According to the latest statistics from the American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS), there were 14.2 million minimally invasive or non-surgical procedures performed in 2015 versus 1.7 million surgical procedures. As non-surgical procedures continue to gain in popularity, surgeons are looking for new ways to bridge the gap between injectables like fillers and Botox, and surgery. One of the new procedures that does just this is Instalift, a micro-invasive procedure that gives an instant lift to the mid-face. Dr. Mark Epstein of Stony Brook, NY discusses this new twist on an old favorite.
New Twist on an Old Favorite
InstaLift may be a new procedure, but it is “based on the old thread lift but with a new twist,” explains Dr. Epstein. Threads are inserted with a needle through tiny pin holes that are strategically placed along the mid-face. What makes the Instalift different is these threads have a cone embedded at intervals along their length. The job of these cones is to grab on to tissue. After the threads are in place, the surgeon pushes the skin of the mid-face up and it stays, giving the patient an “instant” lift in the mid-face and jowls.
The advantages of Instalift as compared to a facelift or even injectables are:
- No incisions
- No sutures
- Bruising is almost non-existent
- Very little swelling
- Zero downtime
The recovery from Instalift is so fast that Dr. Epstein has, “had patients who’ve gone out to dinner immediately after having the procedure done.” Unlike a facelift, which can last anywhere from 7-10 years, Instalift results only last about 1-2 years. So for a patient who does not want to go under the knife, who does not want to deal with post-op swelling or who is fearful of the risks involved with surgery, Instalift can be a great solution. It will deliver a quick “pick me up” to the mid-face, and reduce jowling. The latter is typically at the top of most women’s “hate” list when they are discussing the signs of aging on the face. Better yet, the risks from the procedure are negligible, and it only takes about 20-30 minutes under local anesthesia sometimes with a little oral sedation.
Instalift Deliver Fast, Natural-Looking Results
The biggest advantage of Instalift is, “the results are very natural and patients see the results immediately,” explains Dr. Epstein. Sometimes, he will place the threads on only one side of the face. Then, he will have the patient sit up and take a look at themselves in the mirror. Usually, they have a pretty startled reaction. “It’s dramatic,” he shares.
A good candidate for Instalift is almost anyone except for the patient who has an excessive amount of loose tissue. These patients will need a facelift to actually excise or remove the extra tissue. “[Instalift] is a procedure that’s good for women in their 30’s to 60’s and 70’s as long as they don’t have a face that’s too lax,” explains Epstein. “So, a lot of women can really benefit from this procedure.”
If you have an important affair coming up such as a class reunion or a wedding, the Instalift is perfect. You have it done and few days later, there are going to be no tell tale signs of the procedure, but you will look refreshed. “The beauty of Instalift is that it gives a nice, natural, refreshed look to the face without the telltale signs of surgery,” says Epstein.
Instalift vs. Fillers
There are any number of non-surgical options for improving the face these days. Lasers are great for treating the surface of the face, Botox is ideal for addressing fine lines and wrinkles, fillers add volume to different areas of the face, and ThermiTight can be great for skin tightening. With Instalift, surgeons are now able to deliver something that they used to only be able to achieve surgically: a genuine lift to the tissue of the mid-face and jowls.
Instalift is about reversing the effects of gravity. With time, the tissues of the face begin to fall or sag. This is what results in the jowls that most of us loath. If the face is falling, you need to correct that by bringing the skin up. Fillers are about adding volume. Again, with age, we lose fat or volume in the face, particularly the mid-face. Fillers can restore a bit of that youthful plumpness. They’re not about lifting the skin.
Having said that, when you put filler in the mid-face, you will get some lift. But, in general, fillers are not really a solution for “gravitational issues”. Instalift is.