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Facial Fillers

The Injectable Facelift-An Anti-Aging Revolution


A revolution is underway in the field of facial rejuvenation. According to San Francisco facial plastic surgeon Dr. David Mabrie, many patients can benefit as much or more from this new approach, dubbed "the injectable facelift," as they can from traditional surgery.

"It's a whole new way of treating the aging face; a philosophical shift," says Dr. Mabrie. "Essentially, instead of pulling the skin tighter, we add volume under the skin. With this treatment, we can achieve remarkable results for many men and women with fewer of the challenges surgery normally presents."

The injectable facelift puts FDA-approved dermafillers like Radiesse® and Restylane® to their ultimate strategic use. Carefully-placed injections can brighten the eyes by diminishing dark circles, puffiness and "tear troughs," and fill in lost volume in the cheeks and under wrinkles such as nasolabial folds. "Lost volume in the skin's foundation is one of the leading reasons people look old before their time," says Dr. Mabrie. "When we fill in under the wrinkles and hollows, the years seem to drop away. Both Radiesse® and Restylane® are soft, pliable and very effective for this purpose."

This new approach to rejuvenation is quickly taking hold in Northern California's Bay Area. Many patients Dr. Mabrie sees in his practice are busy professionals who are bothered by their increasingly aged look but unwilling to commit to a surgical facelift. "Many San Francisco residents are excellent candidates for the injectable facelift," Dr. Mabrie notes. "They place great importance on looking their best, but often they see surgery as an investment they're not quite ready for."

"This is exactly the effect I had hoped for…"

Sarah, one of Dr. Mabrie's recent patients, is a perfect example. As a professional aesthetician, she was sensitive to the increasing signs of aging on her face. She correctly identified her problem as tear troughs deepening alongside her nose and dark circles under her eyes. Both a career woman, mother, and not yet 40 years of age, she sought a solution that would not involve surgery.

Restylane Before Photo Restylane After Photo





















Dr. Mabrie placed two syringes of Restylane® under Sarah's eyes and cheeks. Both the doctor and his patient were pleased with the results, feeling that two short treatments had turned the clock back for Sarah several years. "This is exactly the effect I had hoped for and done myself in the mirror for the last year," Sarah told Dr. Mabrie.

"It's not unusual for people as young and as beautiful as Sarah to begin to lose volume in their face," explains Dr. Mabrie. "Collagen, which forms the strong support system for surface skin, breaks down with age as cells called "fibroblasts" slow down production. When foundation tissues sink due to lack of support, wrinkles and hollows develop. This happens eventually to everyone and I've seen it happen with patients as young as in their 20's."

Benefits for a Variety of Patients

Most benefits of the injectable facelift are obvious. The treatment requires no incisions and no general anesthesia, decreasing cost and the risk of complications. Recovery time is virtually eliminated, because most patients return to normal activities immediately. The positive effects are easy to maintain, since dermafillers like Restyane® and Radiesse® can be expected to last several months. Occasional tune-ups are all that's needed.

Another advantage of the procedure is that it can be a very good choice for people of color. Unpredictable scarring is a risk for people with darker skin who have surgery, and the injectable facelift decreases this possibility.

Radiesse® Before Photo Radiesse® After Photo



















The injectable facelift can also work wonders for people who are not as young as Sarah. John, a retired seaman in San Francisco, scheduled a facelift consultation with Dr. Mabrie and told him he was also interested in non-surgical options. Recognizing John had a severe case of lost volume in his facial tissues, Dr. Mabrie recommended treatment with Radiesse® injections. He placed one syringe of the filler in the cheeks and two syringes under the eyes. The injections raised the surface skin on John's cheeks, helping correct his aged, sunken look, and the newly-supported skin under John's eyes greatly reduced the bags and puffiness.

There's no holding back the forces of gravity or the ticking of the clock, and many people will eventually benefit from facial surgery, according to Dr. Mabrie. "People whose skin has sagged significantly downward, people who see an overly "jowly" look in their mirror, people with baggy neck skin, droopy eyelids and other severe signs of aging-these are the kinds of patients I see who are still best-served with a surgical procedure," he says. "But the results we can achieve for many who need to're-fill' their skin's foundation can be amazing."

An Enjoyable Procedure

Dr. Mabrie is enthusiastic about the attributes of many of the dermafillers available today. He explains that Restylane®, Radiesse® and some of the others look and feel quite natural under the skin. They are relatively long-lasting, gradually and harmlessly absorbed by the body. In a recent study at the University of Michigan Medical School, Restylane® was shown to prompt the collagen-producing cells underneath skin to produce more of the all-important protein. The study suggests that Restylane® therefore has a beneficial effect on facial aging in the longer term.

These leading dermafillers are versatile as well. In addition to using them for the injectable facelift, Dr. Mabrie has had excellent results with Restylane® and Radiesse® for non-surgical rhinoplasty and cheek augmentation.

As a board certified facial plastic surgeon, Dr. Mabrie's skills are in demand throughout the Bay Area for facelifts, eyelid surgery, rhinoplasty and more. But he enjoys performing the new procedure just as much as doing surgery. "Adding volume to the face is a form of art," he feels, and he derives much satisfaction out of working with each injectable facelift patient. "Unlike traditional surgery, we both get instant gratification. Results are immediate and we can fine tune right on the spot." Most of all, Dr. Mabrie delights in surprising his patients with the results. "Almost every single one tells me the effect is better than he had dreamed it could be."



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