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The Beauty of Technology

What’s new in plastic surgery

By Diya Tantawi, MD, FACS
Before (left) and after (right) 3 of 6 sessions of a Fotona 4D face and neck lift with PDO thread lift

Imagine bringing in a favorite photo of yourself from the past and being able to turn back the clock. If you think that’s unreachable, just a few years ago, we never believed an entire face transplant could be possible. Now we know it’s reality. Medical technology is advancing at a faster pace than ever before, including astonishing developments in robotics, nanotechnology, 3D printing and the use of artificial intelligence. If you’re in doubt about regenerative aesthetics, I invite you to Google a time-elapsed photography video to watch how a salamander can fully regrow an amputated leg identically, over and over again.

These days, as more and more people are staring at themselves online and thinking of the possibilities of change, there is a heightened awareness of our “on-camera” presence and an accelerated desire for rejuvenation. As plastic surgeons, we have tried to match that desire with the growing demand for less invasive procedures by incorporating different technologies that offer patients a quick return on their investment with a faster recovery or no downtime at all. 

Fotona4D® laser facelift

Lasers continue to be an evolving field with unlimited potential. They have come a long way from the CO2 laser in the 1990s with two weeks of downtime. One of the newer lasers is the Fotona4D for non-invasive laser facelifting. It’s called 4D because it provides four dimensions of facial rejuvenation. What is unique about this laser is that it not only treats the facial exterior, one of the stages addresses the inside of the mouth cavity to treat nasolabial wrinkles from the inside out. The second stage addresses skin texture; the third level offers skin tightening, and the final stage is a light laser peel. Fotona has pioneered advanced pulse technologies such as adaptive structured pulse, which allows for optimal energy, providing superior results with little to no downtime. Now we can offer tightening and volumization without the need for fillers or toxins. The laser energy stimulates the body’s own collagen production and provides immediate rejuvenation, tightening and a glow.

Fat transfer done right – a natural filler that lasts for years

Dermal fillers are immensely popular for facial rejuvenation, but the more natural, autologous (self) fat transfer has had some drawbacks. You’ve no doubt heard of stem cells located in many tissues of our bodies, but did you know that the highest concentration of them is found in your adipose fatty tissue? Harvested fat, through means of liposuction can be concentrated, re-injected and activated to both restore and rejuvenate. The question was always predictability. Previously with fat transfer, we didn’t know how many fat cells would survive transplantation. Now, we can use a cutting-edge technique called stromal vascular fraction (SVF) that extracts fractions of cells – the growth factors and stem cells – from non-fat adipose tissue obtained from liposuction. The SVF gel is then added to enhance the survival rate of the injected fat to give you a procedure with the predictability and effect you desire.

Breast augmentation

Also, among the latest technologies relating to beauty is EV-PURE+®. It is a purified encapsulated growth factor for treating wounds and chronic illnesses. It can be used in conjunction with a purified fat transfer from your body to produce a more natural and predictable breast augmentation without implants. 

Another development with breast augmentation is flexible implants. Where breast augmentation used to be just an implant of saline or silicone, we now have mixed and somewhat more “intelligent” implants. You can have an implant at a certain size and then decide to go bigger by simply “pumping up” your implant for an event or the time frame you like and deflate the implant again. Used in breast reconstructive surgery for years, permanent expandable implants have now been enhanced for use in aesthetic surgery. 

Dr. Tantawi is a double board-certified cosmetic plastic surgeon with Beauty Refined Plastic Surgery Center in Rancho Mirage. He can be reached at (760) 666.6121 or www.beautyrps.com.

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