Plastic Surgery Coach

Review: Skin Tightening Without Surgery Thermage FLX- Five Months After

I had my first Thermage treatment for a loose neckline in 2009, as I was a long way away from any surgery.  Ouch!  The treatment was not only very painful, I saw no results.

So when Dr. Vic Narurkar , San Francisco dermatologist and Laser King asked if I’d like to try the new Thermage treatment for training purposes, I said yes.  For years, Thermage has been called “the gold standard” for skin tightening.

Thermage FLX  delivers radio-frequency energy deep below the surface of the skin were the collagen is produced. The energy heats and smooths out the existing  collagen and creates  new collagen. It also heats up the skin faster. FLX  is the newest version and a big game changer as it produces more predictable results.  The tips are 33% larger so larger treatment surface areas can be treated, allowing for faster treatment times.  A face and neck can be done under 60 minutes, making all the treatment areas more comfortable.  You will see immediate off the table results but optimal results are generally at the 3 to 6 month mark . Retreatment is done every 1 to 3 years.

I’m always a little skeptical about skin tightening devices. Patient selection is key, as not everyone will benefit.  Since my last Thermage in 2009, I’ve had a face and neck lift. However, my neck was never tight enough, so I was willing to give this a try.

I expected to get numbing cream before the treatment, even though I knew it could not hurt as much as the first time.  I was told that I did not need  numbing cream and that it would not hurt. My anxiety level went up 100%. However, I put my faith into Dr. Narurkar’s  skilled hands and trusted him.   Once we started the treatment, I was incredibly surprised to feel almost nothing.  I was dozing off. Amazing!

Dr. Narurkar used a setting of 2.5 to 3.5 on my face and 1.5 to 2 on submentum and 0.5 to 1 on my neck.  900 count tip.  About 4 to 6 passes per anatomic area.

 

 

Right after my treatment, my face had a nice glow and I could see it looked tighter.

It’s been five months since my treatments. I see a little lifting around my jaw line. My brows do look elevated. It’s hard to tell if there is any improvement in my neck, but I was not expecting much.

In conclusion, Thermage FLX is extremely comfortable. As results improve over time, you have to be patient. It’s not a quick fix.  Results take 3-6 months. The treatment is a great adjunct after a facelift. If I had a Thermage treatment soon after my facelift, my  facelift may have lasted longer than it did.  As I said, patient selection is important and you have to manage your expectations.   Combining Thermage FLX  with Botox and Fillers helps in maintaining a youthful appearance.   Keep in mind, if  you really need a facelift and have lots of loose, sagging skin you may not be happy with the results. Results are different with each person.  Before you decide, please seek the advise of a Board Certified Dermatologist or Plastic Surgeon who has a lot of experience in treating patients of all age groups with Thermage.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Filling Eye Hollows with Dermal Fillers: What Are The Risks?

Cosmetic injection in the spa salon
Deep hollows under your eyes can make you look tired and dull.  HA fillers can fill your hollows for a refreshed and more youthful look.

Filling eye hollows is a delicate business and there are risks. The biggest risk is bruising, lumps, overfilling and swelling. In some cases if not done properly it can actually make your lower eye area look worse.   Today there are more hyaluronic acid (HA) fillers in the aesthetic tool box and techniques for treating this delicate area have improved.

I’ve read many posts online about patients who have had fillers and are experiencing puffiness, lumps, bruising, swelling and a baggy look after the injections. Others have  good results. I’ve also experienced good and bad results.  Please choose your injector wisely. This is a very difficult area to treat.

Performing “tear trough” treatments to the hollow area under the eyes requires meticulous technique.  When done correctly the results are very satisfying.  The most important factor is to go to an injector who is has a lot of experience in this area.

Below are some guidelines to consider before you jump into filling your eye hollows (tear trough).

Parts of this post was originally written in 20o9 when I had my tear troughs treated for the first time.

A business colleague had her tear trough area filled by a local plastic surgeon in San Francisco, CA .  I was very impressed with her results and decided to fill my eye hollows, for a more youthful look.  At the time there were only two HA fillers on the market Juvederm and Restylane. Although both fillers were very similar Juvederm tends to create more puffiness in the eye area than Restylane, as it absorbs more water. My surgeon choose Juvederm which surprised me because Restylane was the preferred filler for this area. However, I trusted his judgement.

Afterwards I very bruised, swollen and lumpy. I waited patiently a couple of weeks hoping it would resolve. The bruising diminished but the puffiness persisted. I looked like I had been punched in the face and knew that OI needed a correction. Fortunately HA fillers can easily be dissolved with hyaluronidase. (more…)

The Importance of Plastic Surgery Preparation and After Care

As a plastic surgery coach I work with many clients throughout their plastic surgery journey, which also includes post-operative after care services.

It is very important if you are considering any plastic surgery procedure regardless of how small, that you prepare for the surgery and prepare for after care services. You may think that your friend or family member can take care of your needs after your surgery, however, it has been my experience time and time again that this is not a wise choice.

It is important to think about your plastic surgery recovery, even if your plastic surgeon says you will be fine.  It is in your best interest to  fully prepare for your after care with a Plan A and Plan B. Your recovery depends on this. Think of after care as part of your plastic surgery costs. You are protecting your investment.  Budget for between $350.00 – $1200 for your after care, not including any costs for accommodations. The cost will depend on if you are staying at an after care facility, hotel or Airbnb. The cost per day or per hour for after care services, your geographic location and whether you hire an RN. An RN is more costly and not really necessary unless you need IV meds or your surgeon insists you stay in the hospital  overnight.

 Preparation

  1. Prepare your body and mind for surgery. Take vitamins, increase your protein, hydrate and rest the days leading up to surgery.

  2. Purchase  everything you need in advance. Don’t wait until the day before surgery. 

  3. Line up a surgical buddy for emotional support, either a friend who understands or hire a plastic surgery coach.

  4. Arrange for time off of work. Always add on a little more time as everyone heals differently. 

  5. If you are out- of- town, arrange for a hotel stay near the surgeon’s office. Ask the hotel if they provide room service and let them know you will be recovering from a surgical procedure. 

  6. If you have small kids, arrange for a baby sitter in advance. 

  7. If you have animals, arrange for a dog walker or even kennel you animals for the first few days.

  8. Arrange for after care services with your surgeon’s office or go online to find a reputable service.  Friends and family are not the best after care people as they usually have no prior experience in taking care of a recovering plastic surgery patient.  You may have drains, leaky body fluids, bruising  and swelling.  You will  be emotional and in some discomfort.  You are doing yourself a disservice by not planning for the proper after care. 

  9. Always have a Plan B for your plastic surgery recovery. Don’t wait until the day of surgery.

  10. Remember you need to rest for a successful recovery.