This is one of the famous non-surgical cosmetic treatments where a gel-like substance is reinjected known as the PRFM (platelet-rich fibrin matrix) which is taken out from the patient’s own blood injected back to the face and other wrinkled areas for getting a rejuvenated face. This process helps in both restoring the shape of the face and also improving the tone and texture.
Q: What is Vampire facelift ?
A: PRP facelift or Vampire facelift (as it is called in the west) is actually not a facelift procedure. It is a non-surgical procedure, which uses body’s own regenerative technology, using your own body fluids to derive the natural healing and growth factors and then injecting back into specific areas of your skin to restore youthful volume, decrease fine wrinkles and improve skin quality It is sometimes coupled with use of hyaluronic acid-based dermal fillers to give optimal results.
PRP facelift has immensely gained popularity over the past few years, especially so with celebrities like Kim Kardashian endorsing it. This non-surgical alternative is especially suited for those who are scared of the scalpel or for those who are too young to undergo a facelift but otherwise need a facial rejuvenation to get rid of that tired and dull look on their face.
Q: How is it done?
A: A small amount of blood is drawn (about 8.5 ml) using a syringe (like in a simple blood test), and using specially designed PRP kit, it is placed into a centrifuge, which spins the blood at a very rapid rate to separate the platelets from the other components of the blood. What we get after centrifugation is a yellow colored serum, which is platelet-rich plasma (PRP), after it is separated from the dark red colored red blood cells. This platelet-rich plasma has at least 8 essential growth factors, which instinctively know how to repair and regenerate the specific tissues in their vicinity.
Meanwhile (while PRP is being prepared), a topical anesthetic cream is applied to the patient's face to decrease pain during injection. After waiting for about 40 minutes for the local anesthetic to act, the PRP is then injected in different areas of the face using very fine needles or a cannula. Like with the injection of hyaluronic acid based dermal fillers, injecting PRP is also an art and much depends on the expertise of the injector.
Q: What are the advantages of a Vampire Facelift?
A: Since PRP is constituted exclusively from client’s own blood (and is thus autologous in origin), there is virtually no risk of any allergic reaction or intolerance to it and this natural filler is easily accommodated into the client’s skin. It is a quick method using natural products to ease out the wrinkles and give the skin a plump appearance with practically no social downtime. It is therefore mostly publicized as a lunch-time procedure.
Further, it has been theorized that using your own body tissues will cause your tissue to regenerate collagen, new blood vessels, and elastin, which improve the suppleness of skin and its quality. Although this treatment has gained popularity, this theory has yet to be fully proven by a scientific study. Also, Vampire facelift is much less expensive than other skin tightening procedures like Thermage and Face-lift.
Q: Is the treatment safe?
A: Vampire Facelift and its variants have been quite popular treatments for over 4-5 years now and are considered very safe and simple procedures. PRP treatment for hair loss has been in vogue for more than a decade now.
However, it must be done in a proper setting with the right equipment. When people without the expertise deal with blood products, there can be issues of contamination and infection. Therefore, it should be conducted in a clean environment by a qualified plastic surgeon, who knows what he is doing.
Q: What are the contraindications of a Vampire facelift?
A: There are no absolute contraindications for this treatment but it is generally avoided in Individuals with platelet abnormalities, those on anticoagulant therapy, acute & chronic infections, and chronic liver pathology. Also, we generally don’t suggest PRP therapy to chronic smokers. Cigarette smoking interferes with the body’s growth factors and with tissue healing and regeneration. PRP therapy would not produce the same results as it would in a non-smoker and therefore we suggest that they rather go in for dermal filler treatment instead.
Q: What are the complications and side effects of this procedure?
A: It is a myth that one lands up with a bloody face. PRP is a yellowish colored blood component and is injected on specific points using fine needles. The possible side effects are those associated with any injection, like mild swelling, redness or itching which generally subside in a matter of few hours. Sometimes, there could be bruising which could be prevented by using ice-packs to cool the area prior to injection. In the competent hands, these side effects are usually minimal.
Q: How is a Vampire Facelift different from Vampire facial?
A: Vampire Facial is a slightly different procedure used to further increase the benefits of micro needling with a device such as the Dermapen by applying PRP (platelet-rich plasma) before and after it. This combination of treatment modalities is theorized to result in the stimulation of collagen, elastin, and improvement of the skin quality.
In Vampire facial, rather than injecting the PRP, it is applied topically over the skin before and after pricking the face with micro-needles and creating multiple microscopic holes in it. This process is called aeration of the skin and allows for transdermal delivery of PRP. With Vampire facial, however, one must expect about two days of social downtime as multiple pricks on the skin may lead to some swelling on the face.
Q: How do these treatments work?
A: As we age, the sun damage, effects of gravity, smoking and the normal aging process alter the consistency and elasticity of the skin leading to the formation of fine and deep wrinkles, thinning of the dermis, sagging of skin and aull gray skin. Further, there is a volume loss of the face with age due to the decrease in fat content, which leads to the development of tear-troughs, drooping upper eyelids, temporal fossa hollowing, sunken cheeks, jowls and Turkey neck apart from other effects.
PRP treatment is thought to ignite tissue regeneration, improve the blood supply or microcirculation, stimulate collagen & elastin production, fatty tissue regeneration, apart from adding volume to the face. The growth factors in PRP are thought to stimulate the stem cells under the skin which cause these effects. Thus PRP becomes an ideal natural serum for rejuvenating facial skin quality and volume, creating the youthful appearance that comes with generating new, healthier skin. Because of the new blood vessel formation, the complexion also turns rosy and one feels that the clock has turned back by 10-15 years.
Q. Which areas can be treated by Vampire facelift?
A: Lines at corners of the mouth (Bunny lines) or dynamic wrinkles on the nose (Bunny nose), lines in corners of the eyes (Crow’s feet) Forehead wrinkles, Frown lines, Nasolabial folds can be eased out using PRP treatment. Further, plumping of the cheeks can also be achieved which leads to an automatic decrease in the jowls.
Q: When can the results be seen and how long do they last?
A: The recovery time is quick and one can go back to work in a few hours. There could be a minimal redness or little swelling after the procedure, which usually goes away in a few hours.
The beneficial effects on the skin begin to appear in a couple of days and may continue because of continued action of growth factors in PRP for as much as 2-3 months and the effects may last over a year depending on individual response to treatment. After a year, if one is satisfied with the results, one can get it repeated.
If we combine this treatment either dermal fillers, like Juvederm, or Autologous Fat grafting, the effects of the treatment are noticeably enhanced and last longer.