Would you spend £7k to regrow your face with your thigh fat? Anti-ageing expert ALICE HART-DAVIS, 56, braves a terrifying new stem-cell treatment that promises to turn back the clock for ever
When my eyes blinked open in the quiet of the operating theatre at the Cadogan Clinic in Chelsea, I felt supremely relaxed. It took a while, as the clouds of anaesthetic began to clear and the strange stiffness in my face became more apparent, to remember where I was and what I’d been doing.
Oh yes. You volunteered to be a guinea pig for a cutting-edge facial regeneration procedure.
You’ve just had fat sucked out of your thighs, mined for its stem cells, then injected back into your face by a world-class plastic surgeon, and the procedure has been live-streamed to a conference audience of surgeons around the world. Oh goodness. After 20 years of reporting on beauty and ‘tweakments’, I am used to putting myself out there.
I have tried most non-surgical procedures. I’ve written a book about tweakments and now spend my time talking about them on social media and at conferences.
But this was a new level of exposure and of cosmetic work. Anything that involves a general anaesthetic is hardly a tweakment, even if no scalpels were involved.
ALICE HART-DAVIS, 56, has her fat sucked out of your thighs, mined for its stem cells, then injected back into your face by a world-class plastic surgeon in Chelsea, London. The above shows the work she had done
Why had I done this? Well, if there was one procedure I’d been mad keen to try for a few years, it was a stem-cell-assisted fat transfer process known as SVF Facial Rejuvenation, a new technique that appears to regrow an ageing face from the inside out.
It sounds like science fiction. But actually it’s a part of a fast-developing specialty called regenerative medicine, where surgeons use your body’s own natural resources — fat, stem cells, blood, platelet-rich plasma and so on — to repair everything from heart defects to orthopaedic problems and thinning hair. Now cosmetic medicine is getting in on the act.
Stem cells, the body’s healing resources, are capable of becoming any tissue into which they are injected. This is what makes them so exciting for medical research.