“Virtually every patient looking for some kind of change wants a non-surgical change,” explains Dr. James Namnoum of Atlanta. While for many procedures there are not non-surgical solutions, namely things like breast augmentation and tummy tuck, other more traditional procedure now have a non-surgical analog. Fat removal, skin tightening, and facial rejuvenation in particular have all benefited from a growth in non-surgical procedures able to address some and perhaps most of the issues surgery used to correct.
These procedures not only attract interest from cosmetic surgery patients, but have widened the patient pool even further to those who are not quite ready for surgical procedures. Dr. Namnoum discusses some of these options and why, in some cases, a non-surgical procedure can go a long way for the right patient.
Are You a Candidate for a Non-Surgical Solution?
Patients today are leading busy lives. They are CEOs, marketing mavens, and mothers. They want to look good because it makes them feel better about themselves. For some, it may also help to keep them competitive in the work place. But these would-be patients don’t want to take any more time than necessary to do so, nor do they want to deal with:
- incision lines
And why should they when you can oftentimes get the improvement that you want without having to have surgery? Now, some patients come in and they know that there is only a surgical solution for their needs. For example, a woman who wants a breast augmentation, breast reduction, tummy tuck, breast lift or mommy makeover is going to need surgery.
For everyone else, what they come in looking for is “no surgery, but with improvement,” explains Dr. Namnoum. The question then becomes: Are you a good candidate?
Non-Surgical Solutions to Facial Aging
For patients who come in complaining that their face is aging, there are really great non-surgical options. Botox is, in many ways, the first line of defense. It works by temporarily freezing the underlying muscles that are causing dynamic wrinkles. Ideal for both men and women, it will take away your wrinkles, or at least severely loosen them for a time. In the hands of an experienced injector, Botox will deliver very natural-looking results.
You might also be a candidate for fillers. Most fillers are made from hyaluronic acid, a naturally-occurring substance in the skin. “Fillers can be used to create quite a bit of change,” says Namnoum, all without going under the knife. The filler options vary, and a great practitioner will wield them like paint on a canvas, using the right one for the right area and blending all to form a complete picture. Some of the filler options include:
- Juvéderm Voluma, Vollure & Volbella
- Fat grafting
Many of these fillers were specifically created to treat certain areas of the face. A little needle and/or cannula, and you have plumped up cheeks, diminished fine lines and wrinkles and your lips look naturally nice and full.
Non-Surgical Solutions for Skin Tone & Texture Issues
The skin is the body’s largest organ. When it is covered in brown spots, redness and broken blood vessels, it can be incredibly aging. The good news is there are many ways to improve skin tone and texture non-surgically. If you like lotions and potions, “you can take a very slow improvement using retinoids and hydroquinone,” explains Namnom. “You can transform your skin and make it look thicker, healthy, luminescent.”
Or you can take a more aggressive approach and have a peel. Some take away a lot of deep pigment while others are lighter and more refreshing. Also, laser skin resurfacing is “a very powerful tool,” says Namnoum. As with peels, some work faster than others, but also require more downtime. All have the ability to completely change facial complexion, making the skin look brighter, pores tighter and skin tone more even. This, in turn, can takes years off a face.
Non-Surgical Options for Body Contouring
In addition to concerns about facial aging, many patients want to know how to get rid of excess fat. Liposuction remains the gold standard, allowing expert surgeon to carve and mold an ideal contour, but it is surgery.There is a large a growing population of patients who just need a small removal, and would heavily prefer to avoid surgery.
One options for these patients is the now-famous CoolSculpting device. If you have targeted areas of fat around the love handles, in the tummy, along your brassier line and under the neck then yes, CoolSculpting can be a very effective option.
Kybella is potentially another option for non-surgical fat removal. It’s an injectable that was designed to melt fat in the submental fat under the chin, but many surgeons use it effectively off-label in other areas as well, such as the bra roll. However, it’s really only ideal for patients with very small areas of stubborn fat.
Important to See a Plastic Surgeon
It is critically important to see a board certified plastic surgeon when considering any kind of aesthetic procedure. Why? Because experience matters.
Plastic surgeons have the training, discipline, disposition, intellect, and understanding of beauty “to help guide you to an appropriate solution,” says Dr. Namnoum. Patients do not want to be in a situation where they could use on procedure, but because the practitioner they chose doesn’t have it, they’re told that a different one will probably work. Plastic surgeons have a full toolbox for addressing every problem, a situation perfect for patients to receive a unique assessment and answer. “Yyou can expect to have a careful consideration of non-surgical or surgical solutions for a given problem [with a plastic surgeon],” shares Namnoum.