Advances in surgical techniques have made possible many procedures that once would have required large incisions, general anesthesia, days spent in the hospital, and long recovery times. Here are some of the best minimally invasive procedures when it comes to plastic surgery:
Brow lifts are performed for people who are unhappy with the lines, wrinkles, and furrows on their brow but don’t want the pain or expense of a full facelift. Other people have a thick, sagging brow that makes them look unattractive.
Though a brow lift can be open surgery, a plastic surgeon now has the option of a minimally invasive brow lift. The surgeon uses an endoscope and miniaturized instruments to correct the brow. The endoscope has a light that illuminates the surgical area and a camera that sends images to a monitor that the surgeon can follow. The surgeon makes tiny incisions in the scalp and inserts the instruments to trim and tighten the tissues in the forehead.
Botox is the world’s most popular minimally invasive procedure. It is used to soften fine lines, wrinkles, and furrows, especially in the patient’s brow and around their mouth. Botox is injected through fine needles and works by paralyzing the muscle beneath the wrinkle. This makes wrinkles smooth out. Some types of Botox work for as long as six months, and the patient can return for touch-up treatments.
Dermabrasion and dermaplaning are procedures that remove the top layer of dead skin cells to stimulate the body to replace them with new cells. They can be done in large or small areas of the body, and the patient is sedated during the treatment. With dermabrasion, the surgeon uses a diamond-tipped burr or a wire brush to remove the top layers of skin, while in dermaplaning the surgeon uses a dermatome. This instrument looks like an electric razor with an oscillating blade.
Laser Hair Removal
This minimally invasive treatment removes unwanted hair by using lasers to destroy the pigment in the hair follicle. The lasers most often used for hair removal are the neodymium-doped yttrium aluminum garnet laser, which isn’t really a laser but a crystal that actually guides a solid-state laser. A diode laser, which is a semiconductor, is also used to take away darker hair.
Chemical peels can be light, medium, or deep. They use different types of fruit acids or acids derived from sugar to remove the top layers of damaged skin and leave skin free of scars and blemishes and rejuvenated. The dermatologist applies the acid to the area the patient wants to be treated, leaves it on for a number of minutes, neutralizes it, then washes it away.
Both dermal fillers and Botox use fine needles to correct wrinkles and fine lines, but that’s where the similarity ends. Dermal fillers actually add volume to an area that is dry or flat with such materials as collagen or hyaluronic acid. As with Botox, a person can have a dermal filler procedure done during their lunch hour and then return to their usual schedule.