Just recently I had the pleasure of interviewing Dr Nathan Newman of Beverley Hills in the US who is the innovator of the Stem Cell Lift ®. Here I’d like to share with you the discussion, some before and after pics of his clients, and a video or 2.
- You are best known as the innovator of the Stem Cell Lift ®. Could you briefly explain to us and our readers how this procedure works?
As we age, the youthful fullness of the face starts to deflate and the skin loses its elasticity. This process causes the skin to droop and loosen making us look tired, unhealthy and sad. One of the first places we notice loss of volume is under the eyes and the cheeks. This loss of volume causes the remaining fat, which supports the eyeball, to appear as if it is bulging. The adjacent skin then drops down and inward, which creates noticeably deeper laugh lines, marionette lines and jowls. Until now, the traditional plastic surgery concept was to remove the bags from under the eyes, to cut the loose skin out and to pull the skin tight. In reviewing the face lifts results of this plastic surgery concept, cosmetic surgeons noticed that this method not only made people look pulled tight and plastic, but it actually accentuated the loss of volume and the hollowed appearance caused one to look older.
The Stem Cell Lift® corrects the volume we lose with aging and restores the youthful proportions by harnessing the reparative and regenerative power of the stem cells found in the person’s own body fat. These stem cells have the ability to differentiate and mature to other type of cells including fat, muscle, cartilage, and bone. They also produce growth factors that help improve skin health and elasticity.
Today, stem cell therapy is no longer a science fiction story but a reality. Ground-breaking technology coupled with advanced cosmetic surgery techniques have made it possible to harvest and concentrate these miraculous autologous, multi-potent adult stem cells from the fat in your body and to inject them into another part of the body to restore, repair and rejuvenate the desired area.
The procedure is done usually without general anesthesia. My patients choose the area on their body that they wish to remove the unwanted fat from. Then, a special mix of tumescent (saline and lidocaine) local anesthetic is injected to numb the area that the fat is to be removed. Next, a modified mini-liposuction is carried out with special instruments to harvest the fat cells undamaged. The removed fat is processed using special techniques to concentrate the stem cells and is prepared for injection. The face is numbed using local anesthesia and the concentrated stem cells are added to unprocessed fat. The enriched fat is injected into the desired areas using specially designed instruments to sculpt, contour and restore face or body part to the desired look.
- How did you come up with this procedure?
About 15 years ago when fat injection was fraught with poor outcomes and complications, I was testing different ways to improve the procedure. Most people were using an open technique where the fat was exposed to the environment and part of the cells were lost or damaged. I, however, was using a closed system where the fat was removed and prepared without exposure to the environment and which preserved all the cells. When it was discovered how the stem cells behave in a closed system similar to the one I was using, it was the eureka moment for me. It was clear to me that the open system failed mainly due to loss of the stem cells during the handling and processing of the fat cells and the superior results I was achieving with the closed system was preserving the stem cells. This insight led me to taking the next logical step, to concentrate the stem cells to optimize their abilities and my clinical results.
The Stem Cell Lift® procedure is based on the concept of taking the stem cells from your own body fat and concentrating them to help repair, restore and rejuvenate damaged or aged tissues. The advantage of this process over other stem cell treatments is that it safely provides a much more concentrated number of stem cells in an outpatient same day procedure without the need for risky manipulation of the cells in the laboratory.
- Who is this procedure suitable for?
As more technology and social awareness has enabled more affordable and safer treatments many individuals today start a maintenance routine at a younger age which is less invasive and more natural looking than waiting for many years and doing more extensive and risky surgery. The Stem Cell Lift® procedure is great for men and women who wish to maintain or restore their natural and youthful look without anesthesia and without scars. The age range is mid 30’s and up. This rejuvenative procedure can be carried out on more than one body area at the same time, i.e. face and hands or combined with other procedures such as skin tightening devices and liposuction.
- Is there any down time?
You will be able to resume your normal daily activities the following day limited by the degree of swelling and soreness that you may experience after the procedure. Most patients have swelling, soreness and may have bruising in the treated areas that generally last for 3 to 14 days. Individual healing time depends on the extent of the procedure and individual healing response. Most patients are able to resume full activity including exercise within 2 weeks.
- How long does it last?
The results are permanent. The cells take about 3 months to incorporate into their new surroundings permanently. However, as the aging process continues, signs of aging are usually noted between 5 to 10 years at which time the procedure may be repeated. The improvement is such that the person still will look better 5 to 10 years later than they did before the procedure. The results are affected by your lifestyle, habits and genetics. Smoking and weight fluctuations diminish the results.
- Because you draw fat from the patient’s own body, does the patient also lose weight?
The fat tissues do not have much weight. The amount of fat that harvested for the procedure is usually small so patients will not notice a change in their weight on the scale. However, many will notice a more contoured or less bulge in the liposuction areas, i.e. less muffin tops; pants feel looser on the abdomen or less saddle bags on the thighs.
- Why do you think the Stem Cell Lift ® has gained so much popularity?
Revolutionary advancements in autologous stem cell therapy are transforming the practice of medicine and providing an array of new, safe and effective treatment options for cosmetic, reconstructive, auto-immune, neurological and musculoskeletal conditions. This new specialty is termed Regenerative Medicine. Costly, risky, painful, and difficult surgeries have been transformed to safe, natural and affordable procedures. The Stem Cell Lift® procedure allows my patients to address both cosmetic and non-cosmetic issues with minimal down time, minimal risks, natural looking results and lower cost than traditional surgery.
- Are there any common complications with the procedure?
The most common side effects are swelling and bruising which subside anywhere between 3 to 10 days. Since I am using the patient’s own stem cells and fat there is no risk for allergic reaction or rejection of the cell grafts. In addition, since there is no need for general anesthesia, serious risks (i.e., 1 in 200,000 deaths) associated with being put to sleep are eliminated.
- Have there ever been any major complications with the procedure?
No. As with any procedure, there is always a risk for infection. In individuals at risk, i.e. diabetics, people with artificial implants, e.g. hip replacement, prophylactic antibiotics is given to prevent such complications.
- Is the Stem Cell Lift® available in Australia?
The Stem Cell Lift® is only available in Beverly Hills at this time. The Stem Cell Lift® is a proprietary technique that I have developed and hope to start training other physicians for the benefit of their patients.
- You also perform many other procedures in your practice as well as the Stem Cell Lift®, which would you say is you favorite to perform?
In addition to its Cosmetic application, I perform the Stem Cell Lift® procedure for post-cancer reconstruction, treatment of chronic ulcers or wounds, joint repair, musculoskeletal pain and injury, and autoimmune skin diseases such as Lichen Sclerosus and Lichen Planus. Seeing the improvement in my patients’ quality of life and self-esteem gives me great pleasure knowing I have made a difference in their life.
Thank you Dr Newman, we can only hope this hits the Australian shores in the near future! I want it!!