One of Dr. Nerina Wilkinson’s top procedures, delivering a scar-less facelift that rejuvenates and regenerates the facial tissues to achieve the most natural results.

StemCell4DLift™ (Stem Cell Scar-less Facelift)
South Africa

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A youthful face is a face with beautiful soft curves created by perfectly placed volume and radiant skin!

Therefore, to achieve a totally rejuvenating effect it is of utmost importance to correct both volume and skin quality.

Dr. Wilkinson says, “I see so many patients who have undergone a technically beautiful facelift, however, if the volume and skin quality has not also been addressed, I believe these patients have been failed as they simply look as if they had a facelift, rather than receiving a refreshed, youthful result.

Therefore Dr. Nerina pioneered the Stemcell4DLift™ – a procedure designed around the most natural and sought after “scarless face lifting” techniques. Her Stemcell4DLift™ uses stem cell technology which is part of a new and exciting frontier in the medical field.

What is the StemCell4DLift™?

The StemCell4DLift™ is one of Dr. Nerina Wilkinson’s top procedures, delivering a scar-less facelift that rejuvenates and regenerates the facial tissues to achieve the most natural results. 

This procedure utilizes 4 techniques that work in synergy during one surgical session, including precisely placed fat grafts, placement of ADSC, CO²RE® Fractional Laser Resurfacing, and Muscle Relaxing Injections.

Find out more about our approach to our signature StemCell4DLift™ or book a consultation with Dr. Nerina Wilkinson.

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Frequently asked questions about StemCell4DLift™

What is a stem cell?

Stem cells are considered building blocks of the body’s raw materials and generate specialised types of cells that provide various functions around the body. No other cells in the body have the natural ability to generate other cells. 

Stem cells are incredibly beneficial for a range of reasons. Stem cells are a pillar of regenerative medicine, and also provide further insight into how diseases occur and allow researchers to test the quality and safety of medical drugs. 

Visit our stem cell facelift page to explore more about the use of stem cells in facelifts.

Why are stem cells used in our signature StemCell4DLift™?

Stem cells contain growth factors that improve skin quality by repairing photodamaged skin and increasing elasticity. A “stem cell face-lift” involves the harvest, preparation, and injection of these cells into the patient’s face by using their own body tissue to replenish and rejuvenate other body tissues.

Unlike traditional fat grafting procedures, with stem cell facials, the fat is processed after it is removed to maximise the number of adult stem cells present before it is transplanted. Once transplanted, adult stem cells produce other growth factors that enhance skin quality, texture, and smoothness, and help diminish wrinkles. The skin becomes tauter and plumper which improves over months to years.

What is a stem cell facelift?

A stem cell face lift is an emerging trend in the world of facial plastic surgery. Even though it is not a true facelift, it utilises special fat grafting techniques and stem cell therapy to smooth out the texture and fine lines of the facial skin allowing for a more youthful appearance.

It is a completely scarless and incision-free procedure, making it ideal for those who are not ready to go under the knife and who are looking for a more holistic result that is still permanent.

Our approach to stem cell surgery - the signature StemCell4DLift

At Dr. Nerina Wilkinson + Associates, our approach is bespoke and tailored to solve your skin concerns, while also addressing surrounding tissues. In particular, our signature StemCellD4Lift utilises the combination of 4 surgical techniques in order to provide scarless rejuvenation of the facial area, as well as the neck depending on your concerns. 

Precisely placed fat grafts are used to stimulate myomodulation (i.e. strengthening of the deeper facial muscles) and restoration of periorbital volume and contours. Placement of ADSC (adipose-derived stem cells) in the form of Nano Fat, harnessing the potential of the rich stem cells to improve the quality of the skin from within. Syneron Candela Fractional CO²RE® Laser Resurfacing is used to remove the superficial skin and stimulate collagen production followed by Muscle Relaxing Injections to relax the depressor muscles that contract the periorbital area. The result is a holistic, natural-looking rejuvenation of the facial area.

Before we schedule any procedures, patients are required to undergo a comprehensive examination which includes a Visia Skin Analysis and Next Motion photographs which track your before and after progress. This allows us to create a personalised, results-driven, treatment plan and accurately track your progress. 

Start your StemCell4DLift™ journey! Contact us to book a consultation. 

Who is the ideal candidate for a StemCell4DLift™?

A StemCell4DLift™ is ideal for patients who have started to notice the signs of ageing i.e. deflation, hollowness and sagging of the cheeks, jawline and eyelids as well as the typical skin quality changes resulting in fine lines, irregular pigmentation and loss of elasticity. The rich regenerative capacity of the stem cells makes StemCell4DLift™ ideal for any patient who wants to “slow down” the ageing process. 

