The newest non-surgical options fill in the gap for those patients who don’t yet need surgery.
There are plenty non-surgical procedures to choose from these days that can do everything from reducing fat to tightening the skin, all with little to no downtime. Devices such as CoolSculpting work to reduce fat without invasive surgery. ThermiAesthetics devices tighten skin and smooth wrinkles without a face lift or a scalpel. The options continue to grow, giving surgeons the ability to be even more precise when it comes to figuring out the best approach and result for their patients.
Dr. Michael Schwartz of California notably has geared up his practice for this modern environment. Utilizing new technology has allowed him to offer his patients more options, some of which are the best option for certain patients. Here he describes three devices his practice has acquired to explain to patients that foregoing surgery doesn’t have to affect the quality of results.
Non-Invasive and No Downtime
The slew of modern technologies flooding plastic surgeon offices come about by a few simple principles: non-invasive options to better your body while offering little to no downtime to maintain your lifestyle. Not everyone can take the time to have surgery that involves planning and days to weeks of downtime. Even more salient is the fact that a large group of people aren’t good candidates for surgery.
“Patients come to you because you’re a surgeon and have expertise on how to keep people looking young and natural,” says Dr. Schwartz. “A lot of people come in and they’re not ready for surgery. Emotionally they’re not ready, and maybe they’re technically not ready for surgery; it’s not time.”
For those patients who only have a little bit of fat to lose, or just a few wrinkles to erase, non-invasive technologies offer a great opportunity to fix minor issues in a short amount of time.
Here we look at the three devices Dr. Schwartz has found to craft excellent results for his patients.
“Ultherapy is ultrasound skin tightening, and it works just like ultrasound works when you’re pregnant and looking at the picture of your baby,” says Schwartz. “The difference is Ultherapy’s sound waves go into the skin and meet under the surface, causing heat to tighten the collagen of the skin.
“Vanquish is a radio frequency skin tightening device that is designed for the trunk, abdomen, the flanks, and, coming soon, the thighs. It doesn’t touch the patient at all; it creates heat by radio frequency that break down fat cells in the treated areas. The fat is released and washed out through the body. You get a reduction in size (a few inches) and it takes about 4-6 treatments to see results. Patients can come in, have the procedure in 40-45 minutes and head back to work without downtime.
“Exilis is also a radiofrequency technology. This device is a contact technology – meaning it touches the skin – designed for the head and neck, although it can be used all over the body. It has two components: One part does fat reduction and the other part focuses on skin tightening. Used correctly, you can get skin tightening and a reduction in wrinkles.”
The consultation has never been more important
With so many different choices, choosing what’s best for you has actually become more difficult. The Internet is a fantastic tool for finding information, but patients need someone to direct that information and apply it to their unique situations. This is where the consultation with your board certified plastic surgeon becomes more important than ever before.
“A lot of times people end up in my office and they think they need surgery, but they don’t,” says Schwartz. “I’m not always going to tell you that you need surgery. It’s important to come into the consult with an open mind; perhaps you aren’t ready for surgery, and we can achieve your goals with non-invasive devices.”