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Face-lifts without the scalpel?
Light and radio waves may be another option
Traditional treatments to lift sagging skin and smooth wrinkles
have relied on surgery lasers
and chemical peels —
all of which require days or weeks of healing and, often, hiding.
But dermatologists and other doctors who specialize in cosmetic
or laser surgery say they are rapidly developing methods to beautify
the body without as much as a needle or a knife.
These procedures, loosely referred to as non-ablative therapies
(meaning no cutting is involved), are already making their way
into the marketplace in major cities.
Unlike more common treatments, which alter the top layers of
skin by damaging them, the noninvasive methods focus on tissue
beneath the skin. Using special frequencies of light or radio
waves, the techniques trigger cellular changes that produce gradual
benefits over a period of months. These "rejuvenation"
procedures don't produce the dramatic effect that traditional
therapies provide, but they also don't require seclusion.
Dr. Jeffrey Rosenthal, chief of plastic surgery at Bridgeport
Hospital, says he does not use these techniques, but notes that
they have "good theoretical potential."
"They all need more studies and long term follow-ups,"
he says, adding that not enough is known yet about the risks of
these procedures. "If indeed they work, they don't have a
long track record."
"At this point, it doesn't replace good [plastic] surgery,"
Westport plastic surgeon Dr.
Joseph B. O'Connell agrees.
"The jury is still out on non-ablative therapies,"
he says, but adds that they have "great promise for the future."
The new treatment, which are typically less expensive than surgery,
are best suited for people in their late 30s and 40s, when skin
usually begins to show signs of aging.
Face-lifts plastic surgery excerpt featured in The Los Angeles
Times, by Shari Roan.
Related plastic surgery articles and procedures
To contact Connecticut plastic surgeon Dr. Joseph B. O'Connell about any cosmetic surgery procedures, please fill out
our contact form or call us at (203)
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