The best candidates are those who fully understand the procedure and have realistic expectations about the results. Our signature StemCell4DLift™ can enhance your appearance and self-confidence, but it won’t necessarily change your looks to match your ideal or cause other people to treat you differently. Before you decide to have surgery, think carefully about your expectations and discuss them with Dr Wilkinson. 

Dr Nerina Wilkinson recommends this procedure to patients who are requesting facial fillers, but who require more extensive volume replacement and skin tightening to achieve a more long-lasting youthful appearance. 

The StemCell4DLift™ is therefore ideal for any patient wanting to holistically maintain their natural, youthful contours. The advantage of the StemCell4DLift™ is that the results are more permanent and the stem cells in the fat have regenerative potential. The StemCell4DLift™ is therefore indicated for patients looking for a once-off treatment rather than multiple less invasive rejuvenating treatments.

How is The StemCell4DLift™ performed?

Unlike a normal face-lift, in which the flaccid skin is excised to create an artificial firmness, a StemCell4DLift™ is performed solely by injection and laser technology.

The procedure is performed under local anaesthetic and oral sedation in a sterile procedure room. The StemCell4DLift™ is a bespoke treatment, tailored to each individual patient’s needs, and the sequence of procedures would be determined after Dr Wilkinson has assessed your skin and tissues.

The most important step of the procedure is replacing the volume in a 360°approach creating youthful soft contours that lift and illuminate the whole face.

A syringe is used to suction subcutaneous fat of the abdomen, knees or medial thigh area (donor sites with high stem cell concentrations and contents). The fat is purified using specialised techniques to create lipografts and nano fat. A multi-plane technique precisely transplants the fat and stem cells to the face at different levels and layers to improve facial contours and create an uplifting effect. First the bone in the mid-face, then muscles and mid-structures, and finally the nano fat is layered very superficially under the skin harnessing the potential of the rich stem cells to improve the quality of the skin.

The last surgical procedure is CO²RE Fractional Laser Skin Resurfacing. Essentially, the upper layers of the skin are vaporized, removing the superficial layers. This direct photothermal and photobiostimulation effect removes the dull upper layers of the skin, stimulates new collagen and enhances the survival of the fat injections. This leaves the skin feeling tighter and looking rejuvenated.

The final touch in the procedure is the injection of Muscle Relaxing Injections to relax the depressor muscles that contract the periorbital area. This results in a wide uplifted and relaxed peri-orbital complex surrounding the eyelids.

The StemCell4DLift™ creates a full facial rejuvenation, boosting the uplifting effect of the muscles, replenishing youthful contours while improving the quality of the skin. As stem cells are nature’s way of regenerating new cells in targeted areas, the results are noticeable in a firmer and more youthful appearance of the face.

How long do results from a StemCell4DLift™ last?

Healing is a gradual process but eventually, the swelling and redness will subside. However, the positive results of your StemCell4DLift™ are that your new, rejuvenated look will last for years. For many people, these results are permanent. 

Your satisfaction with StemCell4DLift™ is likely to be greater if you understand the procedure thoroughly and if your expectations are realistic. Please contact us to discuss your specific concerns. 

How long is the recovery period for a StemCell4DLift™?

A StemCell4DLift™ carries a 6 week recovery period. During recovery, you will be required to see Dr. Nerina Wilkinson for post-op checkups for ±2 – 4 days to have dressings replaced, after 2 weeks to assess your recovery and after 6 weeks for a follow-up with your Skincare Specialist. At 12 weeks, you will need to have a new VISIA Skin Analysis and Next Motion Photos to assess your results.

While recovering you will need to adhere to the guidelines after your StemCell4DLift™ in order to ensure you do not jeopardise the results of your surgery and avoid complications.

What does the StemCell4DLift™ cost?

The cost of StemCell4DLift™ depends on the surgical time but is estimated at +/- R 50 000 – R 65 000. The extent of the surgery will only be determined once you have seen Dr. Wilkinson for a full assessment or consultation. 

Additional costs to expect: 

  • Consultation fee: R 1 800 
  • Medication required for surgery: +/- R 800 – R 1 500 
  • Additional overnight at our facility, other than recommended by us: +/- R 7 000 
  • Other investigations advised by Dr. Wilkinson 
  • (Please note that these fees are only estimates and can change once you have seen the doctor for your first assessment.) 

Please contact us for any more information. Please also note that these fees are only estimates and can change once you have seen the doctor for your first assessment.

