laser and non-surgical procedures

image of model used to protect patient privacy

As you can see from our approach, we believe that many different procedures — some surgical, some non-surgical — can contribute to improving the appearance of the face. That's why we wanted to introduce you to some of the ancillary procedures we may use as part of a facelift recommendation. These include:

Skin Resurfacing

Fine lines (especially around the mouth and eyes), uneven pigmentation, areas of dryness, scarring or other skin damage can be addressed through skin resurfacing. All resurfacing techniques work in essentially the same way. The outer layer of damaged skin is stripped away. As healing begins, new skin cells form to create smooth, tight, younger-looking skin.

Find out what the American Society of Plastic Surgeons says about lasers and plastic surgery

How Resurfacing Works

Skin resurfacing cannot remove excess skin or fat and is no substitute for a facelift, eyelid surgery or other cosmetic facial surgery. It does, however, do a wonderful job of minimizing fine lines, correcting uneven pigmentation and eliminating other surface signs of aging. Skin resurfacing can also help restore skin elasticity by penetrating to the dermis and stimulating collagen and elastin cells. These cells are the support structure of your skin and stimulating them creates a smoother, more youthful appearance. The resurfacing procedures offered at Center for Plastic Surgery are:

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Laser Skin Resurfacing

Laser Resurfacing is a surgical technique that removes the damaged outer layer of skin to create a smoother, younger look. It is recommended to help reduce facial wrinkling - especially around the mouth and eyelid areas and to improve the overall quality of the skin. The laser provides a high degree of control and minimizes the possibility of discoloration and scarring. Laser resurfacing is frequently done at the time of a facelift.

The quality of my skin - from the laser and the blue peel - is wonderful.
—Patient of Dr.Price

Fraxel Laser Skin Resurfacing

Think of your skin as a family portrait or digital photograph in need of high-quality restoration or touch up. Just as a damaged painting is delicately restored one small area at a time, or a photographic image is altered, pixel by pixel, Fraxel® Laser Treatment improves your appearance by affecting only a fraction of your skin at a time with thousands of tiny microscopic laser spots.

How Fraxel Laser Treatment Works

Fraxel Laser Treatment produces thousands of tiny but deep columns of treatment in your skin, known as microthermal treatment zones. This treatment eliminates old epidermal pigmented cells. It also penetrates deep into the dermis. Just as important, though, are the areas of skin the Fraxel laser leaves untouched. For every microthermal zone the laser targets and treats intensively, it leaves the surrounding tissue unaffected and intact. This "fractional" treatment allows the skin to heal much faster than if the entire area were treated at once, using the body's natural healing process to create new, healthy tighter tissue to replace skin imperfections.


At your initial consultation, your physician will determine the best treatment plan for your desired results. By design, each Fraxel Laser Treatment targets between 20 and 25 percent of the skin's surface. Clinical studies suggest that on average, an effective treatment regimen is 3 to 5 sessions, spaced about 2 to 4 weeks apart. Depending upon your condition and schedule, you and your physician may choose to space treatment sessions even further apart. Results are immediate and progressive. Optimal improvement is usually visible in about 2 to 3 months. Because Fraxel Laser Treatment spares healthy tissue, it is effective even on delicate skin areas, such as the neck, chest and hands. Blue tint before Fraxel Laser Treatment Preparing for Treatment

Fraxel Laser Treatment can be performed right in your doctor's office using only topical anesthesia in most cases. If you are having a significant area of your skin treated, your doctor will develop a pain management approach to maximize your comfort during the procedure.

The treatment area will be thoroughly washed prior to the procedure. OptiGuide Blue, an FDA certified water-soluble tint, is applied to the treatment area to highlight the contours of the skin. This tint is washed off after treatment. What Happens After Treatment

You will experience a mild sunburn sensation for about an hour and then minimal discomfort. The skin will have a pinkish tone for 5 to 7 days. This is a normal sign that the skin is deeply healing. Swelling is minimal and generally resolves in 2 to 3 days.

We Use The Ultrapulse® CO2 Laser

The UltraPulse CO2 laser treatment is bloodless and enables us to see clearly how much tissue to treat and remove. We can also identify deeper lines that need more focused treatment. In the first few days after the procedure, your skin will weep as new collagen is formed by the dermal layer to rebuild the skin from the bottom up. It will then go through a period of healing. The fresh new skin will have a pink quality, which will fade over a period of approximately two to six weeks. This is easily camouflaged by makeup, which can generally be applied within four to seven days of treatment, depending upon your skin's sensitivity.

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Did you know that skin peels, Botox, and fillers are often used in a regime that does not involve surgery?

Chemical Peels

These peels use a chemical solution to remove the damaged outer layer of skin. The type and strength of the chemical employed determines how quickly a peel produces results. A deeper peel yields a better the result, but entails a longer recovery time.

Alpha & Beta Hydroxy Peels are very light and are repeated several times to obtain the final result. These light peels have no downtime. They allow you to wear makeup immediately and to maintain your normal routine. At the Center for Plastic Surgery, we use BioMedic and Physicians Choice.

