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Out from Under the Knife

by Lindsey Getz

Advanced technology allows great options with non-surgical cosmetic procedures.

The trend toward non-invasive cosmetic procedures has been driven by both Americans’ desire for instant results and their need for little to no downtime. A survey conducted by the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery (ASAPS) found that non-surgical options increased 10 percent over last year, while surgical procedures increased only 3. This trend toward “lunchtime facelifts” is allowing people to take steps toward looking younger without going under the knife, subtracting years from your appearance and helping you put your best face forward.

“The whole cosmetic surgery industry is really trending toward procedures that can be done non-surgically and still provide a similar result as having had surgery,” says Steven L. Davis, DO of Davis Cosmetic Plastic Surgery in Cherry Hill. “The gold standard for certain procedures has always been actual surgery. For instance, the gold standard for fat removal was always liposuction. To make the face look younger, the best option was an actual facelift. But even as a plastic surgeon, I’m always looking for non-surgical procedures that could still achieve a similar result for those who don’t want to undergo surgery. Today there are some really amazing alternatives to surgery.”

“Patients of course like to find options that don’t involve surgery—and so do I,” says Bhupesh Vasisht, MD, of South Shore Plastic Surgery in Voorhees. “I take the time to inform patients of the benefits and the risks of both surgical and non-surgical options and I try my best to guide patients to a solution that is best for them. An informed patient is the best patient—and the happiest patient.”

Advances in technology
Technology has caught up to a point where surgery is no longer the only viable option. Many cosmetic procedures can literally be done during the lunch hour—in the office, without anesthesia and without a hospital stay. “The advance in technology is allowing the trend toward more non-invasive procedures to really take off,” says Amy Krachman, DO, of Dermalogic Laser Center in Hammonton. “Patients have a lot more options these days.”

Options include deep fillers and laser resurfacing. “Fillers like Sculptra and Juvéderm Voluma are long-lasting procedures that give the best outcomes,” says Vasisht. “Laser peels and laser resurfacing technologies improve the appearance of the skin and the complexion with no downtime. I love that my patients love it.”

Krachman says Voluma has also been getting excellent results at her practice. “It gives you a lunchtime facelift that still allows you to go back to the office,” she says.

“It’s an injectable and can be done in one or two treatments, instantly adding volume to the cheek and resulting in a subtle lift. It’s been clinically proven for up to two years.”

It’s the “lifting” action that makes Voluma a game changer, adds Davis. “There have always been facial fillers that you inject into creases and lines to make them disappear,” he says. “But those were more of fillers than lifters. Voluma is different.

It actually gives a mini facelift that can assist with age-related volume loss. As we age, the middle of the face loses that fullness and as the area deflates, we start to notice creases and jowl lines. But by restoring that middle part of the face, Voluma actually creates these anchoring rods that re-suspend the skin up to where it used to be on the cheeks. It’s a phenomenal result.”

Birgit K. Toome, MD, FAAD, of Appearance Dermatology Laser & Cosmetic Surgery Center in Marlton, utilizes what she calls the “30-minute facial trifecta” to give patients a true “lunch-time facial rejuvenation.” It consists of Voluma along with a Dermapen treatment and Botox. “The micro pen treatment improves the quality of the skin and helps with acne scar reduction,” says Toome. “It treats facial discoloration from aging and sun damage by allowing moisturizers, retinoids, and bleaching creams to penetrate more efficiently. The result is glowing, tighter skin. Botox of course erases pesky crow’s feet and forehead furrows. This trifecta is truly awesome because it’s quick, relatively painless, and addresses what most people really strive for—a natural, healthy, firm, wrinkle-free glow to the skin.”

However, if the problem is veins on your face, there are still non-surgical options that can make the treatment fast and effective. Charles Dietzek, DO, FACOS, of the Vein & Vascular Institute with four New Jersey locations, says that VeinWave is a new, FDA-approved procedure that utilizes radiofrequency energy to eliminate small spider veins and telangiectasia. The effect is instant so that you can actually see the veins disappearing immediately. “Without any surgery involved, we’re able to eliminate facial veins and red spots,” says Dietzek. “After a 15-minute session in our office, you can walk out and go about your business.”

A multitude of benefits Dietzek says it’s not uncommon for patients to believe they have to seek out a hospital or outpatient surgical center for vein treatment. “You have to remember that when you talk about surgical procedures, there are many hidden aspects and associated costs beyond the procedure itself,” says Dietzek. “There is blood work, oftentimes additional testing like EKGs or chest X-rays, and of course there is anesthesia. However, with an office-based procedure, the cost and time is drastically reduced.”

The benefits of non-surgical procedures are manifold. “Avoiding the risks of going under anesthesia as well as the costs associated with a hospital procedure are definitely huge benefits,” agrees Krachman. “But there’s also the time savings. Patients appreciate that they don’t have to take time off work or even from their everyday life. Everyone is looking for no downtime options these days as our lives are busier than ever.”

Dietzek agrees. “The ability to be back on your feet as soon as possible is a huge benefit,” he says. “The old adage that time is money is quite true. Peoples’ time is valuable to them and they’re looking for procedures that are both fast and effective.”

Published (and copyrighted) in South Jersey Magazine, Volume 10, Issue 12 March, 2014).
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