ACELIFT: A Minimally Invasive Alternative to a Facelift
Journal of Drugs in Dermatology
Background: Cervicofacial aging is often characterized by a combination of skin and subcutaneous tissue laxity, midfacial deflation, an accumulation of excess submental fat, an obtuse cervicomental angle, jowls, and rhytides of the face and neck. Traditional treatment, and the "gold standard" against which other treatments are compared, is a facelift. Objective: To demonstrate that a combination technique called ACELIFT - an acronym for the Augmentation of Collagen and Elastin using Lasers, Injectable neurotoxins, Fillers, and Topicals in selected patients, is a viable, safe, and effective alternative to a facelift. Methods: Ten healthy women, ages 50 to 62 (mean age = 58), with cervical and facial stigmata of aging were enrolled in a prospective study conducted in the authors' private practice. Patients underwent a two-step procedure; the first step was laser lipolysis of the submental and anterior cervical areas with a pulsed 1440nm Nd:YAG laser with a side-firing fiber (PrecisionTx, Cynosure, Westford, MA). Three months later, the patients were treated in a single session that combined injectable neurotoxin, fillers, and fractional (Fx) CO2 laser resurfacing delivered in a novel "hammock" distribution. After two weeks, following complete re-epithelialization, the patients were started on a topical regimen that included daily use of sunscreen and antioxidants and nightly use of retinoids and peptides. This regimen was continued for a period of six months when all patients returned for final evaluation. Results: Nine months following the initiation of treatment, all patients were evaluated by the following: Global Aesthetic Improvement Scale, cervicomental angle scale, physician, and subject evaluation. Clinical improvement was evident, and often marked, for all subjects. Both physician and subject satisfaction scores were high, indicating overall satisfaction with the procedure and the outcomes. Side-effects were mild and transient; there were no incidents of adverse scarring, thermal injuries, permanent nerve injury, or dyschromia, hematomas, seromas, or infection. Subjects were likely to recommend the procedure to a friend. Conclusions: In properly selected patients, the ACELIFT proved to be a safe and effective, minimally invasive alternative to a facelift. There was little downtime and high patient satisfaction.
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