“One of my favorite things about the new technologies coming out is the ability to tighten up a patient’s skin before we decide to do a face lift,” says Dr. Pozner. “The energy devices are not meant to replace a face lift; the surgical procedure still maintains the best results possible. What the devices do, however, is provide a great alternative to a patient in the middle of their life that may not have issues that require a full on face lift.” Dr. Jason N. Pozner discusses new energy-based devices that are bridging the gap between non surgical and surgical results.
By: Jason N Pozner, MD
and Adam McMillon
Do I need a face lift?
Products such as Ulthera utilize ultrasound energy – the same type that allows a woman to see her baby during pregnancy – to make small burns into the skin that have a tightening effect. No scalpels, no anesthesia, no in-patient surgery. Dr. Pozner can power up his ultrasound device, make a few sweeps through the targeted areas and have you back to your normal activities in a few hours. “I must stress that Ulthera and the other devices do not match the results of a face lift,” says Pozner. “They can, however, provide outstanding results that can keep someone from having to do invasive surgery for a while longer.”
The typical energy-based non invasive procedure involves burning little areas of the skin that cause it to tighten over the course of a few weeks to months. “Immediately after surgery, the skin will be a bit inflamed and possibly swollen, but without pain” says Pozner. “The swelling and inflammation will go away after a week or two, leaving you looking completely normal as the energy burns begin to tighten and even out your skin over the coming months.” While the results are not immediate, the months of slow rejuvenation of the skin allow the procedure to be painless and easy. Similarly, Cellulaze, an energy device used to deal with cellulite, is a non invasive procedure that takes a few months for results to appear. Patience is an important virtue when dealing with energy-based devices, but patients say it always pays off. “I’m probably even more excited than my patients by the results,” says Pozner. “It’s an incredible thing to utilize energy devices during a non invasive procedure and see shocking results a few months later. I love to see my patients going from worried that it didn’t work, to astounded at how well they look.”
Does your plastic surgeon still suggest a face lift? Why not both!
“Possibly the best use for the energy devices is enhancing the skin even when we do a face lift procedure,” says Pozner. “Every face lift I do, I also do laser resurfacing, as the energy devices provide an excellent rejuvenation of the skin that a face lift cannot do. The combined results from both a face lift and energy-based skin resurfacing continues to amaze me.” With the constant science and research going into these devices, better and better results are achieved. “I like the future. I like to see what’s coming. If my medical colleagues engineer new devices that could possibly further help my patients, I’m ready to try it out and continue pushing plastic surgery to greater places.”