Trichloroacetic Acid (TCA) Peels. TCA peels are medium depth peels and they do not require repeated applications because they penetrate the skin more deeply than Alpha-Beta Hydroxy Peels. This will cause a more aggressive peeling, which will take seven to ten days to heal. With slow acting TCA, the depth and intensity of the peel can be tailored to your individual needs. We use OBAGI Blue Peel and Accu Peel.

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At the Center for Plastic Surgery, we use a microdermabrasion technique called Power Peel. It is a non-surgical procedure that removes the damaged outer layer of skin and encourages rejuvenation through the use of micro-crystals and a unique polishing tool.


Liposuction is sometimes used as part of a facelift- particularly to remove excess fat under the chin. Read more about liposuction for other parts of the body on our Center for Plastic Surgery site.

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Learn about BOTOX® Cosmetic and the reduction of frown lines from the American Society of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons

BOTOX® Cosmetic

BOTOX® Cosmetic is used to treat frown lines, crow's feet and lines on the forehead. A BOTOX® Cosmetic Injection usually requires only a quick office procedure, but it can also be incorporated into a facelift or other facial cosmetic surgery procedure. BOTOX® Cosmetic is injected into the area to be treated and, as a result, the muscle weakens and the wrinkles soften-often disappearing altogether.

JUVÉDERMTM Injectable Gel Semi-Permanent Facial Filler

As we age, our skin changes. Over time, the natural volume of youthful skin begins to diminish as wrinkles and folds form. But, with JUVÉDERMTM injectable gel, you don't have to just sit back and let it happen! Recently approved by the FDA, JUVÉDERMTM Injectable Gel is a "next-generation" dermal filler. The smooth consistency gel helps to instantly restore your skin's volume and smooth away facial wrinkles and folds, like your "smile lines" or "parentheses" (nasolabial folds - the creases that run from the bottom of your nose to the corners of your mouth).

JUVÉDERMTM Injectable Gel is a smooth consistency gel made of hyaluronic acid - a naturally occurring substance in your skin that helps to add volume and hydration. Your healthcare professional eases JUVÉDERMTM Injectable Gel under the skin to provide a smooth, natural look and feel - so everyone will notice (but no one will know)! In fact, studies show superior results of JUVÉDERMTM Injectable Gel compared to a collagen-based dermal filler.* And, almost 90% of all study volunteers who were treated with both JUVÉDERMTM Injectable Gel and another dermal filler* preferred Juvederm! In addition, JUVÉDERMTM Injectable Gel is the first FDA-approved hyaluronic acid dermal filler that is proven to be safe and effective for persons of color.

Hyaluronic acid dermal fillers like JUVÉDERMTM Injectable Gel offer a safe and effective nonsurgical option for smoothing facial wrinkles and folds. In fact, they are the fastest growing nonsurgical aesthetic procedure in the United States according to the American Society of Aesthetic Plastic Surgery. But all dermal fillers are not the same!

If you're interested in being treated with this nonsurgical physician-administered treatment option, you should know the advantages of choosing JUVÉDERMTM Injectable Gel:

  • A "next-generation" filler: JUVÉDERMTM Injectable Gel is a "next-generation" non-animal dermal filler that is made from hyaluronic acid - a naturally occurring substance that plays a vital role in hydrating your skin and replenishing its natural volume. No allergy skin tests are needed prior to receiving treatment.
  • Advanced technology for long-lasting results: JUVÉDERMTM Injectable Gel employs its unique manufacturing process to provide the highest concentration of cross-linked hyaluronic acid of any currently available hyaluronic acid dermal filler for long-lasting results. This advanced manufacturing process also creates a smooth consistency gel that flows consistently and easily into the skin and provides a smooth, natural look and feel. JUVÉDERMTM Injectable Gel is the only filler available with this smooth consistency gel formulation - other existing hyaluronic acid fillers are made of granular consistency gels.
  • Proven safety and effectiveness: JUVÉDERMTM Injectable Gel is the first FDA-approved hyaluronic acid dermal filler that has demonstrated its safety and effectiveness in persons of color.
  • Quick and easy procedure: JUVÉDERMTM Injectable Gel is a nonsurgical physician-administered treatment that requires no allergy skin test and minimal recovery or downtime.
  • Personalized treatment: JUVÉDERMTM Injectable Gel is available in two formulations - JUVÉDERMTM Ultra for versatility in contouring and volumizing facial wrinkles and folds, and JUVÉDERMTM Ultra Plus, a more robust formulation for volumizing and correcting deeper folds and wrinkles. This allows Dr. Howard to tailor treatment to meet your unique needs.

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Fillers—Fat, Collagen, Dermalogen and Cymetra®

These fillers are commonly used to "plump" lips, fill out fine lip lines and treat the deep creases that run from the nose to the corners of your mouth. While each filler has a unique set of properties, fat has the distinct advantage of being harvested from the patient and so eliminating the possibility of an allergic reaction.

Find out why fat makes such a good filler

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