Putting a less invasive facelift to the test

November 15, 2011 8:40:51 PM PST
Introducing a new cosmetic procedure that promises to help tighten sagging skin and get rid of jowls.

It's called "FaceTite." It is more invasive than topical skin tighteners, but less invasive than a facelift.

To see the results, we followed one woman through the procedure. 43- year-old Sue Mattern is a busy mother to two young girls, Heather and Nicole. While they keep her feeling young, she says her face is a different story.

"You think your face is going to stay the same forever and it just doesn't," Sue said.

So Sue wanted to give her jaw line a lift, but she didn't want to do anything drastic which lead her to Dr. Steven Davis. His center is one of a few plastic and cosmetic surgery centers testing the new FaceTite procedure. So far he's impressed with the results.

"There really isn't anything else on the market right now that does this kind of tightening, totally non-surgical really," Dr. Davis said.

Meaning with FaceTite there is no cutting.

Here's how it works. First Sue's skin is numbed with a local anesthetic. Then a pointy tool is used. The side with the point is inserted under the skin. The other lies on top.

Radio frequency energy is then used, such as what's used in topical treatments like Thermage.

The difference here is the energy can be applied more specifically right where it's needed. The tissue heats up causing the collagen to contract. The facial skin and tissue is then said to tighten and lift as it heals.

Sue doesn't feel anything. The procedure lasts about a half hour. She can expect mild swelling at first. So she's wrapped up just for the night. And in a few days Dr. Davis says results take effect.

"What everyone says is that everything really starts to feel tight," Dr. Davis said.

He says the best results are seen two to six weeks out. We checked back in with Sue after two weeks. She says people are starting to notice.

"Women at the bus stop, my sister, my girlfriends," Sue said.

And she herself is happy with the results.

"I can feel it tightened and I do feel younger, it gives me more confidence in myself.

The procedure comes with minor risks. As stated above, it is still being tested, but the FDA is expected to give its approval next year. The procedure costs $1,500 to $6,000 depending on the size of the area being treated.

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