SideLaze800 Laser Neck and Facelift Advances the Treatment of Loose Neck Skin
SideLaze800 is the latest advance in neck contouring. It is a tiny side-firing laser fiber, equivalent to the SideLaze used for the treatment of cellulite on the Cynosure Cellulaze platform. Instead of using traditional liposuction to treat the fatty neck, Sidelaze800 melts the fat and applies controlled laser energy to the under-surface of the skin. This allows the systematic treatment of the undersurface of the neck and lower face to achieve skin tightening.
Using the built-in ThermaGuide integral to the Smartlipo Triplex and Cellulaze platform, the sub-skin temperature is precisely programmed to the therapeutic temperature. When the temperature rises above this level, the laser stops firing. All other methods of skin tightening, such as ultrasound and radio-frequency have no idea what the actual temperature is at the sub-dermal layer, but the SideLaze800 with ThermaGuide does. This is the gold standard for skin tightening, direct, measurable and controllable application of heat exactly where it is most effective.
The procedure is done using local, tumescent anesthesia, in the office operating room. The patient may choose to have some pre-procedure oral sedation and pain medication. After prepping and draping, a tiny 3 mm incision is made just under the chin and each ear lobe. Anesthetic is infiltrated using a small, blunt infiltration cannula. The neck is marked in zones of 5 x 5 cm in the neck and the lower face/jowl areas are added if desired.
Laser energy is first applied to melt neck and jowl fat. The laser is directional, a unique property of the 1440 wavelength. The laser beam is directed first downwards until the fat is melted and all resistance to passage of the laser cannula is gone. The fat is then gently aspirated with a 1.4 mm liposuction cannula.
With the SideLaze800 beam directed up against the skin, each zone is treated to endpoints of energy and temperature, until the laser computer says that adequate heating and temperatures have been reached, usually about 40-42 degrees Centigrade. A foam pad and head wrap is applied and the patient is ready to go home. Sutures are removed at one week. The foam and head wrap are worn continuously for three days, and then as much as work and social obligations permit during the next week.
Skin tightening continues for six months. The first few weeks are marked by some tightness and firmness. There are occasionally small fibrous lumps that go away. Softening of the tissue occurs from two to six weeks. Three-dimensional color coded depth measurements have been taken of the effect of the tightening of the Cellulaze SideLaze treatment. They show that there is continuous improvement in contour and tightness over six months and the same type of contraction is expected with SideLaze800 treatment.
This photograph of a patient of one of the principal clinical investigators shows that skin tightening can occur in a very lax neck. In my practice a face/necklift would have been recommended for this patient. However, when the treatment is applied to patients with a lesser degree of laxity, most often in conjunction with treatment of excess fat in the neck, we anticipate better results with SideLaze800 skin tightening than are obtained with liposuction fat removal alone.
Use of the device for treating only skin laxity is in the early stages. Many patients complain of loose neck skin as one of the first signs of facial aging that they dislike. External energy devices to heat and tighten the skin have their place, but for those patients willing to have a minimally invasive procedure, similar to neck SmartLipo,we hope to achieve improved results, and without a surgical face/necklift. The SideLaze800 is FDA approved for use in the lower face and neck. Dr. Lowen is the first plastic surgeon in northern California to offer this technology.
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