'Vampire Face-Lift' Uses Blood to Smooth Out Wrinkles

Patient's own blood is injected into the face to smooth out wrinkles.

ByABC News
February 17, 2011, 10:53 AM

April 5, 2011— -- There's a new kind of cosmetic procedure available, and it doesn't require injecting any acids, fat or toxins into the body. The main ingredient in this wrinkle- removing procedure is a patient's own blood.

The technology is called Selphyl, and it involves injecting a mixture of blood products into the affected areas. It's also called the "vampire face-lift," although calling it a face-lift is not accurate. Selphyl is a nonsurgical procedure akin to filler injections, while a face-lift is the surgical repositioning of facial tissues that have become loose over time.

Dr. Andre Berger of the Rejuvalife Vitality Institute in Beverly Hills, Calif., said the procedure is becoming very popular.

"I think this whole recent theme in the entertainment industry ... of using vampire, Dracula themes, has definitely caused a lot of the interest out there," Berger said.

But today's bloodthirsty pop culture is just part of Selphyl's allure. Some of the more well-known cosmetic fillers -- Juvederm, Restylane and Perlane -- are artificial. There are also collagen fillers and fillers that use parts of a person's own body, such as fat fillers and Selphyl.

"What's nice about [Selphyl] is you're only using that person's blood," said Dr. Susan Stevens Tanne, a cosmetic and laser surgeon at Cosmetic Laser MD in New Jersey.

Selphyl is prepared by drawing a patient's blood, separating the platelets from the red blood cells, blending the platelets with a fibrin mixture and injecting it to the area a patient wants to augment.

"You overfill the area by 20 percent so that a person sees an approximation of the final results, but it's slightly bigger than it will actually be," said Tanne.

In about a day, the excess is gone, and several weeks later, the fibrin matrix builds up, yielding the final result.

Selphyl patient Lynn Piper is pleased with her results.

"I think the trick is to stay on top of it and tune up a little at a time," she said.

Selphyl lasts about 15 months, according to the company.

"It causes almost no bruising because it's a thin, watery liquid and there's no allergy testing required, since it's a person's own blood," said Tanne.