5 Brilliant New Cosmetic Procedures That are Better Than Plastic Surgery

Want to turn back the clock without going under the knife? According to beauty expert Andrea Karr, these five buzzworthy cosmetic procedures are better than plastic surgery-and they’re now available on the Canadian market.

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Photo: ShutterStock

Got cellulite?

Cosmetic procedure: Cellfina
What it targets: Cellulite
How it works: Most women suffer from cellulite-those annoying dimples often located on the rear and thighs that make the skin look like an orange peel. Before now, no topical, surgical or non-surgical cosmetic procedure has proven effective in minimizing cellulite over a long period of time. Enter Cellfina, an FDA-approved system that uses a small handheld device to grab targeted skin by suction, anesthetize the area and then slide a tiny blade into each dimple to cut the fibrous bands that cause that puckered appearance. However, according to Victoria-based dermatologist Dr. Mark Lupin, this miracle cure isn’t for everyone. “The ideal candidate has no or minimal skin laxity and is of normal weight. If you are overweight or have excess fat in these areas, it may be helpful to first reduce the fat,” he says. The treatment takes about 45 minutes and you should see results within three months. “As with most cosmetic procedures, the goal is improvement and not perfection,” says Dr. Lupin. “If you can accept that goal, then you are more likely to be happy with results.”
What it costs: $4,000 to $6,000, depending on the size of the area to be treated. Usually one treatment is enough.
How long it lasts: Results may be permanent, but clinical data only goes back three years.
Andrea’s Ouch Factor: 2/10. After the bee-sting pain from the injection of local anesthesia, you’re happily numb. Expect soreness and minor bruising for about a week after the treatment.

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Double chin
Photo: ShutterStock

Got a double-chin?

Cosmetic procedure: Belkyra
What it targets: Submental fullness. (That’s doc-speak for “chin fat.”)
How it works: Thanks to a new injectable called Belkyra (marketed as Kybella in the U.S.), no one has to live with a double chin anymore. The product is made of deoxycholic acid, which, according to Dr. Mark Lupin, is something our bodies are already familiar with. “It’s part of our digestive systems,” he says. “Our bodies produce it to emulsify fats to allow absorption.” During the treatment, your doctor will inject the acid into the fatty area under your chin and you’ll experience a burning sensation for about five to 10 minutes as the acid destroys the fat. You’ll probably want to get this cosmetic procedure during the winter so you can wear a scarf or turtleneck, as it’s not uncommon to experience several weeks of swelling.
What it costs: Approximately $1,200 per treatment, with two or three treatments required, spaced six to eight weeks apart.
How long it lasts: Forever. (Yes, really.)
Andrea’s Ouch Factor: 8/10. The closest analogy? The shark from Jaws just ripped out your throat.

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Woman getting injection
Photo: ShutterStock

Looking haggard?

Cosmetic procedure: Teosyal RHA I, II, III and IV
What it targets: Any area of the face that needs a little extra volume. (Think lips, cheeks, under-eye circles, lines around the mouth.)
How it works: “Volume-loss from fat atrophy is a major component of what makes us look older,” explains Toronto plastic surgeon Dr. Cory Torgerson. That’s where injected fillers come in-plumping-up parts of the face that have started to sag or look hollow and thin. Although we’ve all seen celebrities who have overdone these cosmetic procedures and are left with stiff, mask-like features, there’s a new filler hitting the Canadian market in November 2016 that reduces the risk of “freezer-face.” Teosyal RHA hyaluronic acid fillers feature technology that allows them to stretch with movement and then snap back into shape, which means you’ll still be able to express the full range of human emotions post-procedure. Plus, if you don’t like your new look, your doctor can inject an enzyme called hyaluronidase to dissolve the fillers entirely.
What it costs: $650 to $800 per vial. To treat the under-eye areas of both eyes, for example, you’ll need one to three vials, for a total cost betwee $650 and $2,400.
How long it lasts: Six months to one year. (Areas of the face that move more, such as the lips, will require touch-ups more often.)
Andrea’s Ouch Factor: 2/10. We’re in bee-sting territory for the under-eye region, but the pain varies depending on the area of the face being treated. Luckily, there’s Lidocaine in each syringe to numb the pain. (If you’re scared of needles, of course, you can add a few more points to that score.)

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SculpSure laser machine
Photo: SculpSure

Got love handles?

Cosmetic procedure: SculpSure
What it targets: Belly fat and love handles.
How it works: The SculpSure laser machine can be applied to various areas of the abdomen and love handles. It’s approved by Health Canada to heat fat to between 42 and 46˚C, effectively destroying up to 24 per cent of fat in the treated region per session. “Think of the fat as a water balloon,” says Toronto plastic surgeon Dr. Sean Rice. “You’re taking a pin and poking a million little holes in the water balloon. With this laser, you destroy the fat membrane and all the fat cells come out and go into your lymphatic system; you basically pee out them out.” (Make sure you drink plenty of water before your appointment!)
What it costs: Approximately $1,000 per treatment region. (The region that the machine can cover is about 5 inches by 12 inches total, so most patients require two treatments.) Wait six weeks between treatments and expect to see results three months after your final treatment.
How long it lasts: It’s the same as getting liposuction. As Dr. Rice says, if you go back to lying on the couch and eating bonbons, you’ll bounce right back to your previous size.
Andrea’s Ouch Factor: 3/10. For the first four minutes, it feels like ice on your abdomen, but the sensation gradually heats up over the next 21 minutes. The procedure tends to be more painful when administered over bony areas of the body.

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Facial injection
Photo: ShutterStock

Need a facelift?

Cosmetic procedure: Happy Lift
What it targets: Saggy skin on the face, particularly in the jowl region.
How it works: A conventional facelift involves the removal of excess skin. Happy Lift, on the other hand, uses threads to pull and lift face and neck tissue. As Toronto plastic surgeon Dr. Cory S. Goldberg explains, the threads that do this heavy lifting are dissolvable (read: temporary), and barbed to keep them anchored into the tissues of the face. This cosmetic procedure takes between 15 and 30 minutes to complete and patients can resume regular activity within a few hours.
What it costs: Prices won’t be set until the treatment is approved by Health Canada-perhaps as early as spring 2017.
How long it lasts: 15 to 18 months, though a touch-up may be required earlier.
Andrea’s Ouch Factor: 4/10. The pain is reportedly similar to getting injectable fillers, though that seems a little hard to believe. (A doctor is running barbed threads through your face, after all.)

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