Facelifts - Inspired by Vampires?

February 5, 2013 (CHICAGO)

Cosmetic doctors are sinking their teeth into the vampire craze by offering patient's a newer way to rejuvenate their skin using their own blood.

While little of your blood is sucked out, you get part of it back along with what some doctors swear is a more natural, longer-lasting youthful appearance.

No fangs are necessary but you will have to face a few needles for a "vampire facelift".

It can dramatically improve one's skin, according to facial and eyelid plastic surgeon Dr. Adam Cohen.

"Improves fine wrinkles, pore size is greatly reduced, skin texture is lustrous," Cohen said.

It's been trademarked as the vampire facelift although it's far from a true facelift because there is no surgical cutting.

Your own blood is drawn and then re-injected back into your face to promote skin rejuvenation.

Patient Marianne Fontana likes the idea of something more natural and less invasive.

"Just a little bit so I don't have these little pockets right here," Fontana said.

The procedure is technically known as platelet rich plasma therapy.

The technology isn't new; PRP has been used in orthopedic surgery to help healing for years. Now it is gaining in popularity amongst plastic surgeons.

"Having your own serum or your own blood product to rejuvenate yourself is something you can't beat," Cohen said.

The gradual results include: better skin volume, tone and texture, according to Cohen.

Here's how it works: a vial of the patient's blood is drawn and then spun to separate out the plasma, rich with platelets. Those platelets are mixed with a calcium product for stability and then re-injected into the face.

In theory the platelets will stimulate collagen to help skin look smoother and younger.

There's a vampire facial where the PRP is applied topically and for a more dramatic change, PRP can be used in conjunction with dermal fillers for longer-lasting results.

"The vampire lift gives about one and a half years longevity where as the filler alone 6-8 months," cosmetic surgeon and gynecologist Dr. Taek Kim said.

However, not everyone is sold on the procedure.

Skeptics claim it's more hype than real science and that there are no long-term studies to prove it adds any significant benefit.

Fontana got the PRP along with a dermal filler and is happy with what she's seeing so far.

"I can tell that I'm smoother, fuller," she said. "I look a little bit more youthful."

Critics say there is no clinical proof that vampire facelifts are effective.

The cost for PRP procedures can start at about $700 and go higher depending on how it's used.

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