Cosmetic Stem Cells for the Face


Facial structure undergoes the ageing process like all tissues. The structure is composed of bone and soft tissue which accordingly in respect of the latter is divided into:

  • Skin
  • Subcutaneous fat
  • Muscles of facial expression
  • Arteries, veins, minor and major salivary glands, nerves
  • Cartilage

As we age there is loss of underlying subcutaneous fat, atrophy of bone (especially if tooth loss), atrophy of salivary glands (both major and minor) and loss of support to the skin as a whole.

All of this reduction in facial volume results in facial rhytids (wrinkles) and a sunken in or hollowing out of the face. Coupled with this is loss of elasticity of collagen in the skin resulting in sagging and drooping of the eyebrows, eyelids, brow, cheeks, upper and lower lips, angles of the mouth. The loss accelerates as we age and coupled with this are environmental factors: do you sunbake and dry the skin out? Do you smoke? Have you had dental extractions?

The surgeons at are cranio-maxillofacial surgeons; we are experts in the anatomy and physiology of the face. When there is a problem, all other surgeons refer to us!

Lets get back to what happens from an overall morphological standpoint. A poorly supported face is an old face. A youthful face is full and round with nil wrinkles.

The stem cells we have in our face are constantly replenishing the cells that are getting tired; the osteoblasts in our facial and jawbones (frontal bone, zygomatic bone, maxilla and mandible), the adipocytes maintaining the fat under our skin, the mucosecretory cells in our salivary glands, the fibroblasts in our connective tissue and skin. So we have this life cycle of replenishment until our stem cell numbers also age and reduce in number causing a lack of new cells to replace the old.

So that is why in an old person if one wants to look more youthful then the only procedure a surgeon can offer is a facelift where saggy excess skin is removed and the face pulled back to be made tight again. Unfortunately this then reduces the volume of the face and even though the wrinkles may be alleviated there is the impression the face looks ’tight’ rather than youthful. Indeed the exact opposite has occurred, rather than fullness and convexity of a youthful face you have reduction and tightness of an old face.

So we ask ourselves when is the ideal time for a ’non-surgical’ facelift with stem cells? We need to appreciate that in our 40’s and 50’s our stem cell numbers are starting to wane; essentially we are getting old! Indeed this is the best time to consider a stem cell facelift. You will not see an improvement over night like a surgical face lift but the idea is that your normal face at 40 will continue to look like your normal face at 50; and your normal face at 50 will look like your normal face at 60, and so on.

To try to rejuvenate a face at 60-70 with stem cells is like you are asking too much too late. That is not to say there won’t be any benefit, but on a quantum with a surgical facelift at 70-80 then the latter is probably more enhancing despite the issues as described above.

If you were to have a stem cell facelift our recommendation is between 40-60 years of age. You would need a procedure done every 1-5 years for a meaningful result although there has not been any clinical trials to confirm this.

Stem cells used for Facial Cosmetic Treatment harvests the stem cells in a routine manner via abdominal liposuction. The stem cells and SVF (stromal vascular fraction) are then loaded into syringes. Under local anaesthesia and injections in the Trigeminal nerve region of the face we are able to gain anaesthesia and the injections of stem cells are painless. As cranio-maxillofacial surgeons we have done these more than 100,000 times with no death or injury. We are experts in this field. The areas of the face we place the stem cells include:

  • Brow
  • Peri-orbital (eyes)
  • Zygomas (cheekbones)
  • Lips and mouth
  • Mandibular jaw line and corners of the lips
  • Upper neck

By the very nature of the cell transfer you will not notice any immediate improvement. However, by definition of using stem cells we want your 40 year old face to look like a 40 year old face when you are 50! We want to ‘prolong’ the inevitable.

Summary and its cranio-maxillofacial surgeons understand the anatomy and physiology of the face better than any other surgeon. This is our territory of expertise. We are able to offer you stem cells not for an immediate effect but for a lasting effect. This is the principle difference between a stem cell facelift versus a surgical facelift. If you are aged between 40-60 years of age with no major medical issue this is our recommendation.

At we pride ourselves on ensuring patients know the team diagnosing and conducting their stem cell therapy. Professor Russell Vickers is the lead specialist, working within a team of specialist surgeons and doctors.

Important questions that patients should ask of any treating clinicians and facility:

  • Are my treating doctors specialist surgeons/doctors and stem cell experts?
  • How many publications and research based studies have they published in peer reviewed journals?
  • Can they augment stem cell therapy with the known benefits of adjunctive therapy? is Europes premier stem cell organisation guided by evidence based medicine and clinical research.

Our founding director, Professor Russell Vickers PhD, MDsc, M Med, MA, FFPM (ANZCA) is an Australian and New Zealand board registered surgeon with over 100 publications, books and thousands of invited lectures and presentations on stem cells, pain, peptide synthesis and biochemistry. Professor Vickers is the leader of a family team of surgeons assisting him including Dr Peter Vickers, MD, FRCS (Edinburgh), FRACDS, Dr Richard Vickers, MD, FRCS (England, Glasgow, Ireland), FRACDS (OMS) and Dr Jessica Vickers, MD, MCOM, BA/BN as co-ordinator.

This medical summary has been written by Professor Vickers and his family team of specialist consultants.

It has been written by medically qualified writers.

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