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Regular readers of the blog will note that I have a recurring feature where I take current trends in beauty or health and wellness and examine them from a scientific perspective. Recently we’ve looked at facial rollers, edible sun protection, acupuncture face lifts, and collagen replacement. The rules for this kind of a post are as follows:

  1. Approach with an open mind- I know a lot of stuff, but I don’t know everything.
  2. Be fair- use actual claims from the actual product sellers.
  3. Go to the medical literature and see what it says.

People have been looking for alternatives to surgical face lifts for many years. Traditional facelifts work really well for improving sagging skin along your lower face and neck.

Diagram of a traditional facelift procedure. The incision is in blue and the vectors of the lift are in red.

Unfortunately, they take a while to do so they’re expensive. You have a lot of stitches to take care of (for more on how to take care of stitches, check out this post). And, realistically, you’re looking at a week to ten days of down time. For this reason, people have been searching for less invasive alternatives for years. Most modern ones work on the principle of applying heat to the tissues.

Your’s truly getting my eyelids tightened with Pellevé

When your tissues are heated appropriately, they are stimulated to lay down new collagen and thereby tighten the skin. Pellevé uses radio frequency to heat your skin to 40 degrees Celsius. There is literally no down time and it works pretty well as a way of maintaining your look without surgery. There are other devices out there that use radiofrequency, but they all share the same basic idea.

Now, in general, you’re going to get results from rejuvenation procedures that are proportional to the amount of downtime and discomfort you’re willing to put up with. There’s only so much the radio frequency systems are going to be able to do.

PrecisionTx® is an office based laser system that is kind of a hybrid between a surgical facelift and the non-invasive tightening treatments. Technically, it is surgery because (after I use a lot of numbing medicine) I have to make three tiny incisions, one under your chin and one by each ear. A laser is then introduced under your skin.

The laser first blows up fat cells which I then suck out. You can actually hear the laser firing and exploding the fat! This allows us to sculpt your jawline and neck. After that, we use the laser to heat your skin to 47 degrees celsius. It gives out a lot more energy than the radio frequency devices do. People have done studies where they look at the tissues with a microscope and significantly more collagen is laid down when you heat the tissue to 47 degrees. Further heating beyond that can just result in a burn. Fortunately PrecisionTx® has a thermal sensor and it automatically stops firing once the tissue gets to the desired temperature.

You do not have to go under anesthesia. Best of all, there are no stitches and I ask for a weekend of downtime. You’ll look better at that point because I’ve removed fat, but your body has only just started to lay down collagen. You look even better six months following the treatment! Here are some of my own before and afters.

I’ve only been using PrecisionTx® for about six months so I’ll be posting more and more before and after photos once people get to that six month point. Come in for a consultation and I’ll be happy to show you what my patients look like on the third day after their procedure. I’ll also show you what patients look like a week out from a traditional facelift! The difference is striking.

Unfortunately, PrecisionTx® isn’t for everybody. One of the doctors who helped develop the system trained me how to use it and he says it isn’t for people over 70. Their ability to make new collagen just isn’t as good. Also, it only works on skin and fat. If you have a significant amount of sagging muscle, you’ll need a traditional lift to achieve the result you desire. I’ll guide you in the right direction when you come for a consultation.

Unlike edible sunscreen and collagen beauty shots, PrecisionTx® really is a thing. I can’t wait to show you my own experience with it and determine if you’re a candidate.

Citations:

Radiofrequency Treatment for Middle and Lower Face Laxity. Arch Facial Plast Surg. 2004;6(6):370–373. doi:10.1001/archfaci.6.6.370

DiBernardo BE, DiBernardo G, Pozner JN. Subsurface Laser and Radiofrequency for Face and Body Rejuvenation.Clin Plast Surg. 2016 Jul;43(3):527-33. doi: 10.1016/j.cps.2016.03.009. Epub 2016 May 13.