Minimally-invasive surgery options grow in popularity


“Let nature take its course,” goes the old saying. Advances in cosmetic treatments are offering options to counteract the effects of wear and tear and pull of gravity.  A number of these procedures, termed minimally or non-invasive, involve little or no downtime. And they are increasing in popularity.
The American Society of Plastic Surgeons, composed of board-certified plastic surgeons, reports that there were almost 1.7 million procedures in 2014 nationally, an increase of 1 percent in a year. The most popular surgical processes were: Breast augmentation, 286,254 procedures, down 1 percent; nose reshaping, 217,124 procedures, down 2 percent; liposuction, 210,552 procedures, up 5 percent; eyelid surgery, 206,509 procedures, down 4 percent; and facelift, 128,266 procedures, down 4 percent.  ASPS, with more than 7,000 members, is comprised more than 94 percent of all board-certified plastic surgeons in the country –
Top 5 minimally-invasive procedures
ASPS reports that minimally invasive procedures, however, were up 4 percent to more than 13.9 million. What were the top five?  Botulinum Toxin Type A, 6.7 million procedures, up 6 percent; soft tissue fillers, 2.3 million procedures, up 3 percent; chemical peel, 1.2 million procedures, up 7 percent; laser hair removal, 1.1 million procedures up 3 percent; and microdermabrasion, 881,905 procedures, down 9 percent.
"The demand for plastic surgery continues to grow as medical advancements are made and technology improves, resulting in a wider array of options for patients," observes ASPS President Scot Glasberg, MD. “Today, more than ever, patients are empowered with choices to achieve the results they are seeking. Through open communication and a mutual understanding of expectations, patients work closely with their surgeon to determine the procedures most appropriate for them to achieve their optimal outcomes.” He reports that “subtlety has been the keyword I’ve heard from patients over the past year; minimally invasive procedures typically produce subtle aesthetic results and for many people, that is all they want or need at the time.”
Steven Yarinsky, MD, of Saratoga Springs Plastic Surgery says, “Non-surgical aesthetic enhancement treatments can significantly rejuvenate your appearance and often serve as effective alternatives to surgery so you can look and feel your best.” Dr. Yarinsky participates in, a group of specially trained and skilled plastic surgeons who administer facial fillers and BOTOX®.
While an increasing number of options are available, consultations are necessary to assess the particular needs and conditions of a patient before determining if and when treatments are appropriate. Dr. Yarinsky notes that a plastic surgeon’s special training includes focus on surgically reconstructing and rejuvenating the appearance of the face. “Performing procedures such as a facelift or eye lift requires both technical skill and artistry, and an acute knowledge of facial anatomy,” he says. “That’s why a plastic surgeon’s experience with facial beauty and aesthetics can dramatically enhance the results of your injectable treatment.”
Types of treatment
Minimally-invasive procedures include injectables and dermal fillers to revitalize appearance. “Liquid facelift” treatment, such as the well-known BOTOX®—Botulinum Toxin— can reduce wrinkles, crow’s feet and fine lines, rejuvenating facial appearance for several months.  By weakening the muscles, wrinkles are lessened. The procedure is most frequently used on the forehead, between the brows, crow’s feet lines and neck muscle bands.
Dermal fillers, such as Juvéderm® injectable gels, Radiesse® and Restylane®, can overcome loss of volume experienced in the lips, cheeks, chin or other facial features as we get older.
Another in-office technique, microdermabrasion, as the word implies, buffs the damaged top layer of skin with a spray of tiny crystals, to reduce creases, such as wrinkles, acne scars, and stretch marks, and promote growth of healthier skin. Microdermabrasion, which usually takes about a half-hour, can be a lunchtime process.
 It’s important to protect this new growth of skin—and take care of your skin as a matter of practice. Offices providing such treatments also offer products for skin care to promote healthy conditions and provide protection from sun and toxins.
Laser work on age spots has advanced from the procedures that resulted in bruising from burst blood vessels. Now, a process such as Excel V™ collapses, seals and eliminates blood vessels, with the laser light heating and removing the age spots. A session usually takes 10-30 minutes, based on the area being treatment and the number of procedures depends on the patient’s condition. This advanced technique usually has little or no downtime.
Options for treatment for age spots and other skin problems include “lunchtime” chemical peels, and skin care procedures such as MicroPeel. Patients usually can go back to their activities after light chemical peel procedures.
Lifting and tightening skin can often be done without downtime through Ultherapy® which applies ultrasound to heat tissues, promoting collagen growth and stimulating skin collagen production, resulting in a rejuvenated appearance that accumulates for three to nine months. Areas of attention through this therapy include the chin, eyebrows, and neck, and, more recently, décolletage, the skin from cleavage to the neck.
Laser treatment also has become popular for removal unwanted hair on the face, arm pits, bikini lines and, for men, on the back. The laser disables the hair follicles; usually several sessions are undertaken. A procedure takes several minutes to an hour, based on the breadth of area.
Fat deposits in the neck, thighs, back and elsewhere may be addressed in  a fat reduction procedures using radio frequency energy, such as truScult™. This heats the fat cell layer to destroy fat cells, without damaging the overlying skin, nerves or blood vessels and other structures beneath the skin. Patients often can return to work or activities after a procedure. While change is seen after one treatment, several are often recommended to maximize the effect.


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