Are there alternative non-surgical treatments to the StemCell4DLift™?

With the StemCell4DLift being the cream of the non-surgical crop, the most advanced results will be achieved with this procedure. Less invasive treatments to consider will include the Morpheus8 or Morpheus Enhance, advanced medical aesthetic treatments done by both a medical aesthetic doctor and skincare specialist simultaneously.

Is StemCell4DLift™ safe?

Surgery is normally safe when performed by a qualified Plastic Surgeon. Nevertheless, as with any surgery, there is always a possibility of complications, including bleeding and/or infection. You can reduce your risks by closely following Dr Wilkinson’s advice both before and after surgery.

What are the possible risks and complications associated with StemCell4DLift™?

StemCell4DLift™ Side Effects, Risks & Complications

The minor complications might include: 

  • Temporary swelling of the face.
  • Persistent discolouration (bruising) and a slight asymmetry in healing erythema (redness of the skin): the laser treated areas have a distinctive redness representing increased blood flow due to the growth of the superficial tissue and collagen. It will gradually fade over a period of 6 – 12 weeks.
  • Inflammation (swelling): STEMCELL4DLIFT presents a moderate to severe amount of swelling that can last from 10 – 14 days and will totally resolve within 6 weeks.
  • Hyperpigmentation (tanning): this is presented after the third day of the procedure but then begins to shed and reveal younger healthier-looking skin which will also improve after your surgery.

Dr Nerina Wilkinson can provide more insight into any additional side effects, and address any concerns you may have. Contact us to find out more.

StemCell4DLift™ Before and After

The initial consultation with Dr. Wilkinson is very important. She will need your complete medical history so check your own records ahead of time and be ready to provide this information. After your initial consultation, she’ll decide if the StemCell4DLift™ is suitable for you. 

You will have a comprehensive examination that includes a Visia Skin Analysis and Next Motion photographs which track your before and after progress. Based on the results she will be able to determine the best course of treatment. 

It’s important to discuss your expectations frankly with Dr. Wilkinson and to listen to her opinion. She will discuss the variables that may affect the procedure: such as your age, medical illnesses, and social habits. You’ll need to discuss whether any additional procedures are appropriate. Dr. Wilkinson will describe the procedure in detail, explaining its risks and limitations. 

Don’t hesitate to ask any questions you may have, especially those regarding your expectations and concerns about the results. When you make the decision to proceed with surgery you will receive comprehensive documentation from her assistant to help prepare you for your procedure both pre-operatively and post-operatively.

What to do before your StemCell4DLift™ (Stem cell facelift)?

Schedule and complete any pre-operative tests requested. 

STOP SMOKING (2 weeks before and 2 weeks after surgery) – nicotine reduces blood flow to the skin and causes delays in healing. Stop taking aspirin, anti-inflammatories, herbal medicine, diet pills, etc. (2 weeks before surgery). 

Remove eyelash extensions or false lashes prior to surgery. Loose lashes can get into the eye and cause damage to the cornea or contaminate the wound. 

You will receive a pack of special topical creams to apply to your skin for a minimum of 6 weeks prior to treatment. This prepares the skin and helps to reduce the chance of developing pigmentation areas afterwards. 

You will also be required to use oral antiviral medication to reduce the risk of developing fever blisters. 

Ensure that you have arranged everything you will need for your recovery e.g. meals, pillows, straws, ice, books, etc. 

Arrange drop-off and collection at the clinic as you may not drive for 24 hours after receiving oral sedation. Schedule a pre-operative consultation with Dr. Wilkinson 1 week before surgery.

Please contact us to find out our specific requirements before undergoing StemCell4DLift™ at Dr. Nerina Wilkinson + Associates.

Day of StemCell4DLift™ surgery

Take normal daily medication e.g. blood pressure, diabetes, antidepressants in the morning with a small sip of water. 

Wear comfortable loose-fitting clothes with easy to slip-on flat shoes. Bring sunglasses and a hat/scarf to put over your head when discharged. 

What to bring to the clinic on the day of the procedure:

MEDICATION – please bring all your post-op medication as prescribed by Dr. Wilkinson.

 Do NOT bring valuables or jewellery with you. You will not need them, and you wouldn’t want to risk losing them. 

You may bring your mobile phone which can be locked in the cupboard at your bedside. Please make sure you have your charger and adapter with you. 

Sunglasses and hat/scarf for when you are discharged.

Ensure you have arranged for someone to collect you from the clinic as you will not be able to drive yourself.

