Kent V. Hasen, MD: Aesthetic Plastic Surgery & Med Spa of Naples
3699 Airport Pulling Road North
Naples, FL 34105

Take Years Off Face Without Surgery

Ft. Myers News Press — February 2005

By Stephanie Kirch
Special to The News-Press
Published by news-press.com on February 8, 2005

Treating yourself to a facial makeover may be the perfect prescription to restore your skin's healthy glow. And now there are new gravity-defying alternatives to surgical face-lifts, which are designed to coax a few years off time-worn chins, necks and jawlines without a single stitch or incision.

Unlike a surgical face-lift where bruising and swelling can keep a patient secluded for two or three weeks, Thermage, Radiance and microdermabrasion treatments can be administered over a long lunch break with recovery time limited to only a few hours. Here's a look at what's available:

Thermage®

In June 2004, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved Thermage as a full-face treatment. Previously its use was limited to the forehead and the area surrounding the eyes. Marketed as "the non-surgical face-lift" by Thermage Inc., based in Hayward, Calif., the technique uses radiofrequency energy to heat and stimulate collagen in the deep layers of facial skin.

According to Dr. Kent Hasen, who has performed the Thermage procedure on more than 150 patients at Aesthetic Plastic Surgery of Naples, "It's the only noninvasive FDA-approved way of tightening or lifting skin. It's definitely not going to give the results of a face-lift, but for mild skin sagging it can give a fresher look."
Candidates for Thermage are medically evaluated first to see if the treatment is appropriate for them.

"The ideal patient is someone in their mid-40s or so with minimal sun damage and mild looseness of the skin along the jawline or under the neck," Hasen says, "or a post-face-lift patient of any age who sees return of skin sagging."

Thermage works well on skin of all ethnic types, he adds, because it does not interfere with pigment, a risk with harsher techniques such as chemical peels.
Because new collagen production continues after treatment in the deep skin layers, the greatest improvement is observed three to six months after treatment, a study in the April issue of Dermatological Surgery concluded. Hasen's results parallel those reported in that study.

The effects of Thermage can last from two to five years, depending on skin type, he adds. The radiofrequency energy passes from a hand-held applicator through the skin as a cooling mist is released to counteract the heating sensation. Hasen gives his patients an oral pain medication and smooths a numbing cream on the face first to limit discomfort.

Mild redness and swelling that can develop following Thermage treatment responds well to icing at home, so the patient can return to normal activities the next day.

Sue Lavine, 52, of Naples, has a full schedule volunteering for charitable organizations. She chose Thermage over a surgical face-lift because "I wanted a more natural look. With Thermage, nobody ever said, 'Oh, you had something done!' Instead, they would say, 'You're looking great!' Slowly and gradually, my jawline became real firm and my wrinkles became much less severe. I look rested and healthy."
With Thermage, there is both an immediate and a gradual effect. Hasen performs the procedure on one side of the patient's face, then sits her up to see the effect in a mirror before continuing with the other side. "The effect can be quite dramatic," he says.

Over time, Lavine says, improvement gradually continued for her. "By the sixth month, it was such a difference. I would say it took 10 years off my face. For me, it was the perfect thing because the benefits are tremendous without going under the knife."

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