Lunchtime Facelift: Part 2 - Does the light-based facelift alternative work?

Last year, more than 10 million Americans had plastic surgery. That number was actually even lower than normal, due to the economy.

Of course, there are also people who want to look good, but don't want surgery or downtime.

But a new non-surgical procedure promises fresher, rejuvenated skin -- and without the lengthy office visit or recovery time.

In a special Medical Moment, we take a look at whether the so-called Lunchtime Facelift can deliver.

Forty-seven-year-old Trina Miller works in the Elkhart City Clerk's office and is a wife, mother and grandmother. Like many, she wants to improve her skin without any cutting.

She and Centre P.C. plastic surgeon Dr. Ronald Downs decided on a non-invasive light-based therapy called Titan.

"It's not designed to take the place of a facelift or any kind of surgical intervention. But what it does do -- we have clinical results -- it is very, very good at skin tightening," Dr. Downs explains. "We could really see a lot of improvement in the jowl and the neck area and the cheek area with just a little skin tightening."

Much cheaper than a facelift, Trina says this is the right fit for now.

"This is going to fit into my lifestyle, because you come in, you have it done, and you go home," she explains.

I went with Trina for her third and final visit with Dr. Downs.

"Just going to cleanse her skin and protect her eyes because of the light source that's used," explained certified plastic surgery nurse Karen Nichols.

My photographer and I also needed to wear protective goggles.

Titan works by stimulating our natural collagen, which begins to break down at the ripe old age of 21.

Dr. Downs says that while patients may notice an immediate improvement, the real benefits come by giving our collagen that wakeup call.

"It feels good, they come out with a nice and healthy glow to them, they feel skin tightening almost immediately, and then they continue to see the skin tightening for several months to follow," he explains.

So how does it feel?

"It's just like a little rubberband snap," Trina explains.

In fact, Karen says some patients get really relaxed and even fall asleep during the treatment.

Trina was most concerned with the folds running from her nose to her mouth, and Karen saw a definite improvement.

"The texture itself is definitely improved. I think I've seen color changes -- definitely the tone from the corner of her nose to the corner of her mouth," Karen explains.

And how does Trina feel?

"I love it. My pores are so much smaller and I feel like my skin is tighter, feels tighter. I can't see those little wrinkles -- they've kind of disappeared," she says excitedly. "Makes me feel not like a grandma."

And Dr. Downs says that while it won't take the place of a facelift, it's a great intermediate step.

"There's literally no downtime with this procedure," he says. "We can really get a beautiful result."

And not wanting anything invasive, that's what Trina was looking for.

"I'm very happy with the outcome," Trina told me.

Dr. Downs stresses that the best way to avoid wrinkling is by using sunscreen, even in the winter months.

And light-based therapy can be used on other areas of the body.

He says it can also be used on the tummy and arms and to improve discoloration.

And after all this talk about the Titan procedure, you're probably wondering what all this costs.

Each patient's needs are different, but generally a full face session costs about $900. If you need three treatments, there is a package deal priced at $2,500.

While not cheap, it is several thousand dollars less than an actual facelift.



To read the first part of this series, visit the story titled
Lunchtime Facelift: Part 1 - A quick, light-based facelift alternative.


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