MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Americans had an estimated 8.6 million plastic surgery procedures done last year, and most did not involve surgery. That is a growing trend as new techniques become available.
One of the hottest this year is a kind of facelift that avoids the knife, yet has everything to do with blood. It’s called the “Vampire Facelift.”
Shelly Galde did a little research into the latest anti-aging options and found herself willing to shed a little blood for the cause. She said she likes everything about the concept.
“It’s just my blood [that is used]. It’s not some artificial filler or substance going under my skin,” said Galde.
Edina Plastic Surgeon Edward Szachowicz has become a big fan of Selphyl, a leading product for the process. He said it is particularly well suited for a patient like Shelly, who wanted a minimally invasive way to diminish the early signs of aging.
“There are just a lot of small lines and creases forming under [her] eye and this is just a very difficult area to correct with any fillers at all,” said Dr. Szachowicz.
The process begins by extracting key components from the patient’s own blood, drawn into small tubes, just like a medical lab test. After being spun in a centrifuge, dark red blood cells are pushed to the bottom of the test tube. The clear plasma remains on the top, with a thin layer of platelets in between. The platelets are what Dr. Szachowicz is after.
Gently turning the test tube allows the concentration of platelets to float in the plasma, which is then drawn into syringes for injection. Szachowicz said it has long been known that injecting platelets under the skin triggers the growth of collagen, a natural substance that diminishes with age.
Galde said numbing cream and cold packs eliminate almost all sensation from the tiny needles. The skin swelled slightly around her eyes after the treatment. The temporary swelling disappears in 24 to 48 hours, once the body reabsorbs the plasma’s fluids.
Traditional cosmetic fillers are advertised to last four to six months. Selphy reported that studies showed its effects last nine months to a year and can be repeated.
The procedure is also being used to diminish scarring from acne. Costs run between $1100 to $1600 depending on how many tubes are needed for injection.