Physicians say procedure made popular by Hollywood has its benefits

vampiredoctorthumbIt looks like a scene straight from a bloody horror film.

A woman with her own blood smeared on or injected into her face.

But it’s not a movie, it’s a cosmetic procedure called the Vampire Facelift – recently made popular by reality TV.

And you don’t need to leave the city for Hollywood to get one.

Having beautiful, young and healthy skin can be a top priority for some people and there’s always a search for the right procedure to reduce fine lines, wrinkles, even out skin tones and the list continues.

Dr. Andrei Metelitsa, a dermatologist in Calgary, said some of his patients’ main concerns about aging are that “Many of our patients want to look younger, less tired and more refreshed. Most importantly, they desire natural results and do not want to look like they had work done!”

The Vampire Facelift uses a combination of treatments such as Botox and fillers along with Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP). 

A vile of blood is taken from the patient and is spun down to separate the platelets, a special solution is then added to break down the platelets. These platelets contain growth factors, which is then injected back into areas of the body.

Dr. Jason McWhirter, a physician at ReNue, was the first to practise this procedure in Calgary and has been doing it for the past year and a half.

The Vampire Facelift, also known as PRP therapy, can be used on your face, as well as other parts of your body including your hands, chest, neck or any areas that are sun damaged.

“It rejuvenates the surface of the skin to give a better more even complexion and it can help with fine lines, the main thing is it stimulates the growth of collagen, which helps the elasticity in your skin,” said McWhirter.

According to the physician, this procedure has become quite popular amongst people because it’s said to be “natural” due to the use of the patient’s own blood.

McWhirter said: “That’s its niche. It’s for people that don’t want to or are afraid of injecting other foreign chemicals into their body because what they’ve seen or heard on the Internet or what people may have told them.”

The Vampire Facelift isn’t for everyone.

“The ideal people for this procedure are usually women in their early to late 30s. This is the age when elasticity in your skin starts decreasing. That would be the perfect candidate,” McWhirter said.

When asked if he thought the procedure worked, Metelitsa said, “It definitely works in select patients, but it will not replace our more classic filler options for facial rejuvenation. Combination approach is key!”

The Vampire Facelift has recently made its way onto reality shows such as Kourtney & Kim Take Miami and The Real Housewives of Vancouver.

Amanda Hansen, one of the aforementioned housewives, recently got the procedure done. She said she got it because “It was a new technology that I’d heard of. I heard there were some interesting results behind it and I like the concept that it had these growth stimulants that were added to the blood so after the procedure was done, it continued to develop underneath your skin.

“I can honestly say I got a lot of compliments on my skin after the procedure was done.”

Although popular amongst celebrities, McWhirter said the Vampire Facelift is also starting to be seen “in medical uses, for things like arthritic knees, joints and stuff like that. That has given PRP a life because other physicians that do pure medicine are using it. They’re obviously convinced it’s beneficial.”

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