By Dr. Kally Papapntoniou
Ever pull back on your cheeks while looking in the mirror and wished that your skin could stay like this? Just hoping that this does not mean you actually need a facelift…with so many advances in non-invasive cosmetic procedures, who want to have surgery these days? With the help of injectable dermal fillers and tightening energy devices such as the Ulthera and ThermiTight we have been able to make a big impact on reversing the aging process and rejuvenating skin appearance and facial contours. But, as with anything non-invasive we sometimes reach a point where a few injections and tightening procedures are not going to give us the dramatic lift we are looking for. A new emerging technique only mastered by select Dermatologists and Plastic Surgeons, which first was developed in the European Cosmetic Market and now has become available to patients in the United States, Instalift, may be the game changer we have been looking for.
Instalift is exactly as the name entails, it is a device used in a minimally invasive technique that consists of a patented suture or thread that when placed under the skin helps sculpt and lift facial contours – finally providing a non-surgical facelift that is delivering results that patients are raving about. The way it works is really simple…through several anesthetized insertion points, the suture is delivered into the skin and then adjusted to help lift cheeks, jowls, necks and even brow lines. The suture material is a combination of Polyglycolide/L-lactide which has been used for years in surgery and is completely broken down and metabolized by the body.
Photo Courtesy of Silhouette Instalift
The results are phenomenal and speak for themselves, lasting for an average of 1.5 years. The recovery period is very short, usually patients can even go back to work the next day. For those who are easy bruisers pretreating with arnica and bromelin can help reduce this. The only post procedure instructions are for one week after the procedure patients must limit certain activities such as heavy exercise, chewing gum, and should stick to a soft diet.
So how does this change what we are already doing for non-invasive tightening? Well, when we think of rejuvenating as a layering process it makes more sense. We want to volumize to compensate for fat loss and bone changes which occur with aging, all of which you still can do even before or after the Instalift. We still want to resurface, reverse signs of aging with lasers and chemical peels to target discoloration, age spots etc.
We already treat fine lines and wrinkles that happen with strong facial expression with Botox. When we want to tighten the skin, we can still do this with Ulthera or Thermismooth, but now the Instalift provides us instant dramatic improvement that is not achievable with energy devices alone. Energy devices will still have a strong role in tightening skin around eyes, and the submental area for areas that are not able to be treated with the Instalift, and will work well together when combined.
I predict the Instalift will become a quick favorite for patients looking to improve themselves without surgery, because of how simple a procedure it is and how great the results really are. We already are seeing many patients inquiring about the Instalift treatment for midface and jowl tightening.