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What is a Laser Facelift?
To put it simply a Laser Facelift (Precision Tx) is a non-invasive surgical procedure using laser technology to tighten, smooth and tone the lower face and neck area and reduce wrinkles and sagging and other signs of aging without having to cut or remove any skin. There have been many great advancements in the way cosmetic surgery is performed as well as in the equipment used to do so and with the Laser Face Lift the two have come together to create an entirely new approach.
The many benefits of a Laser Facelift include virtually no scarring, very little recovery time, reduced cost, no bleeding, no stitches, significantly less bruising, greatly reduced risk of post-operative complications and a shorter time spent in the operating room. An added benefit of the Laser Facelift that you will not get with a standard MACS facelift is an average 30% thickening of the skin due to stimulated collagen growth which adds strength and stability to the skin structure.
What does the procedure involve?
Three tiny holes are made and a solution containing a local anesthetic is administered into the area to be treated ensuring your comfort throughout the procedure. A fibre optic cable the size of a hypodermic needle is inserted. The SideLaze800 hand-piece transmits a beam of laser light down the fibre optic and the surgeon carefully guides this beam across the underside of the dermal layer of the skin in a grid pattern divided into 2 inch squares. The heating effect of the laser causes tissue coagulation leading to an instant tightening of the dermal and epidermal layers of the skin as well as the underlying tissue. The cauterization of tissue caused by the heat of the laser also means greatly reduced bleeding, so less bruising and quicker healing for the patient. The ThermaGuide system monitors the working temperature of the tissue being treated and will shut down the laser if things get too hot. A good practitioner will be fully trained in the use of the SideLaze800 and will know how to guide the hand piece to give an even and gentle treatment however the ThermaGuide provides an extra level of security and piece of mind.
The areas typically treated are the lower half of the cheeks from the ear to the corner of the mouth, below the jaw line, under the chin and down the neck. Treating the cheek area tightens the jowls and lifts the skin below and treating the area below the jawline tighten the ‘turkey wattle’ and further enhances the over all effect. The results could be said to be close to a mini facelift (lower face lift) and you can expect 60-80% of the results of a full face lift.
The procedure will be done in the office under sedation and local anesthetic. You will be free to leave within an hour or two but will need someone to drive you home and may, or may not, need pain medication for a few days.
How long will it take to see results?
You will notice instant results from your Precision Tx Laser Facelift but the full results will not be visible for 3-6 months. An improvement rate of 80% has been reported 3 months post operation for symptoms of aging such as sagging skin, jowls, double chin, wrinkles and fine lines, excess fat of the neck and jaw line. Some swelling is normal following any procedure and this will take a while to fully subside. A facial compression garment is to be worn 24/7 for 2 weeks following your procedure, after that it can be removed for social interaction but should be used whenever possible to further enhance your improvement. We consistently notice that the more people use the compression garment the quicker and better their results tend to be.
What does a Laser Facelift cost?
A Laser Face Lift usually costs about 60-80% as much as a standard MACS face lift (depending on whether it is performed under local or general anesthetic) for approximately 60-80% of the results of a standard MACS face lift. The added bonus is that you suffer virtually none of the inconvenience of a standard facelift. Please take a look at our Laser Facelift before and after pictures in the slideshow above to see some of the early results we are experiencing in our practice. Results of the Precision Tx Laser Facelift have been estimated to last 5 to 10 years although no-one can say for sure since it is a relatively new procedure. As with all cosmetic surgery procedures how well you take care of your skin and general health in the following months and years will greatly affect your appearance. We can do a lot of the work for you but the rest is up to you.
Due to the large number of laser based facial treatments available today it is important to make a clear distinction here.
The Laser Facelift being discussed is the Precision Tx system from Cynosure, and more specifically the SideLaze800 hand piece exclusive to the Cellulaze cellulite treatment system. There are many websites and blogs on the internet talking about a "Laser Face Lift" so let’s try and clear up some of the confusion.
The Cellulaze machine uses a SmartLipo Triplex (Nd:YAG 924nm, 980nm and 1440nm)pulsed laser to treat cellulite by cutting the connective tissue the holds the surface layer of skin to the tissue below, this allows the dimples of cellulite to raise up level with the surrounding skin. The SideLaze1000 hand piece (used for the Cellulaze procedure and SmartLipo Triplex liposuction) directs the laser light at an angle which has two functions; to give greater control and refinement when melting the pockets fat cells created by cellulite and to allow the surgeon to rejuvenate the skin from below whilst treating a large area at once. The 1440nm laser is 40 times more absorbable by fatty tissue than other diode lasers currently used.
By treating the underside of the dermis with SideLaze1000 the skin is stimulated from within to become naturally thicker, stronger and firmer. This is only possible with the very specific SmartLipo Triplex laser of the Cellulaze technology.
With the Precision Tx procedure we use the Sidelaze800, a more precise hand-piece designed specifically for performing the Precision Tx Laser Facelift.
Other companies (such as LaserLift ™) perform facial rejuvenation using lasers usually referred to IPL (Intense Pulsed Light), Pixel or other externally applied lasers. While these techniques can certainly give some good results they are a skin surface treatment which we personally have not found to be as effective as the SideLaze800 in this particular application.
There are also some companies who use a trademarked name for the same procedure, the LazerLift ™ which is essentially the same as the Laser Facelift we are discussing here. Both use the SideLaze800 and SmartLipo Triplex technology, only the naming is different and some doctors pay a royalty to be listed on the LazerLift ™ website.
What makes the Laser Facelift unique is the Cellulaze/ SmartLipo Triplex/SideLaze800 equipment that is way ahead of the competition in providing minimally invasive facial rejuvenation that comes close to the results of a surgical facelift. If you have any doubts then be sure to ask your plastic surgeon in detail about the equipment they use.