The Smart Laser Lift facelift procedure is a two-step procedure which includes skin tightening to the lower region of the face and fat transfer to the face to restore volume and fullness.
The Smart Laser Lift uses a laser to heat the skin from the undersurface to a pre-determined temperature. The laser is systematically moved back and forth. The heat creates a photothermal effect, causing the skin to tighten as the collagen contracts and rebuilds.
The Smart Laser Lift is particularly effective on the neck and jowls. While some improvement in skin tightening is seen immediately, the final results are seen 3 to 6 months following surgery.*
Typically, laser skin tightening is performed on:
- Lower Portion of the Face
Fat Transfer to the Face
To further enhance the results, fat transfer to the face is typically performed to replenish the facial volume and fullness that is lost during the aging process. Typically, the fat used for fat transfer is removed from the abdomen or love handles (flanks) by placing a small cannula attached to a syringe under the skin. The syringe is gently moved back and forth so it fills with fat. The fat is then purified and transferred to another syringe for injecting.
The fat is injected to the desired area using a topographical map layering technique (Figure 1 to the right) developed by board-certified cosmetic surgeon, Dominic Brandy, MD. With the topography map, the smallest circle indicates the highest point and the largest circle indicates the lowest point. The fat is layered into the different circles, creating the desired shape and fullness. Layering the fat also guarantees the highest rate of fat retention. Typically, 50 percent of the injected fat is retained, therefore the injected area is overfilled by 25 percent to ensure optimal results.
Fat transfer to the face can be performed to the:
- Under Eye Area (Tear Troughs)
- Between the Brows (Glabella)
- Nasolabial Folds
- Marionette Lines around Mouth
In addition to fat transfer to the face, injectable dermal fillers may be used to enhance facial features and a chemical peel -- either full-face or just around the eyes -- may be performed to tighten the skin, soften fine lines and improve skin tone and texture.
Stem Cell Assisted Fat Transfer
Stem cell assisted fat transfer is an optional add-on treatment that patients may elect as part of the Smart Laser Lift facelift and is highly recommended by Dr. Brandy. Stem cells are present in body fat; the same body fat that is removed during the small liposuction procedure described above.
When stem cell assisted fat transfer is added to the procedure, twice as much fat is harvested during the liposuction procedure. Using a special enzymatic technique, the additional fat that is harvested is purified until all that remains is the stem cells. These stem cells are then added back to the original fat that was removed. The original fat and added stem cells are then injected into the facial area as planned during the consultation process using Dr. Brandy’s proprietary topography technique.
Adding purified stem cells to the fat transfer increases the fat survival rate from approximately 50 percent to 85 percent because the number of stem cells present in the fat has doubled. Another benefit of stem-cell assisted fat transfer is there is no longer a need for overcorrection, as discussed above, because of the stem cells natural augmentation effect. As a result, stem-cell assisted fat transfer patients experience a less-exaggerated fullness in the initial two-week post-op period. The stem cells also stimulate the development of new blood vessels to the injected fat. Six months after the fat transfer procedure, the fat will have developed a healthy blood supply and will begin to grow — subtly enhancing the volume and fullness of the fat transfer, which will continue six to 18 months following the procedure.