A NEW anti-ageing treatment dubbed the Vampire Facelift has been dismissed as a marketing stunt by top plastic surgeons.
The £500-a-time procedure involves injecting the patient’s own blood in to their face to smooth out wrinkles and plump out cheeks.
The injections, reportedly used by celebritites such as Angelina Jolie and Kylie Minogue, are now available in Scotland.
But the president of the body that represents cosmetic surgeons today described the Vampire Facelift as “gimmicky” and said there was no evidence it worked.
Each treatment takes about 30 minutes and is said to work within three weeks by activating cell-repairing substances in the patient’s blood.
The resulting gel-like material is claimed to tackle wrinkles, scars and acne – and can even give men high cheekbones like Twilight star Robert Pattinson.
And because the injections are “natural”, involving the patient’s blood, they are reportedly much safer than alternatives such as botox.
Taimur Shoaib is an eminent NHS consultant surgeon who also provides cosmetic treatments at clinics in Glasgow and Edinburgh.
Mr Shoaib has started offering Vampire Facelifts at his private consulting rooms, charging £500 per treatment.
Mr Shoaib, a member of the Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh, said male patients could benefit from the treatment by getting high cheekbones similar to Twilight heartthrob Robert Pattinson.
“His are all natural of course but the idea behind the vampire facelift is to restore youthful fullness to the cheeks,” said Mr Shoaib.
Mr Shoaib said the treatment was already proving popular for “people looking to maintain their youthful looks”.
And he suggested it could offer a more natural alternative to botox for some patients.
He said: “Some stars take it too far, particularly with Botox.
“I recently saw a picture of Megan Fox and she looked very over-done and unnatural. When undergoing treatments like this, you never want to look “done”. You just want to look natural, like a better version of yourself.”
But Mr Shoaib admitted: “Often with new technologies you have to be careful. We cannot guarantee the longevity of this treatment.”
He added: “The reality of it is that when you turn the clock back, the clock still keeps ticking.”
Mr Shoaib is also a member of the British Association of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons (BAAPS), whose president today warned patients to steer clear of the Vampire Facelift.
Fazel Fatah, himself a consultant plastic surgeon, said: “We have not seen any scientific evidence to support the claims of so-called Vampire Therapy.
Mr Fatah claimed the treatment was probably invented to coincide with our cultural obsession with the living dead.
He added: “The public should be wary of procedures given gimmicky names clearly invented for marketing purposes.”
And Ken Stewart, lead clinician for plastic surgery with NHS Lothian, who also offers private cosmetic treatments at a clinic in Edinburgh, sounded a note of caution.
He said: “The effects of using fat injections are well known but blood is debateable. We routinely inject fat into the face to restore volume but there is very little scientific proof to back up this “vampire” procedure.
“I don’t think I would be open to performing a treatment like this. If there were scientific results to back it up then perhaps I would.”
The Vampire Facelift involves the injection of a gel-like substance called platelet rich plasma (PRP).
The material is created by drawing a small amount of blood from the patient.
The blood is then spun in a centrifuge to separate the platelets, the ingredient that helps clotting, from the other components.
Once “activated”, either by the addition of thromin or calcium chloride, the PRP turns into a viscous substance that is ready for injection.
“Growth factors” derived from the platelets, called cytokines, then set to work.
Supporters of the procedure claim the cytokines boost natural production of collagen, the fibrous protein that connects and supports body tissue.