When is Less Really More? Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons Rate Thermage, Aptos Feather Lift and Injectable Fillers

ASAPS Annual Meeting Features Hot Topics Seminar, April 16; Fillers Panel, April 18

NEW YORK, NY (April 16, 2004) – As the demand for cosmetic surgery procedures rises to unprecedented levels, the quest for complementary, less invasive procedures with little or no downtime, has led to a new generation of nonsurgical techniques, devices and materials to delay or reduce the signs of aging. Do these cosmetic innovations really deliver what they promise? Are they safe and cost-effective for patients? These are the questions that leading aesthetic plastic surgeons will explore during the Hot Topics seminar and a special panel on the New Generation of Injectable Fillers at the Annual Meeting of the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery (ASAPS), April 16-21, in Vancouver, BC.

Hot Topics

“Presentations at the annual Hot Topics seminar focus on the most promising innovations in aesthetic surgery,” says plastic surgeon Robert Singer, MD, president of the Aesthetic Surgery Education and Research Foundation (ASERF), co-sponsor of Hot Topics with the Plastic Surgery Educational Foundation (PSEF). “Some of these techniques and devices have been in use outside the United States and may be beneficial, but others have little science behind them. So it’s important for people to understand that some may not stand the test of time.” The following are included in this year's Hot Topics program:

  • Thermage (ThermaCool TC System): Touted as a method for achieving a “nonsurgical facelift,” this nonablative, nonlaser device uses an advanced form of radiofrequency to tighten tissues while cooling the skin's surface to avoid the damage and redness associated with many resurfacing techniques. The device is FDA-approved for wrinkle treatment around the eyes.
  • Aptos Feather Lift: Minimally invasive, so-called “lunch-time” procedure, claimed to elevate sagging soft tissues of the face. It uses Aptos suturing threads placed underneath the skin's surface through tiny incisions and then gently tightened to achieve soft tissue support. The Aptos threads are designed to “hook” into the tissue, and proponents of the technique say the threads provide greater stability than conventional suture materials.
  • Wire scalpel: Used to treat forehead lines, nasolabial folds, vertical wrinkles around the lips, and acne scars by subcutaneous (under the skin) dissection without external skin incisions.

New Generation of Injectable Fillers

The New Generation of Injectable Fillers panel will cover a range of new and established soft tissue filling materials, including Restylane (recently FDA-approved), Radiance, bovine and human collagen, and the controversial permanent filler, Artecoll (Artefill). “Injectable fillers have become an important part of aesthetic surgery practice,” says White Plains, NY, plastic surgeon Robert Bernard, MD, panel moderator and ASAPS President.

Dr. Bernard says that plastic surgeons are uniquely able to incorporate nonsurgical procedures into an overall program of age management. “An aesthetic plastic surgeon understands facial anatomy and can appropriately advise patients on the procedures that will benefit them most – whether it’s Botox, a soft tissue filler, a surgical procedure, or a combination of these.” Patients must remember, says Dr. Bernard, that soft tissue fillers and noninvasive techniques usually are effective only for minimal corrections, while surgery can achieve a more extensive facial rejuvenation. Dr. Bernard says that participants in his panel will share their knowledge of which fillers work best and last longest for specific facial areas.


The American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery (ASAPS), is recognized as the world's leading organization devoted entirely to aesthetic plastic surgery and cosmetic medicine of the face and body. ASAPS is comprised of over 2,600 Plastic Surgeons; Active Members are certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery (USA) or by the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada and have extensive training in the complete spectrum of surgical and nonsurgical aesthetic procedures. International Active Members are certified by equivalent boards of their respective countries. All members worldwide adhere to a strict Code of Ethics and must meet stringent membership requirements.


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