ABC’s 20/20 with Barbara Walters recently aired an informative special called The Cutting Edge: Younger Than Ever. Barbara reports that over 50% of Americans would like to have their appearance enhanced, men, women, children, and grandmothers. The show explores new and innovative plastic surgery techniques that have become available over the last 10 years. For those seeking to look younger by tightening up a little here and there, facelifts and tummy tucks have come a long way with both surgical and nonsurgical options. This 20/20 report profiles four women who achieved results with new plastic surgery procedures for facelifts and face enhancements and new fat reduction and re-sculpting procedures. For those of us considering tweaking in these area, this segment gives us a good idea of what to expect physically, as well as possible costs.
Under The Knife – Facelift
One 51-year-old female patient notices she is starting to get some drooping in the chin and neck area and seeks out New York plastic surgeon Dr. Doug Steinbrech, for a facelift that will make her look 10 years younger.
The doctor explains with facelifts nowadays, their goal is to limit the amount of surgery they are actually doing. They limit the amount of cutting and the length of the incisions. Less cutting means shorter recovery time and fewer scars. The old-fashioned surgeries had incisions that would go all the way back behind the ears and way into the scalp area under the hair. The incisions today hide behind a little corner of the ear.
In addition to the surgery, Dr. Steinbrech also uses a new skin tightening device to complete the facelift. The surgery will require almost 3 hours under anesthesia. The entire procedure will cost up to $35,000. Five days later the patient is ready to have her stitches removed. The doctor sees that her cheek is back up into position and the jawline is much sharper. The sagging in the neck is also improved. The stitches are hidden in the hairline where no one will see it. Although the doctor uses many of the latest surgical techniques, Barbara reports “it is not possible to get many of the same results without going under the knife at all.”
Barbara talks with Dr. Doris Day, author of Forget the Facelift. She uses an array of non surgical, but radical techniques and state-of-the-art tools to help women “age gracefully.”
Dr. Day does a nonsurgical facelift starting with a new device called Ultherapy, that delivers heat to shrink the tissue under the skin. It uses ultrasound instead of a laser. However, not the kind of ultrasound used for pregnancy. It is a high density, focused ultrasound that delivers heat that’s very deep. And over time the treatment will give the patient a lift in both the upper and lower face.
We saw the procedure being performed on a 48-year-old patient, Cheri Bollmann, who has never had any cosmetic procedures but now sees the stress of raising a large family and maintaining a career showing up as wrinkles and lines in her face. Their family of four biological and seven adopted children was featured on a show called “My Life Is a Sitcom”.
Cheri shared with us that the Ultherapy device felt like a million needles going into her face and it was painful.
Next, Barbara Walters watches Dr. Day’s artistry in acton. The doctor observes how the left and right sides of Cheri’s face moves as she talks. Then Dr. Day injects a combination of fillers made out of sugary gel that adds volume to the cheeks and temples. Before, doctors only had a few animal-based collagens to work with. Now doctors have a whole pallet of tools available. They put some elements deep and some elements more superficial to get a more natural look.
To even out the eyebrows and soften the crows feet, they use new forms of Botox. This step brings the face back into balance. They finish off this “Non-Surgical Facelift” with a laser tool that evens out Cheri’s skintone and texture.
This whole procedure typically cost about $11,000 and will take a few weeks to take full effect.
Cheri returns after three weeks and is getting used to her new face. She thinks it looks very natural and is clearly happy with the results!
Liposuction or Liposonix!
We meet another of Dr. Day’s patient who is getting a treatment in her belly area. Dr. Day is using a brand-new and more powerful ultrasound tool called Liposonix, to melt fat without surgery. It’s like liposuction but it’s a nonsurgical approach to resculpting by using that high density, focused ultrasound technology to heat up and melt the fat. Dr. Day says “If you can pinch an inch, then Liposonix will work for you.”
Patient, Ellen Cribbin, has some pretty ugly bruising on her belly after the treatment, but Dr. Day says the bruising means Ellen is going to have a great response to the treatment. Ellen will notice over the next few months that her stomach will get flatter and smoother. And she will have more contouring. She should lose an entire dress size.
Her cousin, Lauren Vincelli, had Liposonix a month ago. She has gone from a size 6 skirt to a size 2 skirt. And after a month her bruising was completely gone!
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