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Tuesday
Apr052011

'Vampire FaceLift' Uses Blood to Smooth Out Wrinkles

Jupiterimages/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) --  There's a new kind of cosmetic procedure available, and it doesn't require injecting any acids, fat or toxins into the body. The main ingredient in this wrinkle-removing procedure is a patient's own blood.

The technology is called Selphyl, and it involves injecting a mixture of blood products into the affected areas. It's also called the "vampire facelift," although calling it a facelift is not accurate. Selphyl is a nonsurgical procedure akin to filler injections, while a face-lift is the surgical repositioning of facial tissues that have become loose over time.

Dr. Andre Berger of the Rejuvalife Vitality Institute in Beverly Hills, Calif., said the procedure is becoming very popular.

"I think this whole recent theme in the entertainment industry ... of using vampire, Dracula themes, has definitely caused a lot of the interest out there," Berger said.

But today's bloodthirsty pop culture is just part of Selphyl's allure. Some of the more well-known cosmetic fillers -- Juvederm, Restylane and Perlane -- are artificial. There are also collagen fillers and fillers that use parts of a person's own body, such as fat fillers and Selphyl.

Selphyl is prepared by drawing a patient's blood, separating the platelets from the red blood cells, blending the platelets with a fibrin mixture and injecting it to the area a patient wants to augment. In about a day, the excess is gone, and several weeks later, the fibrin matrix builds up, yielding the final result.

The process by which Selphyl is injected as a facial filler is FDA approved, and it can be used on other parts of the body with wrinkles or decreased volume.

The use of cosmetic fillers is on the rise, and there's a growing demand for procedures that are noninvasive and nonsurgical. The American Society of Plastic Surgeons predicts that the number of cosmetic procedures performed will exceed 55 million, which is quadruple the number done in 2005. The group also predicts that 97 percent of those procedures will be nonsurgical.

Selphyl costs somewhere in the range of $1,100 to $1,500 per injection, which is much cheaper than a facelift.

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