multipotent stem cells have the capacity to develop into whatever cell type is required to repair the injury, the body is able to redevelop the necessary cells to regenerate healthy tissue. By instigating growth of new tissue in planned areas of the face, in the absence of actual injury, an overall “new” appearance is created.