What is a Vampire Facelift and what does it do? Is it worth it?
I can certainly understand why you’re asking this question. I can understand why there is confusion.
I’ve been an active member of the Vampire Facelift Network and have been a resource for the media periodically whenever the Vampire Facelift is featured in different media outlets.
I think there is basically a lot of confusion because of the incredible popularity of the term as well as the frequent misuse of the term as well as physicians being inaccurate and often dismissive of the terms as it relates to the elements associated.
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What is Vampire Facelift?
So to begin with, the Vampire Facelift is a very specific procedure and it was created by Dr. Charles Runels and it was created many years ago and it seemed to have a remarkable impact in popular culture such that the term actually outranked the term Botox in terms of popularity in search.
So ultimately, it also lead to the proliferation of a lot of articles about things involving blood and that’s where the Vampire concept comes from.
The term Vampire Facelift basically is distilled into a combination approach to helping with facial aging or facial volume enhancement.
It has to do with something called PRP, platelet-rich plasma.
Platelet-rich plasma is derived from your own blood and when it is placed under the skin as an injection, it stimulates the fat cells, it stimulates the blood supply and it creates this nice glow of the skin.
So the term Vampire and blood, you can see the relationship there.
The other part of this procedure, the term facelift, which is really not a surgical facelift by any stretch. But as Dr. Runels envisioned it, he saw it as volume resulting in lifting of the skin away from the underlying structure and this is based on a simple principle.
As we get older, we lose facial volume. We lose bone, muscle, fat, soft tissue.
So Dr. Runels’ idea was you take somebody who is really not a candidate for surgical facelift, who typically has a relatively thinner face and you place one syringe. which is 1 cc of the hyaluronic acid filler of your choice, to add volume in areas that are up to the choice of the physician performing the procedure.
So there is the benefit of the filler placed. let’s say under the eyebrow, in the tear trough, in the cheeks, around the lips and corners of the mouth. Basically of course, one syringe.
In addition, it injects platelet-rich plasma to help improve the skin quality and glow.
Now that being said, a lot of times people interpret Vampire Facelift to mean only PRP.
A lot of doctors who are not part of the network will claim to be doing it and will represent it in a way that’s not accurate.
And so, it’s understandable that by strict definition, that is what is the Vampire Facelift.
Who are the Right Candidates?
Now that being said, you can decide by meeting with a doctor who’s on the Vampire Facelift network. to see whether or not you are a good candidate.
I think that one of the things that we observe in our practice is that patients will come for a Vampire Facelift consultation and assume it’s only PRP or platelet-rich plasma.
Very often, the same patient needs a lot of filler than 1 cc or actually are better candidates for other procedures, whether surgical facelift, whether lasers, whether it’s a combination.
Is It Worth It?
So in terms of is it worth it, it is worth it if you are the right candidate.
I have found, certainly over the many years of being part of this network and seeing patients in consultation for facial aging, which is a focus of my practice, that people often want to get the most out of the least naturally.
However, when we think about volume loss in the face, we have to think of options beyond just the strict definition of the Vampire Facelift.
So for example, patients will come in and we’ll recommend maybe doing several syringes for different areas of the face of hyaluronic acid filler and we’ll combine that with PRP.
One modality complements the other.
The hyaluronic acid filler complements the PRP. And in areas where they’re actually mixed together or where they overlap, there’s actually a synergy in the combination of the stem cell activity benefit of PRP synergizing with the matrix of the hyaluronic acid filler, which is scientifically fascinating.
So I think it’s important that if you are considering this procedure that you find a doctor on the Vampire Facelift network and get a proper evaluation.
You don’t just assume that you’re going to get that procedure by booking the appointment but at least get a proper evaluation so you understand what the outcome will be.
There always has to be good communication about what the results will be on any treatment whether it’s this or any other aesthetic procedure.
Vampire Facelift Before & After
Treatment Frequency of the Vampire Facelift
How many times a year would you need for a Vampire Facelift to be done.
I think that’s a very important question, a very common question.
Well, it depends a lot on your individual response.
Like working out at the gym, everybody can go to the gym and lift the same amount of weight but not everyone can build the same amount of muscle at the same time frame.
There are people who get PRP as a standalone procedure, once every 3 months. In South America, in regions, people will get PRP every month.
And as far as the fillers are concerned, it’s also an individual thing, how quickly does that filler get metabolized.
So, I would say in our practice, people come typically twice a year.
I think it’s a reasonable amount of time to get that one syringe of an HA filler and PRP every 6 months to maintain a certain look and it typically is just about the bare minimum to maintain that look.
It has become my observation for many years that the more maintenance you do at the younger years, when the time is right and appropriate, it actually has a beneficial effect long-term.
So PRP done strategically and with some relative frequency actually helps you keep looking younger, that and a constellation of other opportunities that we actually have.
So meet with a Vampire Facelift provider and see what is probably going to be the best approach for you and learn and see what works for you but it has to be individualized.
Author: Amiya Prasad, a Board-certified cosmetic surgeon and Fellowship-trained oculofacial plastic and reconstructive surgeon.