Frequently Asked Questions on the Vampire Facelift
by Dr. Patty Dental
With a trademarked name like ‘vampire facelift’ and the usual apprehension on the various facelift procedures, it is no surprise that this popular rejuvenation therapy attracts fear and even suspicion. The live and pretty bloody recording of Kim Kardashian experience with a related procedure did not help things, and many plastic surgeons have gone on to dismiss her experience as overly dramatic.
What cannot be denied is the increased popularity and attention the vampire facelift has attracted. It has moved from being a favored therapy of the rich and Hollywood stars to something every other person can have. The only challenge has been the amount of correct information about the procedure within the general public. Comprehensive information has been scanty at best.
To help you make the right decision and aid you in your research on vampire facelift I have compiled a number of answers to answer the FAQ on vanpire facelift:
- Why the name vampire facelift
The name is what piques most people’s interest. On the surface it conjures up images of blood-sucking which in turn makes it appear a grotesque process. In reality, this is not the case. The name plays on the cultural association of vampires with blood extraction. In itself, the process is smooth with no fang-like apparatus used. The name does achieve its intention of stirring interest though.
- What is the Vampire Facelift?
The Vampire Facelift is an ingenious and more natural way of reversing the effects of aging by enhancing volume in the human face. It greatly relies on the use of a combination of hyaluronic acid fillers like Restylane or Juvederm and a platelet-rich fibrin matrix.
This combination helps you achieve a great facial shape while also improving the tone and texture of your skin. It also allows for the rejuvenation of younger and fresher facial tissue. This makes it better and wholesome than most other facelifts especially for patients looking for a less invasive alternative to the traditional facelifts which require surgery.
- How does it work?
I can understand the apprehension most people have on new beauty procedures especially those embraced by celebrities. However, the Vampire Facelift is based on science and unlike most ‘new age therapies’ it does not promise miracles and admits its limits.
Platelet-rich plasma (PRP) has been in use for several years by doctors in all fields to promote healing largely through the stimulation of growth in new tissues. Vampire Facelift uses a specially treated platelet plasma matrix that is much thicker than the usual PRP.
The work of the platelet-rich fibrin matrix is to stimulate the growth of new tissue and the production of collagen which are responsible for the younger and fresher look. On the other hand, the hyaluronic acid filler is responsible for the skin elasticity and shape.
- What is the process and how long does the procedure take?
The whole process takes between 30 minutes to an hour. The first step is consultation between you and your cosmetic doctor to establish whether the procedure is suitable to your needs. You also get to familiarize yourself with the whole process and understand what it will entail and the areas that will be covered by the process.
Should you and your doctor decide on Vampire Facelift, then you schedule an appointment for the procedure.
On the day of the facelift, the doctor will use either Restylane or Juvederm to fill up your shape into the desired shape in the identified areas. These fillers provide a youthful volume to your face while still maintaining a natural appearance.
Once this is done, the doctor proceeds to extract blood from you which will be used to generate the platelet-rich fibrin matrix. The blood is placed in a centrifuge which is a machine that separates the platelet-rich plasma from the rest of the blood components. This takes between 5-10 minutes.
The PRP is then activated by Calcium Chloride or another activator to release the growth factors. Growth factors are the ones responsible for regeneration of tissues and collagen production once injected into the facial tissue.
The physician then applies a topical anesthesia, basically a numbing cream to make you comfortable during the injection of the treated and activated plasma back into your body in the identified facial areas. This ends the treatment after which you are advised on how to look after your face during the recovery period.
- Where is blood obtained during the process and how much blood is used?
The blood is usually obtained from your arm just like in a blood normal blood taste. You do not have to worry about the amount taken since as in your regular blood test, just two teaspoons are enough for the whole procedure.
- Is vampire facelift safe?
This is the question I get most regarding the process as many people interested in the procedure are worried about side effects and the potential of infections. First, the method is minimally invasive, unlike most other facelifts. This removes the inherent risk that comes with surgical procedures.
Secondly, the process makes use of natural agents and largely your own blood which prevents the occurrence of any complications with your immune system even later on in future. There are no side effects observed or noted as a result of this process. With proper after-treatment care, you should recover well with no complication.
- How many treatments are needed?
The recommended ‘dosage’ is three treatments spaced a month apart. This allows for an even distribution of the plasma in the areas aimed for treatment. However, in some people, a single treatment is enough. You will have to consult with your physician on your treatment plan and weigh the need for any further treatment.
- What is the recovery period?
The Vampire Facelift has been called a lunchtime therapy because of the short time required for treatment and recovery. After the procedure, it is common for you to observe redness especially around your face, and for your skin to be a bit extra sensitive. Some patients have even developed some itchiness and minimal bruising.
These symptoms usually last for about three days and by the end of a week, you should be fully healed and without any further complication. It is important to keep your doctor updated on any changes that you feel are extreme or different from what you have been told to expect.
Given the difference in the skin sensitivity and makeup of different people, no recovery processes are exactly the same. However, there are general similarities that form the basis of what to expect and what is out of the norm.
The good thing about the recovery period of this therapy is that with some light make-up you can still go on about your duties. This means your daily work and schedule will not be affected. A day’s rest from strenuous work and irritants will do you a lot of good and speed up the recovery with minimal discomfort.
- How soon can one see the effects and how long do the effects last?
You should be able to notice some significant changes after a couple of weeks. It is also important to note that the regeneration process goes on for about three months after the procedure which is great since your face keeps getting younger long after the treatment.
It greatly contributes to the longer staying period of the effects. The overall change lasts for over a year and even after that, all you will be needing are single ‘maintenance’ procedures once every six months or as your doctor recommends.
For a better tracking of the facial changes, you should work with a custom plan designed by your doctor based on your unique individual attributes.
- What to do after treatment?
For a smooth and faster healing, it is important to observe a couple of practices. Most importantly, follow the advice given to you by your doctor on how to care for the treated skin. This is because of the increased sensitivity of the skin after the procedure.
Usually, the doctor will give you a serum to apply and help with the healing and any pain that may arise with the process. It is also important to go light on your make up especially any that may contain chemicals since you do not want them seeping through any bruising present or causing a reaction.
Protecting your face against the sun is another essential so have your shades and sunscreen on always to prevent the harmful rays of the sun directly striking the treated areas. Observe facial hygiene and avoid scratching to relieve any itching during this time.
- What is the difference between a vampire facelift and a vampire facial?
In my practice, I have observed a good number of people confusing these two different procedures. This is largely because of the similarities in the name and the use of the individual’s own blood in the process.
However, these two processes are significantly different in several ways. First, unlike Vampire Facelift, Vampire Facial does not use any fillers relying instead on micro-needling which is absent in a Vampire Facelift.
Secondly, in a Vampire facial the treated plasma is applied topically to seep through the skin during and after the micro-needling while in a Vampire Facelift, the platelet rich plasma is injected into the skin.
Hopefully, these answers help you overcome your fears regarding the Vampire Facelift and more importantly, help you better understand the process. If you have any questions feel free to reach out in the comments or share your own experiences regarding this process or any other facelift procedure.
Dr.Patty has run her dentistry and spa practice for many years which has afforded her a rich portfolio of experiences in these fields. She is a regular contributor to numerous cosmetic surgery-related blogs and is keen on sharing knowledge gained over the years. To learn more about a vampire facelift visit her website: http://drpattydental.com
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