Valley residents reversing the effects of gravity with new technique

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- Board-certified dermatological surgeon, Dr. Kathleen Behr makes her patient feel at ease for the latest cosmetic treatment that promises to defy time.

Alice Diaz, 51, of Fresno was looking for a procedure that was a little more involved than Botox or fillers but less invasive than surgery.

"I started noticing that my face is kind of sagging in some areas now, and I was kind of hoping to do something that's going to refresh my look and help me in those areas that I have trouble with."

So Dr. Behr customized a treatment for Diaz, with the silhouette InstaLift.

"You can do it in the upper face, you can do it in the lower face for the jowls, you can go along the jawline to help more with the jowls-- so you can decide on the placement."

That is what appealed to Diaz who wants a lift but no down-time.

"I would like it to be noticeable but not to the point where somebody is going to say, you know she had something done."

InstaLift is the improved version of "facial threading" in which threads are inserted into the fat layer beneath the skin, lifting areas of the face. The original material was banned years ago, by the Food and Drug Administration after reports of scarring.

"They had threads out in 2004 and then they got recalled in 2007. They were completely different then. They were non-absorbable which means they don't go away," said Dr. Behr.

Improvements in safety and material led to dissolvable threads which were FDA approved last year.

With InstaLift a fine needle and the bio-degradable thread is inserted into the fat layer of the skin. Tiny absorbable cones on the thread stay in the skin, until they are also dissolved. The process stimulates the body to produce collagen- the protein needed for firm, youthful-looking skin.

Diaz is ready for the procedure after the surface of her face is numbed. Dr. Behr then maps where the needle and thread will be placed.

"The vector that we pick is very important because that's going to help us decide where we're going to do the lift."

The entire process takes about an hour but the lifting results can last up to a year and a half.

At $2,400 to $3,500 InstaLift costs much less than a surgical facelift that can run in the thousands and requires weeks of recovery.

Diaz might have a little swelling and bruising afterwards, but she won't miss a day at the office.

"No down time. I will be working tomorrow again."

InstaLift can be used in combination with other techniques such as fillers, ultrasound, and even lasers to get the desired results.

Dr. Behr said patients today are reaping the benefits of cosmetic technology which is constantly advancing.

"There's many different angles that we want to get a natural overall appearance by using all of these in combination."

Diaz is looking forward to seeing that natural overall appearance only better.
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