Cosmetic Surgery Procedures (2)

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Fraxel: The fraxel laser treatment is a more precise and specific ablative skin resurfacing treatment. A laser with a pixilated beam targets only small portions of the skin's surface at once (leaving healthy tissue between each "wound"), rather than removing the entire outer layer of skin (like the CO2 laser)—which means less recovery time (about three to ten days of redness). The results of the fraxel laser treatment aren't as dramatic as with the CO2, but it will soften fine lines and improve uneven pigmentation. Typical courses of treatment consist of up to six treatments, over a period of eight to twelve weeks. The average cost of a single treatment is from $500 to $1,500 per treatment.
GentleWaves: Another variety of the light therapy for skin rejuvenation is called GentleWaves light therapy. Pulses of low-energy light (from two lighting panels that you sit under for about 45 seconds) help even out skin tone and stimulate skin cells to produce more collagen and elastin. Typically at least six sessions are required during a course of treatments and are often combined with other laser, peel, or intense pulsed light treatments. The average cost of a GentleWaves treatment is $100 and up.
Hyaluronic acid fillers: Hyaluronic acid fillers are a new product that is marketed under a variety of names. These products are injected directly into the area affected and are used to “fill in” lines, creases, wrinkles and sunken areas for a fuller, more youthful look.
Restylane is used to fill moderate to deep wrinkles and lasts an average of six months. The cost for restylane injections is around $550 per injection.
Hylaform causes slightly less post-injection swelling than Restylane, but results may not be as long-lasting. The average cost of a Hylaform injection is around. $550 per injection.
Juvéderm is recently approved by the FDA and should be widely available sometime next year. Results with juvederm could last a bit longer than Restylane. At the present time, the average price for treatments with Juvederm are around $700 per injection.
Intense pulsed light (IPL): With Intense Pulsed Light treatments, pulses of light are delivered to the skin through a hand-piece that is held to the skin. The process is used to reduce hyperpigmentation and redness. From four to six treatments are usually suggested as a course of treatments. The average cost for IPL treatments is around $400 per treatment.
Microdermabrasion: This process is best described as “small scale sandblasting” where tiny aluminum oxide crystals are sprayed against the skin to buff away dead cells. In a typical course of proscribed treatments a series of four to six treatments is suggested. The cost of microdermabrasion treatments runs an average of $150 and up (per treatment).
Pulsed-dye lasers: Spider veins and other skin redness can be treated using pulsed-dye lasters. Beams attracted to blood vessels are used to zap specific areas of redness. In most cases from one to three treatments are usually necessary. The average cost ranges from $400 to $600 per treatment.
Retinoids: These vitamin A derivatives have been proven to stimulate collagen production and are available by prescription-only. There are many, many different brands to choose from, and options include Tazorac, Renova, Retin-A, Retin-A Micro, Avage, and Avita. The average cost of retinoid preparations range from $35 to $100 depending on size and specific formulations.
Sclerotherapy: In sclerotherapy, a glycerin or saline solution injected into spider veins causing them to collapse where they're then reabsorbed into the body. In most cases, from three to six treatments may be needed, depending on the size of the area. The typical cost of a sclerotherapy treatment ranges $300 and up (per treatment).
Sculptra: Sculptra is a poly-L-lactic acid injectable that is considered a "dermal stimulator" because it triggers skin cells to make more of their own collagen. Results usually require three to four injections over several weeks and last about two years. Sculptra treatments will run an average of $850 per injection.
Silicone: The most commonly recognized of the dermal filler products, silicone is a permanent filler used mostly for wrinkles, acne scars, and lip enhancement. Silicone was banned in the early '90s for safety reasons, but the FDA has now approved it for ophthalmological uses. This filler lasts forever in the body, but there can be instances of shifting and settling of the substance in the skin. Cost for silicone injections can range as widely as $500 to $1,000 per injection.
Thermage: In thermage, radio-frequency energy heats the lower layers of the skin and causes a tightening of the collagen present in the skin. Usually only one treatment is required. Average costs are $1,200 to $2,500 (depending on areas being treated).
Thread lift: With a thread lift, barbed sutures are threaded into the tissue of the cheeks, jowls, brow, or neck and then pulled to lift the skin. The results are often dramatic and last for a few years. The cost for the average thread-lift procedure range from $2,500 to $4,000.
Titan: Much like the Thermage treatment, Titan treatments use an infrared laser that tightens collagen. It is considered less painful than Thermage but often requires three to five treatments for lasting results. The typical costs for Titan treatments range from $700 to $2,000 per treatment.