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Los Angeles Society of Plastic Surgeons
Non Invasive Cosmetic Procedures
Non Invasive Cosmetic Procedures


All of these products are forms of botulinum toxin. The botulinum toxin is purified and prepared to ensure safety and effectiveness. Using these products is the most popular way to reduce and smooth facial wrinkles. It can be used to treat frown lines, lines around the eyes ("crow's feet"), the lines between the eyebrows, and skin bands of the neck. The treatment involves injection of the botulinum toxin though a very small and fine needle into selected muscles of the face. Only a trained and experienced healthcare professional should perform this. There is no down time or recovery time. It may take a few days to a week to see results. The improvement lasts for approxiately 3-4 months. When the effects of the treatment fades, your facial lines will return to their appearance before the treatment. Consistent use over time helps prevent worsening of the lines and can lead to a long term benefit. This treatment is safe. Side effects are usually rare and minor and most often include minimal bruising or pain at the injection site. It is best to consult with a Plastic Surgeon to determine if treatment with botulinum toxin is right for you. 


Juvederm, Restylane and Boletero are forms of hyaluronic acid based dermal fillers. Hyaluronic acid is a naturally occurring substance found throughout the body. It is very soft and hydrating. Dermal fillers made of hyaluronic acid fill in deep lines and wrinkles of the face. Areas like the nasolabial fold, for example, respond well to these dermal fillers. Other areas that lack volume, like the lips, cheeks, temples and jawline may also benefit from dermal fillers. Dermal fillers come preepackaged in small syringes. They are injected into wrinkles and folds using very small and fine needles. Using larger amounts, spread over multiple treatment areas and in combination with botulinum toxin injections can rejuvenate the entire face. This is called a "Liquid Facelift." However, these effects are temporary and require multiple treatments in order to maintain the results. Each product (Juvederm, Restylane, Perlane and Boletero) has its own advantages and disadvantages and preferred applications. Treatments should be performed by a trained and experienced healthcare professional. There is no downtime or recovery. Some mild swelling is common. There may be some minimal bruising with treatments. You shoud consult with a Plastic Surgeon to learn which product and treatment is best for you. 


Voluma is a new form of injectable hyaluronic acid dermal filler designed to instantly add volume to the cheek area. It creates a subtle lifting and filling effect to the cheek to restore the upper cheek to a more youthful and aesthetically pleasing contour. Clinical studies have shown that Voluma can last up to 2 years. Voluma is provided in a syringe and is injected using a very small and fine needle. Treatment requires an experienced and expert healthcare professional. Side effects are moderate and include temporary swelling and firmness. Bruising may occur. You may resume all normal activities within 24 hours of treatment. Consult with a Plastic Surgeon to learn more about Voluma. 


Sculptra is made of poly-L-lactic acid. This is a biocompatible and bioabsorbable material commonly used in surgery. Sculptra is packaged in vials and require the addition of water for injection. Once prepared, Scultpra is injected with syringes using very small and fine needles. Treatment must be done by a specially trained physician. Once injected into the deep dermis, Sculptra works by stimulating the production of new collagen. The process is gradual and requires approximately 3 treatments to see the full effect. Over time, the Sculptra becomes absorbed, but the new collagen replaces it. This creates long term results which can last over 2 years in some cases. Please consult a Plastic Surgeon to learn more. 


Radiesse is made of calcium hydroxylapatite. It is composed of calcium based microspheres suspended in a water based gel. Once injected, your skin is stimulated to form natural collagen around the Radiesse "scaffold." Clinical results with Radiesse show improvement lasting over a year.


Artefill is a unique filler composed of PMMA (polymethyl-methacrylate). The PMMA is made into tiny microspheres which are then suspended in purified collagen gel. The collagen is broken down and absorbed. This stimulates skin production of natural collagen providing long term results.


Bio-Alcamid is a synthetic material called polyalkylimide. It is biocompatible and non allergenic. After injection, your body forms a thin layer of collagen around it. This process takes approximately one month. Once injected, it is very stable and the results are long lasting. Bio-Alcamid has been used to treat HIV facial lipoatrophy with success.


