GuancheLift: Face-lift without surgery

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We may have something for you if you want a more youthful face but aren't quite ready for a facelift. A dermatologist in California offers a lift that requires no surgery, no downtime and no pain.

Janna Zundel is 49.

"As you get older, you kind of want to do little things just to maintain it a little bit before it all just goes," she said.

She says she's too young for a traditional face-lift, and she didn't want a dramatic change either. That's when her dermatologist, Dr. Anna Guanche, told her about the nonsurgical lift that goes by her name.

"It's an innovation where we use off-face filler to redrape the skin of the face," Guanche said. "So, we're injecting filler in areas behind the hairline where you can't even see it."

It takes less than 25 minutes, and the effect is immediate. Since the filler attracts water, it should improve.

Guanche says her method just makes sense.

"We don't just lose volume in our face, we actually lose volume in your entire head, your scalp, everywhere," she said. "So, when you restore that volume, you kind of lift the face, the temples, the jowls, up and back."

Zundel confirms there was no pain, no downtime.

"The GuancheLift just kind of tightened and pulled a little bit, and it was great," she said. "I was amazed when I got home."

The lift only lasts a year or two, and Zundel says she'll be back for another treatment.

The GuancheLift costs between $2,600 and $10,000.

It is not for folks who have a lot of sagging skin or fat under their chin. It is for people in their 40s and 50s, those who want to tighten their skin or older patients who notice recurrent sagging after a traditional face-lift.

Guanche is teaching other doctors how to do her lift.


BACKGROUND: Cosmetic surgery is an operation that involves improving a person's appearance. Such operations include liposuction, breast augmentation, rhinoplasty, eyelid surgery, and rhytidectomy, also known as a face lift. The most popular surgical cosmetic procedure worldwide in 2016 was breast augmentation. In 2017, the United States was the country with the highest number of cosmetic procedures worldwide, with over four million operations. The number of both surgical and nonsurgical cosmetic procedures in the U.S. has grown over the last decade, from around 1.6 million procedures in 1997 to almost 4.8 million in 2017. Those aged 35 to 50 years are the most likely to have surgical or nonsurgical cosmetic procedures, accounting for 39 percent. The cost of such procedures can be substantial, with total expenditure in the U.S. exceeding 8.5 billion dollars in 2017. Although cosmetic surgery, much like any surgery, can be physically damaging, patients of popular cosmetic procedures in the U.S. report being generally satisfied with their results. (Source:

PROS AND CONS OF LIQUID FILLERS: The advantages of a liquid face lift over a traditional face lift are that improvements in the appearance of lines, wrinkles, and sagging skin are similar and achieved without actual surgery. The use of injectables to plump up and fill out the face means that patients have a much less invasive option. Because anesthesia is usually not required with most injectable procedures, the immediate risk to the patient is significantly less than with plastic surgery. And, there is usually no significant downtime required following the procedure. Dermal fillers may not work as a face-lift for everyone. There have been few reported serious complications, but those that have been reported include swelling, bruising, pain, itching, tenderness, visible bumps or lines under the skin, and allergic reactions. In addition, in very rare cases, a blood vessel can accidentally be punctured by a needle, potentially causing an embolism, necrosis (tissue death) or other significant damage to the skin. The other downside has to do with the longevity of the results. While a traditional face lift may get you 5, 10, or even 15 years of a more youthful appearance, most of the dermal fillers do wear off as the material is absorbed by the body. Therefore, the results of a liquid face lift may only last on average a few years. (Source:

NEW TECHNIQUE AHEAD: Researchers have developed a "molecular surgery" process that uses tiny needles, electric current and 3D-printed molds to quickly reshape living tissue with no incisions, scarring or recovery time. The technique shows promise as a way to fix immobile joints or as a noninvasive alternative to laser eye surgery. "We envision this new technique as a low-cost office procedure done under local anesthesia," says Michael Hill, PhD, Occidental College, one of the project's principal investigators. "The whole process would take about five minutes," Hill continued. Hill became involved in this project when Brian Wong, MD, PhD, who is at the University of California, Irvine, asked for help in developing a noninvasive technique to reshape cartilage. Such a method would be useful for cosmetic surgery procedures, such as making a nose more attractive. But the method also could help fix problems, such as a deviated septum, or conditions for which no good treatments exist, such as joint contractures caused by stroke or cerebral palsy. The researchers are exploring licensing options for the cartilage technique with medical device companies. They're also investigating applications in other types of collagen tissue, such as tendons and corneas. (Source: