Doctors and researchers have long said that stem cell therapy has the potential to change the face of human disease. But what if stem cells could be used to reverse the aging process as well?
Plastic surgeons say they can use stem cells to make women look years younger without the pain of an invasive surgery.
"I lost weight, loss of volume in face, I looked gaunt and I said, so I said, 'okay what do we do to fix this?'" said Sarah, a patient.
The fix for this was a stem-cell face lift. Dr. Steve Szczerba of Chicago Aesthetic Surgery Institute recommended that Sarah undergo a procedure, where he'd use her own adult stem cells to turn back the clock.
"A stem cell facelift is rejuvenating the face using grafted fat. Grafted fat has stem cells in it," Dr. Szczerba explains.
Grafted fat is transferred fat. Dr. Szczerba typically gets it from the patient's abdomen or inner thigh during liposuction.
"During that process of liposuction, we save the fat and take the fat and prepare it for grafting by removing the fluid. And the stem cells along with other grafted fat cells are injected into the face," says Dr. Szczerba.
He says it's not simply a fat transfer. Dr. Szcerba believes the stem cells, which are specialized cells that self renew, are actually working to make collagen and rejuvenate the skin.
"You can actually see the surface of the skin change," says the doctor. "Similar to that a chemical peel or a laser peel accomplishes in order to see change in your cheek area."