'Lunchtime Facelift' Said To Melt Years Off Face

Acculift Melts Away Fat In Face, Doctor Says

One of the most recent trends in cosmetic surgery is to plump and fill out the face with facial fillers. But it's not a permanent fix, and patients often return in less than a year for a touch up.

Now, doctors are taking a new approach to tackling jowls and deep folds by literally melting away the problem. The procedure is so quick and recovery so fast, it's often referred to as the "lunchtime facelift."

Terri Warth, 42, knows what it takes to captivate her students. She's been a teacher for 18 years but sometimes being at the head of the class has brought her unwanted attention.

"All my life, I've had these fat deposits underneath my eyelids. Parents would come to me and say, 'Oh, you look so tired,'" Warth said.

Then she heard about a new procedure called acculift.

Doctor J. David Holcomb is one of the first in the world using a special fiber optic laser -- as thin as six strands of human hair -- to smooth out the face.

"It helps us to be able to contour the face in ways we never really could before," said," Dr. J. David Holcomb, a facial plastic and cosmetic laser surgeon at Holcomb Facial Plastic Surgery, in Sarasota, Fla.

Tammy Browning is hoping it will take years off her face.

"I want to look younger, and I want it to look natural," Browning said.

"So this is what we're really going to be treating. That's the jowl. We're going to take it away," Holcomb told her.

As we age, fat in our face descends. The laser delivers a special wavelength of energy that heats up and literally melts away those fatty deposits.

"That's liquefied fat," Holcomb said.

Another tool removes any additional fat left inside. Results can be seen immediately.

The alternatives are fillers or a more invasive facelift.

Acculift takes just 30 minutes, requires only local anesthetic, and Holcomb said the fat removal is permanent.

Warth was back at work the next day.

"There was absolutely no down time," she said.

Since last December, Holcomb has performed the acculift procedure on more than 100 patients.

FACIAL FAT DEPOSITS: According to Science Daily, as people age, their face contours and changes due to volume losses, gains and the repositioning of facial compartments. All of these changes can result in facial sagging, wrinkles or hollowed skin.

New research from UT Southwestern Medical Center suggests the face has distinct compartments that age at all different rates. According to Rebecca Fitzgerald, M.D., gravity used to be the prime suspect in facial aging, but now gravity is a bystander that only determines the direction of the falling tissue of the face.

Fitzgerald also says that changes in an individual's face are personalized to each face and can be influenced by gender, genetics, smoking and stress. Changes in one tissue may influence other tissues because the tissue layers operate interdependently.

FILLERS AND SURGERIES: The American Society of Plastic Surgeons has a list of facial and neck cosmetic surgeries that include: Botox, brow lift, chemical peel, chin surgery, cleft lip/palate, dermabrasion, ear surgery, eyelid surgery, facelift, facial implants, hair replacement surgery, injectable fillers, liposuction, nose surgery, permanent makeup, post-bariatric body contouring, scar revision, skin cancer care and skin rejuvenation/resurfacing.

Some of the most popular procedures for facial rejuvenation are Botox injections and face lift procedures. A face lift is a surgical procedure to improve signs of aging in the face and neck. Some risks include unfavorable scarring, bleeding, infection, nerve injury, skin discoloration, and contour irregularities.

Botox is a non-surgical injection that reduces frown lines, forehead creases, crow's feet near the eyes and thick bands along the neck. Botox, which is injected into troubled areas, is made of botulinum toxin. The toxin paralyzes the muscles that cause wrinkles temporarily while smoothing the skin.

ACCULIFT: AccuLift is a laser-assisted facial procedure that rejuvenates the face and removes excess fat deposits from the cheeks, jowl area and neckline. According to the Holcomb Facial Plastic Surgery Center, AccuLift is the first of its kind.

It is a procedure that uses a laser that delivers wavelengths of energy to melt fat into liquid, so it will run out of the body like tears. The procedure lasts only 20 to 30 minutes per facial area, is minimally invasive and allows patients to return quickly to daily routines.

The AccuLift is an alternative to the traditional face lift. AccuLift sculpts, removes excess fat deposits and tightens the skin. The procedure only requires local anesthetic, a few small incisions and costs half as much as many traditional facial rejuvenation procedures.

Additional Information:

    Kristine Hames Holcomb Facial Plastic Surgery, PLLC Sarasota, FL (941) 365-8679 khames@srqfps.com http://www.srqfps.com