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Anti-aging interventions grow in popularity despite sagging economy

Article-Anti-aging interventions grow in popularity despite sagging economy

Key iconKey Points

  • Silhouette Suture facelifts are less invasive, less expensive than conventional facelifts, experts say
  • Croton oil peels experiencing resurgence due to effectiveness, low expense

Dr. de Benito
Anti-aging strategies have been growing in popularity for the past decade, and even though the world economy continues to struggle and these interventions are inarguably elective, they show no sign of decline. Evidence of this was apparent during presentations about innovative surgical facelift techniques, laser applications, chemical peels and soft tissue fillers at the International Update on Facial Rejuvenation Surgery symposium, held at the annual meeting of the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery in Washington earlier this year.

Most noteworthy among these topics, according to Foad Nahai, M.D., the symposium moderator, was a Silhouette Sutures facelift (Kolster Methods) talk by Javier de Benito, M.D., of Barcelona, Spain, and a talk on how to consistently achieve effective results with croton oil peels, presented by Daniel A. Knutti, M.D., of Biel, Switzerland.

SILHOUETTE SUTURE FACELIFTS According to Dr. de Benito, Silhouette Suture facelifts offer patients significant advantages, including that they are less invasive than conventional facelifts and are well-suited to today's economy. "First, this technique is beneficial because it is a noninvasive technique for facial rejuvenation. Second, it has a similar duration to the kind of classic facelift that leaves auricular scarring and requires detaching of the skin and treatment of the muscles," he says.

Additionally, this facelift has the advantage of avoiding the risk of hematoma, inflammation and bruising for weeks, Dr. de Benito says. Equally important is that Silhouette Suture facelifts can be performed under local anaesthetic.

Dr. Knutti
"Within two days, the patient is able to return to work and resume a normal life, without the cost of admission to a clinic. Given the current financial crisis, this is absolutely crucial for working people," he says.

Dr. de Benito has been performing Silhouette Suture facelifts for four years and has about three years of experience performing them in his clinic. "The results have been monitored over a period of three years," he says.

The ideal patient for the Silhouette Suture procedure, according to Dr. de Benito, is a patient who "only has a weekend for a facelift, who wants to avoid post-op risks, who wants to enhance their cheekbones and/or reduce their nasolabial furrow." Others who are ideally suited for this type of facelift are "male patients who, because of short hair or baldness, have difficulty concealing scars; smokers who don't want to give up smoking; and finally, those patients who, after a facelift, return years later for a touch-up or a minor correction and don't wish to go through the same process that they experienced before," he says.

Dr. de Benito says Silhouette Suture facelifts are growing in popularity because "A new philosophy is emerging which heralds the beginning of a new era in plastic surgery." This new mindset stems from the fact that "people don't have time to retreat to their home for weeks after surgery," he says.

The primary problem blocking widespread use of Silhouette Suture facelifts, however, is that they are often confused with other noninvasive facelift procedures that have yielded poor results, he adds.

"The sutures used in the Silhouette Suture facelift are manufactured in the U.S. and are approved by the Food and Drug Administration. Unfortunately, many surgeons confuse Silhouette Sutures with barbed sutures, Aptos thread lifts and Contour Threads, among others, none of which have had good results," Dr. de Benito says.

The Silhouette Suture corrects mid-face laxity through a single upper incision. Dr. de Benito says the design of the suture, which relies on innovative cone architecture, provides an extreme anchoring for soft-tissue elevation and fixation.

"Sutures with prepositioned 'cones' rely on traction and are completely unlike those other thread-type facelifts that essentially aim to stretch the skin," he says.

Dr. de Benito welcomes 10 to 15 cosmetic surgeons from around the world weekly who visit to watch him perform the Silhouette Suture facelift. "This procedure can be combined with botulinum toxin for the eyebrows, with endoscopic forehead lifts and, of course, with lateral necklifts, thus forming part of the overall range of noninvasive surgical procedures," he says.

CROTON OIL PEELS Croton oil peels are not new, but they seem to be experiencing a resurgence given their efficacy and longevity. Dr. Knutti says cost-effectiveness is key to the advantages of the croton oil peel.

"Nothing can match this peel as far as cost is concerned, especially when it is compared with lasers. The croton oil peel costs a few dollars per application, while laser equipment and maintenance can exceed $100,000," he says.

The ideal patient for a croton oil peel is fair-skinned (Fitzpatrick type I and II), especially for those practitioners who are new to performing this type of peel. "You should perform a light peel and then repeat it after six months, if needed," Dr. Knutti says. "If there is the slightest fear of depigmentation, peel the entire face."

Dr. Knutti has been using croton oil peels in his practice for 10 years. He says patients can expect an improvement in skin texture and a reduction in wrinkles, especially around the mouth and the eyes. The stronger the peel, the greater the likelihood of side effects, including hypopigmentation and irregular pigmentation, he says.

"Hypertrophic scarring is possible if the peel is too strong in relation to the type of skin or skin thickness," he says. "When you first use this peel, always start with a light-skinned patient and a light peel until you become familiar with it."


Dr. de Benito is a consultant for Silhouette Sutures facelifts, but he reports no relevant financial interests.

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