Injection by an experienced healthcare professional is essential. Side effects may include swelling and minimal bruising. You can resume normal activities within 24 hours. When performed properly, treatment with these products can create beautiful and long lasting results. You should discuss this with a Plastic Surgeon in order to determine if these products are the best option for you.


Fat reduction technologies refers to a category of devices and treatments which result in fat loss without the need for surgery. These include CoolSculpting, Exilis, Liposonix, and Zerona, among others.


CoolSculpting uses cold energy and a process called cryolipolysis. An applicator cup is placed over the area to be treated. Suction is applied and the area is then exposed to precise cooling. Exposure to cold temperatures induces fat cells in the treated areas to undergo cell death. The cells are gradually removed from the area, processed by the body and eliminated. The process takes a few months to occur.


Exilis uses radiofrequency energy to reduce fat. The energy is focused into the fat deposits and creates fat cell disruption. Fat cells are then removed, processed and eliminated by the body. Fat loss may take several months to become apparent. Radiofrequency energy also targets collagen in the skin and results in some skin tightening.


Liposonix employs high intensity focused ultrasound energy to fat. This causes mechanical and thermal damage to fat cells resulting in their destruction. The focused energy avoids surrounding tissues. The body's natural processes remove the dead fats cells and eventually eliminates them. The effects may take a few months to become visible.


Zerona applies low level focused light on targeted areas to reduce unwanted fat. The theory is that light absorption by the skin and fat cells results in a cascade of chemical processes which eventually results in fat cell metabolism and fat cell size reduction.


These treatments usually last approximately one hour. There is relatively little pain associated with them, and they require minimal downtime and recovery. Most people can resume all normal activities within 24 hours. You may need multiple treatments for results. Improvements may not be seen for 2-3 months. Non invasive fat reduction will not match the results produced by liposuction. Be sure to consult with a Plastic Surgeon about these procedures.


Skin rejuvenation may involve treatments with light, lasers, other energies, chemical peels and/or non invasive methods. The goal of these treatments is to improve the color, texture, tone and overall appearance of the skin without surgery.


Microdermabrasion uses a mildy abrasive instrument to gently scrub away the thicker, uneven, dmaged outer layers of skin. It exfoliates the skin and results in an improved complexion.


A chemical peel is a solution to smooth the texture of your skin by removing the damaged outer layers. It is one of the least invasive ways to improve the appearance of the skin. It can help improve acne, acne scars, age spots, liver spots, fine lines, wrinkles, freckles, irregular skin pigmentation, rough skin, scaly patches, minimal scars, and sun damaged skin.


IPL is one of the most popular and common skin rejuvenation procedures available. IPL refers to "Intense Pulsed Light" and works by focusing broad spectrum light to the skin for photorejuvenation. This is a gentle and non ablative way to improve the appearance of photoaged skin, remove age spots (sun induced freckles), brown spots and mild redness caused by small broken capillaries.


Ultherapy is focused ultrasound heat energy for facial rejuvenation. This stimulates natural collagen production in the treated areas. It is designed to lift, tone and tighten skin around the eyebrows, chin, jawline and neck. It takes approximately 2-3 months to see results.


Thermage is a radiofrequency based energy treatment for skin rejuvenation. It creates focused heat energy that penetrates deep into the skin resulting in collagen remodeling. Collagen remodeling occurs over the course of several months. Final results may not be seen until 6 months after treatment.


Laser Skin Resurfacing uses concentrated pulsating beams of light to target skin. This results in very precise and powerful removal of damaged skin one layer at a time. It also results in heating of the deeper layer of the skin, called the dermis. This stimulates new collagen production. Treated skin appears much smoother and firmer.


Each of these procedures has its own specific advantages and disadvantages. The downtime and recovery also vary. Results will not match the results achieved with more invasive or surgical procedures. These treatments require expertise and should be performed by experienced Plastic Surgeons.

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