A Multiple case study

Maria Cristina A. Puyat presents the results of a study which assessed the effectiveness of stem cell facelifts by tracking the volume changes in patients using 3D imaging


Objective: To quantify and provide objective data determining tissue volume changes over time after a stem cell facelifts, and to measure its effectiveness in volume augmentation.

Methods: A prospective multi-case study of patients who underwent a stem cell facelift was analyzed using three-dimensional (3d) images of preoperative and postoperative time-points to access changes in facial volumes over time.

A Vectra H1 (Canfield Imaging Systems, Fairfield, NJ) camera and software suite were used to measure the change in volume.

Results: The study included seven patients (14 hemi-faces) comprising two females and five males, with mean age of 64.72 ± 17.58 years. Overall, there was an 83% volume improvement across all patients. Wilcoxon signed ranks test was used to determine whether there was a significant change in the distance (mm) before and after the procedure. The percentage increase was proven statistically significant (95% confidence, z=3.2958, P=0.00096<0.05), indicating an effectiveness of the stem cell treatment on the facelift among the seven patients.

Conclusions:  This study tracked the changes of volume seen after a stem cell facelift and provided significant evidence of tissue regeneration, even as a small case study. Over all, there was an 83% volume improvement seen in patients.

STEM CELLS ARE UNDIFFERENTIATED CELLS THAT HAVE THE capacity to self-renew and give rise to specialized types. Autologous sources of stem cell are the safest form of stem cell owing to the absence of graft versus host response, as the donor and recipient are the same person. A study in 2009 showed that when stem c ells were combined with hyaluronic acid they were able to fill-in deep folds, with progressive improvement of skin tone and decreasing lines of expression. Another study in 2009 by Kim showed that both increasing dermal thickness and collagen density after adipose-derived stem cell (ADSC) injections into photodamaged and aged skin led to a reduction of wrinkles. A more recent study in 2013 by Piccinno et al, demonstrated the ability of adipose stromal cells (ASC) to help protect transferred adipose tissue from necrosis while concomitantly increasing vascolugenesis.

Within the last few years, there has been an explosion of interest and research geared towards new stem cell therapies. While there are a number of studies showing stem call effectiveness in animals, few have been performed in humans. As a relatively new science, there are seemingly no current standards for treatment.

The effectiveness of using stem cell for aesthetic improvement is currently lacking real clinical objective data in the literature. According to a joint position statement regarding stem cells and fat grafting released by both the American Society for Plastic Surgeons (ASPS) and the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery (ASAPS), there is a need for more evidence-based medicine. This article and the study it summaries will serve as a preliminary guide and first-line evidence for succeeding studies regarding the uses of cellular procedures for facial rejuvenation.




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