Innovation has always been the name of the game when it comes to medicine. This is certainly true in the field of plastic surgery. Today, there are almost as many non-surgical options for treating patients as there are surgical. New players like Kybella, Ulthera, Coolsculpting, and Cellfina are radically changing the way that plastic surgeons address aging in both the face and the body. Dr. Laurie Casas of Chicago, IL discusses some of the imaginative ways that surgeons today are combining these non-surgical procedures to deliver truly exemplary results for their patients.
Cellfina & Ulthera
Cellfina, the latest darling in the non-surgical arena, is the first FDA approved treatment for cellulite. Clinically proven to deliver long lasting results of up to two years, Cellfina works by treating the underlying connective bands that lie within the fat in our thighs and buttocks. These bands are what actually cause the “dimples” that are the bane of so many women’s existence. Dr. Casas combines Cellfina with Ulthera, a micro focused ultrasound treatment, to specifically address the “banana roll” or laxity that can develop in the posterior thigh from sitting too much. The Cellfina gets rid of the bumps while the Ulthera tightens the skin and underlying muscle. It’s a fast and easy way to improve this trouble spot with no downtime. Which is really important for patients these days who want to look better, but who don’t want to miss work.
Kybella & Ulthera
Another one of Dr. Casas’s innovative combinations is Kybella and Ulthera. Kybella is an injectable designed to dissolve the underlying fat beneath the chin. Though often associated with aging, this lump of chin fat can also be genetic and evident in patients as young as 18. In the past, the only treatment options would have been liposuction or a chin implant. Now, Dr. Casas can simply inject the Kybella, wait about 4-6 weeks for the fat to fully dissolve, and then treat the area with Ulthera to promote collagen production and tighten the underlying skin and muscle. Less invasive than liposuction, Dr. Casas also likes the results from this combo more than a chin implant. “Because your skeletal muscle is growing smaller, but your chin implant stays the same size… in 20 or 30 years…. you’ll have issues with a rigid implant.” In addition to the chin area, Dr. Casas also uses this combo to treat underarm fat “off label” (meaning beyond the uses for which it was FDA approved).
Coolsculpting & Ulthera
The Cool Mini is Dr. Casas’s combination of Coolsculpting and Ulthera. Again, this is effective for treating the area under the chin as well as the arms. The Coolsculpting dissolves the fat. Then, 1-2 months later, the patient comes back and is treated with Ulthera for tightening of the skin and muscle in the chin and neck or the back of the upper arm. Great for patients off all ages, this is an ideal option for someone who doesn’t want surgery. In general, men are not as comfortable with surgery as women. But they are as worried about their chin/neck area, often complaining about the folds that hang over their tie. Both the Cool Mini and the Kybella & Ulthera combos are fantastic options for male patients.
As with any non-surgical procedure, the results are going to depend on skin quality. However, assuming that a patient has only moderate laxity in the skin and muscle then these innovative combos are a truly effective option to surgery.