The facial appearance is fundamental in our social relations: it distinguishes and identifies us in our relationships with others. A tired and aged face, furrowed by wrinkles, is certainly less pleasant and less capable of achieving social success than a refreshed, harmonious and youthful one. The loss of volume in some areas of the face, such as the zygomatic region or the cheeks, and the skin aging are the main processes involved in facial aging. A number of treatments can restore harmony and freshness to the face: today it is possible not only to repair but also to regenerate your own face by using mesenchymal stem cells (ADSCs Adipose Derived Stem Cells) from your own adipose (fat) tissue, thanks to the new technique that I standardized and published: S.E.F.F.I. (Superficial Enhanced Fluid Fat Injection) and MicroSEFFI.
It is a minimally invasive procedure which ensures natural and harmonious results, without any sacrifice of your social life. The SEFFI procedure (fat and stem cells ADSCs transfer) aims to restore volume and regenerate tissue achieving a natural, safe and long lasting result.
What are stem cells?
In the last few years, we proved that in the adipose tissue there are more stem cells than in the bone marrow: these stem cells are named ADSCs (adipose derived stem cells) and they are in a fraction of the adipose tissue named the stromal vascular fraction.
Stem cells are like baby cells that have the capacity to transform into several different mature cells as epithelial cells (skin), adipocytes (fat), endothelial cells (vessels), chondrocytes (cartilages), osteocytes (bone), myocytes (muscle) and neurocytes.
The SEFFI and MicroSEFFI procedure
My team and I have been studying the use of stem cells for regenerative purposes since 2012; we standardized the SEFFI technique (Superficial Enhanced Fluid Fat Injection). This technique addresses the regeneration of tissues and the restoration of volumes in facial rejuvenation. This injecting procedure is safe, simple, effective and long lasting; at the base of this procedure is the volumizing effect of the adipocytes and the regenerating effect of the ADSCs. This technique has aroused such a great international interest that we had the opportunity and honor to publish it in 2015 in two of the most relevant international scientific journals i.e. the Aesthetic Surgery Journal and JAMA Facial Plastic Surgery.
In the meantime, we have been studying another procedure aimed to inject adipocytes and ADSCs in very delicate areas such as the periocular and perioral areas: we named this technique MicroSEFFI (Micro Superficial Enhanced Fluid Fat Injection). MicroSEFFI too aroused great international interest and has been published on ASJ in 2016.
How is SEFFI performed?
It is performed with local anesthesia, using a special micro cannula to harvest fat and the stem cells contained therein, with a preference for the areas where the fat is more compact (the abdomen, gluteus area, and the inner thigh). Once the cells have been aspirated, it is a matter of removing excess fluids. Then, using very thin needles, the transplant of fat and stem cells is performed with implantation in the areas, where a correction of the volume and skin regeneration are necessary (cheekbones, cheeks, lips, eyebrows, areas around the eyes…)
Importance of tissue regeneration in the facial rejuvenation procedure
In the last 30 years, the only surgical rejuvenation procedure has been the face lift which is aimed to tight the skin but not rejuvenate the face. Extremely interesting is a survey where 100 patients were compared with their pictures when they were 20 years old: this survey proved that the most important effect in the aging face is the loss of volume, followed by the skin aging and the descent of tissue holding the third place. Moreover, in my cases report of 500 facial rejuvenation procedures the average age of my patients is 45-50 years. In the light of this evidence, I am deeply convinced that in order to achieve a natural facial rejuvenation it is mandatory to RESTORE the volume, then REGENERATE the skin and next REPOSITION the tissue. This is the reason why my facial rejuvenation procedure is called R3 (cubed). The R3 procedure has been published on AMJ in 2016.
What happens after SEFFI treatment?
After the procedure patients are immediately able to return to their usual activities.
Any problems can be controlled with pharmaceuticals.
Some swelling of the treated area may appear for approximately 48 hours and any resulting redness can be covered with makeup.
The transplanted fat remains for a variable amount of time, from 6 months to 3 years, and in part for life, while the transplanted stem cells are activated regenerating the skin. In order to stabilize the treatment in time, patients can undergo a new session after about 1 year.
What should I expect after a SEFFI treatment?
With respect to classic lipo-filling, SEFFI causes less swelling due to the fact that its principal action is regenerative, thanks to the activity of mesenchymal stem cells. This regenerative activity takes a few months to totally manifest itself, therefore you must expect a gradual, but constant improvement over the first 6 months. In the first days the small bruises will begin disappearing, then the swelling will diminish, but the skin’s appearance and tone will continue improving for a long period. SEFFI with stem cells should be considered a true and proper skin-care treatment and thus it is advised to repeat it within life.