'Vampire Facelift' uses blood to wake faces from dead

Some doctors dispute science of 'Vampire' lift

INDIANAPOLIS - Men and women across the country are signing up for a treatment that sounds like it's straight out of a movie.

The Vampire Facelift promises to wake faces from the dead with the help of a little blood.

Kim Kardashian tried it out on reality TV , and YouTube viewers still watch the clip months after the original episode aired.

While the sight of Kardashian's pain might have turned some people away, many people across the country, including Hoosiers, are saying yes to the Vampire Facelift.

Dr. Joe Krug, the medical director at the Artemis Group , said the media coverage of the Vampire Facelift has been helpful for business at his Carmel office, the only center in Indiana that's certified to perform the procedure.

"I think one of the doctors in Beverly Hills put it in the grab bag for the Oscars, so that sparked a lot of interest," Krug said. "Obviously Kim Kardashian having the vampire facial spurred a lot of interest."

Michelle, 39, went to Krug for the Vampire Facelift.

"She's concerned about the lines right in here (around mouth and eyes) so we are going to add the Juvederm (injectable face filler) in those areas," Krug said.

The filler is added to "problem areas" through a syringe and needle then Krug draws blood from his patient.

Krug spins the blood in a centrifuge until the platelets rise to the top. The platelets are then used to create platelet-rich plasma, which gets put back into the patient's face.

"That's going to dissipate into your skin, into your muscle layers over the course of the next six to 10 hours," Krug explained to Michelle.

The Vampire Facelift website says the results will improve over the first several months and last for up to two years.

The idea behind the technique is that using the patients' own blood will help stimulate cell growth in their face tissue to create fresh color and texture.

Many doctors don't believe the science has been proven yet.

Dr. Barry Eppley, who heads up Eppley Plastic Surgery in Carmel, doesn't see much value in the catchy name.

"In the medical world and the plastic surgery world, there is great suspicion that this is nothing more than a marketing strategy and not true science," Eppley said.

"If you really need a face-lift, true surgical face-lift, save your money and one day (get) what you really need," said Eppley.

At Eppley's practice, a procedure similar to the Vampire Facelift that is marketed differently costs about $1,500. A typical surgical face-lift, which he says will last years longer, costs between $6,000 and $8,000.

Cost was only one reason why Michelle signed up for the Vampire Facelift.

Like many who aren't ready to go under the knife, Michelle saw the Vampire Facelift as a less invasive option to freshen up her face.

"I was interested in this is because it was more natural than anything else," she said. "Using your own blood to pump up your face just seemed like a better option than going under the knife or having Botox or something like that."
 

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