After the StemCell4DLift™ (stem cell facelift)

Please note you will need to stay at the practice for +/- 1 hour after the procedure for us to ensure you are recovering as expected and are fully prepared with all necessary aftercare before you are discharged.

Immediately following the procedure, you can expect a sensation similar to sunburn, which may last for several hours. In the days following treatment, you will experience the peeling of dead skin from the treatment area. After about 3 days, most of the skin will be off. You may experience a secondary flaking phase; this is a natural exfoliation process and may last seven to 10 days. Your face may feel tight and sore as the anaesthesia wears off, but most of your discomfort can be controlled by the medication prescribed by Dr. Wilkinson. 

At the time of your first follow-up (usually 3 days post-treatment), you will also have an appointment at our skin clinic for a special cleansing treatment with a Smitten to help the last of the dead skin to come off and a complimentary Dermalux LED Light Therapy treatment

You may have moderate to severe swelling and redness after the treatment which will last for 

10 – 14 days but keep in mind that all the swelling and redness will take up to 6 weeks to go away completely. Patients are normally very anxious in this phase as they will not recognise themselves and will think that it will never get better. It’s important to realise that this will definitely pass, and you will be thrilled with the results. 

We will provide you with a pack of post-treatment creams together with clear instructions on how to use them. We can also supply a post-treatment cover-up foundation that has anti-redness, anti-inflammatory properties, and high factor sun protection which can be purchased at our Skin Clinic. It is also important to know that you will have to avoid being in the sun for 6 weeks post-treatment otherwise you may develop areas of hyperpigmentation. 

This is why we usually only recommend that you do this treatment in the winter months unless you are sure that you can avoid being out in direct sunlight for the duration of the 6-week recovery period. You will be required to see Dr. Wilkinson post-operatively after ±2 – 4 days to have the dressings replaced, after 2 weeks to assess your recovery and at 6 weeks for a follow-up with your Skincare Specialist, and at 12 weeks for a new VISIA Skin Analysis and Next Motion Photos to assess your results. 

Failure to adhere to these instructions may lead to complications and jeopardize the results of your surgery.

How quickly can I get back to normal after a stem cell facelift?

You should be able to read or watch television after 2 – 3 days. You won’t be able to wear contact lenses for about 2 weeks, and even then, they may feel uncomfortable for a while.

Don’t use eyelash extensions or false eyelashes for a minimum of 2 weeks after the procedure. 

Most patients can expect swelling and redness for 10 – 14 days however most patients require up to 3 weeks for a full recovery. Cover make-up for the resurfaced skin is often required for 6 weeks post-procedure. 

You may be sensitive to sunlight, wind, and other irritants for several weeks, so you should wear sunglasses & sunblock is essential when you go out. 

Keep your activities to a minimum for 5 to 7 days, and to avoid more strenuous activities for about 3 weeks. It’s especially important to avoid activities that raise your blood pressure, including bending, lifting, and rigorous sports. 

You should also avoid alcohol as it causes fluid retention which increases swelling.

StemCell4DLift Before & After Photos

stem cell facelift procedure - stemcell4dlift

Where is the StemCell4DLift™ performed in Cape Town?

Dr. Nerina Wilkinson + Associates is a private, high-end, luxurious clinic located in the prestigious V&A Waterfront in Cape Town. Dr. Wilkinson founded the House of Aesthetic Couture and Skin Science. Your surgery will be performed at Dr. Wilkinson’s clinic, and you will be required to stay at the practice for +/- 1 hour after the procedure.

What is the type of anaesthesia used during a StemCell4DLift™ procedure?

StemCell4DLift™ is performed under oral sedation. You will be totally relaxed with local anaesthetic injections and have the benefit of not having the side effects associated with general anaesthetic. 

The

Procedure

It’s important to discuss your expectations openly before undergoing the procedure. Dr Nerina will take time to describe different options available and the risks, benefits, and limitations of each treatment. 

The procedure is performed under local anaesthetic and oral sedation in a sterile procedure room. The StemCell4DLift™ is a bespoke treatment, tailored to each individual patient’s needs, and the sequence of procedures would be determined after Dr Wilkinson has assessed your skin and tissues. 

The most important step of the procedure is replacing the volume in a 360°approach creating youthful soft contours that lift and illuminate the whole face. 

A syringe is used to suction subcutaneous fat of the abdomen, knees or medial thigh area (donor sites with high stem cell concentrations and contents). The fat is purified using specialised techniques to create lipografts and nano fat. A multi-plane technique precisely transplants the fat and stem cells to the face at different levels and layers to improve facial contours and create an uplifting effect. First the bone in the mid-face, then muscles and mid-structures, and finally the nano fat is layered very superficially under the skin harnessing the potential of the rich stem cells to improve the quality of the skin. 

