Skin Tightening Q&A: Do “Non-Surgical” Lasers and Ultrasound Work?
Question – Can you offer some insight into all the non-surgical procedures that are inundating the market for skin tightening, for instance, lasers and soundwave technologies? Many are saying they were featured on shows like Dr. Oz to lend credibility to their claims…. I suspect it is just another “too good to be true” story, but your thoughts on the subject would be most welcome. – Debra
Answer – Excellent questions, Debra. Regarding the latest generation of “non-ablative” lasers for skin tightening and sound-wave technologies, the short answer is that, as with most things in life, “there are no shortcuts” and “if it’s too good to be true, it usually is” (for more on the high cost of smartly marketed, less invasive and/or expensive treatments and technologies, please see slides 14-17 from my ‘What to Look For in a Plastic Surgeon‘ presentation.
That said, if a new product, technique or technology is shown to be both safe and superior to the current treatment standard (through peer-reviewed, double blind studies by other plastic surgeons), my approach has always been to assimilate/incorporate it into my practice. Even then, however, I try to never be among the first wave of users. This helps ensure not only the safety of my patients, but also their satisfaction with the results as well.
Case in point, for years, laser liposuction companies and MDs claimed that the machines not only suctioned fat, but were also a method of non-surgical skin tightening. The technology was promoted featured on
promoted featured on Oprah, GMA, The Today Show, People Magazine (‘The New Lipo: Has Fat Met Its Match?‘) and hundreds of other publications. But since its introduction, no studies have confirmed its superiority to traditional tumescent liposuction methods. What has been confirmed, though, is laser liposuction’s potential to burn skin. More on that here.