Patients today want to look good, but often don’t have the time for downtime. Thankfully, at its core, plastic surgery is a field of innovation. We are constantly looking for new and better ways to deliver on our patients’ hopes and dreams. This is why the non-surgical arena is one of the fastest growing areas in plastic surgery. These procedure allow you to:
- Rejuvenate your face and neck
- Plump up your lips
- Improve skin texture
- Lift sagging skin
- Alter the shape of your nose
- Remove unwanted fat
The goal of any non-surgical procedure is to deliver fantastic results with minimal downtime.
Board Certified Plastic Surgeon, Dr. Sean Doherty, offers his Boston area patients an expansive range of non-surgical procedures to rejuvenate the face, neck and body. The important thing is not just choosing the right procedure for your individual needs. It’s also about maintaining appropriate expectations. Non-surgical procedures can deliver some truly amazing results for the right patient with the right expectations. During your initial consultation, Dr. Doherty will spend considerable time listening to your concerns, examining you physically, and then having a very honest discussion about what each procedure can and can not achieve. His goal is for you to love your results and feel great in your skin. And that can only happen if you know what to expect.
Non-Surgical Procedures: Injectables
Injectables are probably the most popular non-surgical procedure. It includes any treatment that is administered through a very fine needle such as:
Neurotoxins: The most common neurotoxin is Botox, but Dr. Doherty also uses Dysport. Both are FDA approved medicines. Each works in a slightly different manner, but both smooth out the surface of your skin by temporarily relaxing the underlying dynamic muscles. These are the active muscles in the face that make it expressive. The key to a natural looking result is to not use too much, as this can lead to a frozen appearance, and to place the neurotoxin in the proper spot. When a neurotoxin is misplaced, particularly around the eyes, it may cause serious problems. This is one of the many reasons why it is so important to see a really skilled injector like Dr. Doherty. The most popular areas of the face to be treated with Botox or Dysport are the:
- Crow’s feet
- “11” lines between the eyebrows
- Upper lip lines
- Vertical neck bands
Fillers: Fillers are one of the most popular non-surgical procedures because they are so versatile. Though often paired with Botox or Dysport as part of a non-surgical facelift, fillers work in a completely different manner. They fill in areas of lost volume. Aging, whether it’s on the face, neck or hands, is multi-factorial. But one of the main components is a loss of volume. Fillers help to restore a more youthful looking glow by plumping the skin. This can include filling in fine lines and wrinkles, acne scars, deeper lines or crevasses and giving a slight lift to the lower face by restoring volume to the mid-face/cheek area. The nice thing about fillers today is that they come in a range of weights or thickness allowing Dr. Doherty to deliver a natural looking lip augmentation, for example, and/or achieve surgical like results without any incisions in his non-surgical rhinoplasty procedure.
Kybella: This injectable is a revolutionary way to permanently get rid of fat without the anesthesia and/or incisions associated with liposuction. Kybella was specifically designed to destroy the sub-mental fat under the chin which is a problem area for many men and women. However, Dr. Doherty will often use it “off label” to address small pockets of fat in other parts of the body like the:
- Bra rolls
- Around the belly button
Non-Surgical Procedures: Lasers
Smooth skin is youthful looking skin. Unfortunately, skin texture begins to break down with age beginning on our 20’s. Lifestyle choices such as sun exposure, smoking and eating a nutrient poor diet can speed up the process, but, eventually, your skin can develop brown spots, redness and fine lines and wrinkles. Laser skin resurfacing is one of the fastest and most effective ways to improve your skin’s overall texture. They work by using heat to stimulate and revitalize the damaged layers of skin.
In general, lasers fall into two categories: ablative and non-ablative. The former penetrate deeper into the dermis, resulting in significantly more downtime. However, they also deliver more “wow” results. The later are more mild, and can even be performed during your lunch hour, but they often require more than one treatment to deliver your final results. The right choice for you is going to depend on your needs, skin type and ability to tolerate downtime.
In addition to improving skin tone and texture, there is also a laser for non-surgical fat reduction. SculpSure is a cutting-edge procedure that uses heat to safely and effectively destroy fat cells. Sculpture is great for addressing almost any area of the body including the:
- Chin/neck juncture
- Inner/outer thighs
SculpSure delivers approximately a 20-24% reduction in the number of fat cells with each treatment. In general, patients will need at least two treatments, spaced 6-8 weeks apart, for a complete result. But fat removed by SculpSure is gone for good!
Non-Surgical Procedures: Microneedling & RF
Lifting and tightening the skin has historically been one of the hardest things to achieve without surgery. These days, however, Dr. Doherty has quite a few non-surgical procedures for eliminating sagging skin and improving skin texture. The main modality for achieving a more lifted appearance to the skin non-surgically involves some form of radiofrequency (RF) energy either on its own:
Or in combination with a micro-needling device:
- EndyMed Intensif
These RF devices safely heat the skin to a temperature that is stimulatory and causes your body to react by producing more collagen and elastin. These two are the literal building blocks of younger looking skin. Collagen acts as a structural beam while elastin is responsible for your skin’s ability to “bounce back” after you smile. While it will often take a series of monthly treatments administered over time, the end result is naturally more lifted skin without the need for incisions. It’s truly a game changer.
To find out more about any non-surgical procedure with Dr. Sean Doherty at his Boston or Brookline office, contact us today or call (617) 450-0070 to schedule a consultation.
Are non-surgical and minimally invasive the same thing?
No. In general, a minimally invasive procedure is going to require incisions. They are typically so small, however, that you won’t need stitches. These procedures may also produce more downtime, but not as much as a surgical procedure. A non-surgical procedure, on the other hand, involves no incisions and, generally, little to no downtime.
Do injectables hurt?
Most patients find them extremely tolerable. Not only do I numb the treatment area first with a topical numbing cream and/or ice, but most injectables that I use contain lidocaine which also has a numbing effect. However, if you are someone who is extremely sensitive to pain then let your doctor know. Our goal is to always make you feel as comfortable as possible.
How do I know if I am a better candidate for radiofrequency (RF) alone or with micro-needling?
This is the downside of the world wide web. Patients research a procedure (which is always a good idea), but bottom line, you also need to be assessed in person by a professional. Any procedure is only successful if it is the right one for your individual anatomy, lifestyle and needs. What worked for even a family member may not be the right choice for you. My advice is to schedule a consultation with one or two board certified plastic surgeons in your area to discuss your concerns.
Is it really possible to achieve a non-surgical facelift?
Yes, but only in the right patient. In general, a combination of neurotoxins, fillers, lasers and RF can rejuvenate skin texture, address fine lines and wrinkles, and lift mild to moderate sagging skin. However, once your skin really starts to droop and you develop significant “jowling” and laxity, you are probably going to be better served by a surgical facelift in conjunction with fat grafting and skin treatments.
Does SculpSure really work?
I have been performing SculpSure longer than any other doctor in the Boston area and have seen some amazing results. As with anything, it is going to work best on the right patient. The ideal patient for SculpSure is someone with a bulge or two of “pinchable” fat. This is the fat that you can actually pull away from your body. SculpSure also requires some patience as it will take more than one treatment and your results will improve over time. If you are someone who doesn’t want to deal with liposuction, SculpSure could be a fantastic alternative for you.