The last surgical procedure is CO²RE Fractional Laser Skin Resurfacing. Essentially, the upper layers of the skin are vaporized, removing the superficial layers. This direct photothermal and photobiostimulation effect removes the dull upper layers of the skin, stimulates new collagen and enhances the survival of the fat injections. This leaves the skin feeling tighter and looking rejuvenated. 

The final touch in the procedure is the injection of Muscle Relaxing Injections to relax the depressor muscles that contract the periorbital area. This results in a wide uplifted and relaxed peri-orbital complex surrounding the eyelids.

Please note you will need to stay at the practice for +/- 1 hour after the procedure for us to ensure you are recovering as expected and are fully prepared with all necessary aftercare before you are discharged.

Immediately following the procedure, you can expect a sensation similar to sunburn, which may last for several hours. In the days following treatment, you will experience the peeling of dead skin from the treatment area. After about 3 days, most of the skin will be off. You may experience a secondary flaking phase; this is a natural exfoliation process and may last seven to 10 days. Your face may feel tight and sore as the anaesthesia wears off, but most of your discomfort can be controlled by the medication prescribed by Dr Wilkinson. 

At the time of your first follow-up (usually 3 days post-treatment), you will also have an appointment at our skin clinic for a special cleansing treatment with a Smitten to help the last of the dead skin to come off and a complimentary Dermalux LED Light Therapy treatment

You may have moderate to severe swelling and redness after the treatment which will last for 

10 – 14 days but keep in mind that all the swelling and redness will take up to 6 weeks to go away completely. Patients are normally very anxious in this phase as you will not recognise yourself and will think that it will never get better. It’s important to realise that this will definitely pass, and you will be thrilled with the results. 

We will provide you with a pack of post-treatment creams together with clear instructions on how to use them. We can also supply a post-treatment cover-up foundation that has anti-redness, anti-inflammatory properties and high factor sun protection which can be purchased at our Skin Clinic. It is also important to know that you will have to avoid being in the sun for 6 weeks post-treatment otherwise you may develop areas of hyperpigmentation. 

This is why we usually only recommend that you do this treatment in the winter months unless you are sure that you can avoid being out in direct sunlight for the duration of the 6-week recovery period. You will be required to see Dr Wilkinson post-operatively after ±2 – 4 days to have the dressings replaced, after 2 weeks to assess your recovery and at 6 weeks for a follow-up with your Skincare Specialist, and at 12 weeks for a new VISIA Skin Analysis and Next Motion Photos to assess your results. 

Failure to adhere to these instructions may lead to complications and jeopardize the results of your surgery.

Dr Nerina Wilkinson has over 20 years of experience in the field of plastic surgery, and fully understands her patients, their needs and their emotions leading up to surgical/aesthetic procedures, which allows her to provide world-class advice and care. Additionally, her staff are exceedingly well trained and experienced and equipped to provide you with incredible pre and post-operative care.

Put yourself in excellent hands and contact our clinic today to book your consultation for our signature StemCell4DLift stem cell facelift procedure.

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The Cosmetic Surgery Team

Dr Nerina Wilkinson - experienced cosmetic surgeon in Cape Town

About Dr Nerina Wilkinson FCS (Plast SA)

Dr Nerina Wilkinson and her team of aesthetic doctors and skincare specialists are considered the “go-to” expert for patients seeking a highly personalised, bespoke facial rejuvenation treatment plan. We take our clients on the ultimate curated journey to beauty and confidence.

Dr Nerina Wilkinson and her team specialise in Eye Rejuvenation & Restoration

In treating the delicate periorbital area, she is passionate about the combination of advanced technologies, energy devices, skin treatments and surgery: resulting in the most natural rejuvenation and regeneration

Our Patients'

Testimonials

“Every day I look in the mirror, I can’t believe that this new skin in mine! I reached a point in my life where I thought that I would have to live with the consequences of the severe sun damage I have caused myself through years of surfing. Not only have you given me new skin Nerina, you have actually given me a new life.”

L.S, CO2 Laser Resurfacing Treatment

“My grateful thanks to you all for everything you do for me, and I mean that from the heart of my bottom!”

Skin Science Treatments

“Dr Wilkinson’s team of doctors and highly experienced practitioners show such kindness and attention to detail and are not in a hurry to spend my money on unnecessary treatments, but sincerely want what they feel is best for my personal needs to improve my skin’s appearance as best they can.”

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