March 12, 2000 (San Francisco) - Dermatologists from around the world are meeting here this week to discuss new technologies that will deliver better medical services in the new millennium. With a focus on minimally invasive procedures, one revolutionary cosmetic surgery technique presented at the 58th Annual Meeting of the American Academy of Dermatology (AAD) has caught the attention of dermatologists and the media.
The procedure, called the Weekend Alternative to the Facelift, has been featured on ABC's 20/20 and NBC's Dateline. Performed under local anesthesia, it is being heralded as the future of cosmetic surgery for the new millennium. The procedure is currently available exclusively at one California medical center, but dermatologists learned more about the technique today.
The procedure was developed by the cosmetic surgery husband and wife team of William R. Cook Jr., MD, and Kim K. Cook, MD, of Laser Cosmetic Skin Rejuvenation at the Coronado Skin Medical Center Inc., in Coronado, Calif. The Weekend Alternative to the Facelift is becoming known as a safe and fast alternative to the traditional facelift.
The procedure is performed under local anesthesia, so it is safer than procedures done under general anesthesia. The surgeon makes a small, hidden incision in the natural fold under the chin. Then, instead of using a scalpel, the surgeon uses a laser, liposuction, and sometimes a chin implant to eliminate the appearance of a sagging face, jowls, and neck.
Unlike conventional facelift surgery that can leave patients with undesirable scars and pulled, unnatural appearances, the result of the newer technique is "a natural ... appearance with virtually no pain," according to William Cook.
"After a short recovery, the patient can return to normal activity," Cook says, and "the only evidence that the procedure has been performed is a dramatically improved appearance and a one-inch incision hidden in the natural fold under the chin."
WebMD spoke with one physician who attended the presentation. "The procedure looks impressive and shows great results, without the scars of [traditional facelift surgery]," says Hasan O. Al-Amoudi, MD, a dermatologist at the IDL Clinics in Saudi Arabia. "The only downside seems to be that its use is pretty much limited to the lower face."