The Value of a Light Touch in Facial Surgery

It’s an exciting time to be a plastic surgeon. Technological advances enable us to create beautiful results without using the open surgery techniques of the past that often required longer recovery times and more potential complications. For instance, a patient who comes in for a facelift at my New Jersey practice is often an ideal candidate for endoscopic surgery, which involves tiny incisions.

Cosmetic endoscopic surgery is now a common technique facial plastic surgeons use, and it is part of a trend toward minimally invasive surgical techniques instead of the methods of only a decade or so earlier. An endoscope is a small tube fitted with a tiny camera and light that is inserted through a tiny incision. It allows the surgeon to view tissue, muscle, and tendons without making significantly larger incisions.

The endoscope is only one of several newer technologies being used by plastic surgeons to perform procedures that once required extensive surgery and recovery time. Lasers are another example. Laser skin resurfacing and skin tightening, for example, dramatically reduce wrinkles without surgery.

Besides shorter recovery times and fewer complications, these less invasive techniques benefit patients because they are less expensive and time consuming than open surgery. The majority are outpatient procedures performed in fully equipped operating rooms, often using only local anesthesia. This keeps the cost of cosmetic procedures down, making them accessible to more people.

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