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Cosmetic Surgeon Comments on the Trend Towards Mini-Procedures


There is a trend towards less-invasive, less downtime procedures in aesthetics. What can patients really expect from these treatments?

dr. thomas barnesSource: Dr. Thomas Barnes, Board Certified Plastic Surgeon of the Cosmetic Surgery and Laser Center in Newport Beach, CA.

Recently there's been a noted swing to mini-procedures, some of which may involve smaller versions of previous "cutting" procedures that might require minimal downtime. Why? Because in the last few years, the no-downtime procedures based on laser and radiowave and other non-invasive technologies just haven't given significant enough results for many who have had them. Some are satisfied ? many are not. The ones who want more improvement are now asking for more, even if that means more invasive procedures. Makes sense.

While the non-invasive, no downtime procedures like IPLs, photofacials, Thermacool, Accent, Affirm, ReFirme, Titan and many others are definitely useful tools, especially for the person with minimal aging issues, these can only get people so far. If someone could use a facelift to get the results they are asking for, they will still need it after going from spa to spa trying every promising non-invasive technology that a spirited consultant can sell them. But if modest results achieve their goals, that's great for them.

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Point is, everyone is unique in their needs, again underscoring the importance of the "art" of anti-aging and rejuvenation practice. It's also a good idea to shop around for several opinions. I hear patients say that the last doc they saw said they need a facelift ? while I may believe I can help them reach their goals to decrease jowls and neck fullness with local SmartLipo lipolysis. Just a variation in philosophy but if they don't want any "cutting", then we craft a plan for them, one likely to take them as far as possible without cutting.

Finding a specialist with a philosophy you agree with is very important. As specialists, many of us have the same or similar technologies but use them in different ways either alone or along with mini-surgical procedures. Because successful cosmetic rejuvenation is really an "on-going art," and often not just a single procedure we can offer, real consideration of training and ability is needed.

So discussing rejuvenation philosophy with your cosmetic surgery specialist physician can help you increase the odds of getting what you want. Believe me! We want you to be happy and achieve your own goals ? and communication is where it all begins ? and continues throughout the process.

One recent development we physicians see is how many people now equate getting the best "deal" on Botox - and even surgeries - with getting the cheapest price. This overlooks the differences in skill levels and turns the "art" into a "coupon clipping" mentality. My opinion is that one should use their own gut feeling about who they feel best about working with ? that's number one, in addition to a proven track record for safety and results and training.

It's ok to ask all the questions in the world and you should expect reasonable answers before moving forward whether it's about Botox or what fillers might do for you, like Juvederm and Restylane, or photofacials or certainly before moving ahead with any rejuvenation surgery. Some of the non-invasive procedures done alone or as combinations may get you where you wish to go ? for some skin toning, tightening and color and texture correction. There are even non-invasive technologies that can help slim body contours like the Zerona laser, but they are not the same results as can be achieved with liposuction or SmartLipo for body sculpting.