The LazerLift, or knifeless facelift, procedure has a lot of appealing features for patients who want to avoid scalpels. Traditionally, the most effective way to rejuvenate the lower face has been through a facelift combined with a neck lift and liposuction. With this standard approach, several incisions around the ears and under the chin are required to access and tighten the underlying tissues and muscle. The skin is redraped and excess skin removed, leaving scars behind that may be noticeable around the ears and under the chin. The LazerLift technique is being used by some cosmetic surgeons to replace the traditional facelift with a much simpler and less invasive in-office procedure.
Who Is a Candidate for LazerLift?
This knifeless facelift is designed for patients who are beginning to see visible signs of aging in their lower face and upper neck. These include:
- Fine lines and wrinkles
- Jowls or a softened jawline
- Slight sagging under the chin and on the upper neck
How Is the LazerLift Performed?
A numbing agent is introduced into the targeted areas of the lower face through three very small holes – one behind each ear and one under the chin. Each hole is about the size of the head of a straight pin or the tip of a ballpoint pin. Once the area is anesthetized, a small laser fiber is inserted and activated to generate energy. This energy heats up the tissue causing coagulation that tightens the tissue – both the underlying connective tissue (fascia) and the overlying skin. Unwanted fat may also be dissolved using the laser.
Real-time, heat-sensing technology helps the surgeon avoid applying too much laser energy. However, some damage to the deep dermal layers of the skin is part of the lift. Heating of the tissue has the potential to trigger the production of collagen. This substance may help plump up the skin, further reducing the appearance of fine lines as part of the healing process.
The procedure takes about half an hour, and no stitches are required to close the holes. The patient will typically heal with a only tiny scar that is not noticeable. Downtime after the procedure is minimal with some swelling, bruising and discomfort. Most patients return to work after a few days. Full results are apparent after about six months.
Advertised Benefits of LazerLift
The benefits of the knifeless facelift may include:
- Local anesthesia, so patient can remain awake and aware but comfortable
- Short downtime allowing patients to return to normal activities sooner
- No large incisions that might become infected or have wound-healing problems
- Lower risk of extensive bleeding and bruising
- No internal or external sutures
- No redraping of the skin or other extensive tissue trauma
- No visible scarring
What’s Missing from the LazerLift Website?
As of 2012, the LazerLift website has no links to any clinical trial data or research papers regarding the effectiveness, safety or long-term results of the knifeless facelift technique. Marketing claims are supported only by patient and surgeon testimonials at this time.