Hollywood Embraces the Vampire Breast Lift
A Beverly Hills plastic surgeon reveals why the minimally invasive, stem cell-based procedure is gaining popularity among women in the entertainment industry.
More than five years after the vampire facial entered the public zeitgeist — thanks to a blood-drenched selfie posted by Kim Kardashian — the science behind the sanguinary skin treatment is being used on other parts of the body.
The stem cell-based method was first pioneered for the face in 2013 by Dr. Charles Runels. But it is Runels' colleague and fellow Beverly Hills plastic surgeon Robert H. Cohen, who has adapted the technique for breasts.
Cohen tells The Hollywood Reporter the minimally invasive procedure is in high demand.
"People like the idea that you can use the body's own natural healing ability, which is essentially what this is, using platelets and stem cells to stimulate growth."
The vampire breast lift — which costs about $1,700 — uses the patient's own blood, which is drawn, spun through a centrifuge to separate the platelet-rich plasma (PRP), and reinserted back into the breasts through injections. Cohen tells THR that the entire procedure can be completed in an hour or less. The doctor, who practices at Westside Aesthetics, says he often treats patients during their lunch breaks.
"The patient comes in, we draw the blood and then we numb up the breasts. As the patient is in the room numbing, I spin it down and separate the PRP. That takes about 20 minutes. Then we call the patient back in and inject," he says, noting that the number of injections depends on the patient's needs. "When I start to inject, the procedure probably takes me about 10 minutes. They'll be a bit red and a little swollen when they go back to work. But other than that, there's no downtime."
While the treatment will lift and reshape one's bust, Cohen emphasizes that the vampire breast lift is not an alternative to implants.
"If you need 300 or 400 CC breast implants, this is not going to do it for you. It's not a replacement," he says, adding that full results typically manifest at six to eight weeks and last for two years. "But it will stimulate growth, collagen and some fat in the area that we inject it. So, you'll get some thickening and you'll get some lifting."
However, Cohen — who has used the procedure to fill out cavitation in patients who have undergone lumpectomies — says that additional volume can be achieved by weaving in a matrix of PRP and injectable filler or even fat from one's midsection.
"Sometimes we'll use it in conjunction with fat from the belly. Or we'll use it with a filler like Voluma, which will boost even more collagen and growth. And it fills in quite nicely," he says. "That's how we can get a bit more volume."
Cohen says the treatment won't prevent patients from getting implants in the future, either. In fact, he often uses the procedure to perfect the look of traditional breast augmentations.
"When patients get implants, their skin is stretched so much. The vampire breast lift thickens the skin, which makes you less susceptible to ripples." he says. "It will smooth out those imperfections because it adds tissue between the implant and the skin itself. It also really helps reduce the appearance of scars from breast implants."
Cohen tells THR that he has also been able to fix inverted nipples and erase stretch marks from breastfeeding using PRP technology. But, as he points out, the vampire breast lift's ability to produce "incredible cleavage" is behind the recent surge in popularity — particularly, in Hollywood.
"I can create incredible cleavage in 10 minutes, so that you won't have to worry about wearing a push-up. And, of course, it looks great on camera."