Sunday, June 24, 2012

Vampire Facelift is Really a Face Fill

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A google search on Vampire Facelift yielded 1,020,000 results. The term was first used by the press in a July 2010 ABC News report on the use of Selphyl for facelifting. Selphyl first became available in 2009 and involves taking a small sample of blood from the patient mixing it in a test tube to separate blood components, which takes about 20 minutes and then injecting some of the components (platelets) into the area to be filled. Your body then makes collagen to fill the depression or fold. The process takes about 3 weeks from the date of injection to become visible. Because the result was rejuvenating and the material came from one's own blood the term Vampire Facelift was employed. Although hyaluronate injectable fillers like Restylane had been around for 7 years at this point the injection of hyaluronate together with this platelet material began around this time.

A business wise endocrinologist in Alabama saw an opportunity in this and filed a trademark for Vampire Facelift in September 2010. He then marketed the term and courses to doctors on the double injection procedure and also developed a website for which he charged $97 monthly listing fees to those doctors. The charge for a course on doing the injections is $995 and that fee is waived if the doctor buys the $5995 "Vampire PRP System". The manufacturers of dermal filler injectables on the other hand give frequent symposium to doctors all over the US free of charge. This is off label use of both injectable fillers and the fillers are doing just that filling not lifting. This same doctor was reprimanded by the FDA in 2008 for not following proper investigational protocols with injections. In 2009 the Alabama Medical Board issued a cease and desist order to prevent him from injecting testosterone and thyroid hormone because of documented injections of the medications by him in cases where they were not medically indicated. After business discussions with the manufacturer to license the Vampire Facelift trademark collapsed Selphyl was replaced by another high platelet content solution in this injection process.

More recently he trademarked Vampire Breastlift. Now he advocates something called an O-shot where the same injection into female genitalia is proposed to increase sensitivity in the area and hence increase sexual desire and arousal as well as improve/increase orgasm. The next step was the Priapus Shot advocating the same injections into the penis to increase size, strength, circulation, sensitivity, pleasure etc.

If there was any credibility to this initially it was certainly lost after O-shot, Priapus Shot etc. It's no different than a snake oil salesman with an ever increasing number of indicated uses for their product. I would be very suspicious of this treatment methodology and anyone who uses it based on this history. I am not opposed to the treatment itself but the way it has been marketed and the misleading terminology employed in describing it. It is not a substitute for facelift surgery. Furthermore, congress outlawed the patenting of medical procedures some years ago so I do not see how this can be an enforceable patent.

Injectable Fillers

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