If time and gravity have made your skin head south, this Healthcast is for you. 7News finds out how ultrasound therapy can give your face a lift, without going under the knife.
It is ultrasound technology like you have never seen it before. "You can see on the screen the different layers of skin," said Dr. Ralph Colpitts with The Plastic Surgery Center of Southwest Louisiana.
Dr. Colpitts performs "Ultherapy," a non-surgical skin tightening procedure at his office that was appealing to 42-year-old Michelle LeBleu. "Because there are no incisions, no general anesthesia, you just keep going," she said.
Michelle was looking to tighten her face, eyes and jaw line, without having a surgical facelift. "If you can take care of little things early when they start happening, maybe you can put that off," she said.
Ultherapy was the solution Michelle had been looking for, delivering focused heat deep below the skin to stimulate the growth of new collagen. "Because the ultrasound waves are focused, they pass directly through the skin and sub-tissue into the deep muscle fascia," said Dr. Colpitts, "they apply the burns to the deep muscle fascia and when the fascia contracts, it lifts the skin."
When a patient comes in, he or she will be sat into a reclining medical chair and a nerve bloc is administered so that no pain is felt. Then, ultrasound gel is spread over the area that will be affected and the focused ultrasound is administered.
Every couple of seconds, a different section of the face and neck is treated, taking about two hours to complete the process. "You make no incisions, there are no open wounds to heal and the complication rate is exceedingly low," said Dr. Colpitts.
Side effects are typically temporary redness, a tingly sensation or weakness in the motor nerve. Michelle did not experience any side effect and says she is enjoying answering some questions that have become common. "People will say 'you look great,'" said Michelle, "and ask what I've done, how I look so rested. This is the way to go!"
Ultherapy is not a replacement for surgical facelifts and it is not a good option for someone with very loose skin.
Improvements can be seen immediately, but are most obvious after about six months.
If you want to learn more about cosmetic procedures, Dr. Colpitts with have a free lunch and learn on Thursday, October 11th at the Lake Charles Country Club. Call 475-4018 to register.