You Can Cheat Time

Years ago Hollywood predicted that you could someday relax in a doctor's chair, and blinking machines would remove the signs of time from your skin, or that a new face could magically be painted on. Remember Katherine Helmond's face being stretched and wrapped in plastic in Terry Gilliam's film "Brazil?" The good news is, those Hollywood writers came pretty close to the truth about today's incredible medical technology.

There are many different new and wonderful medical procedures that can help you look better, whether it be to change the contour of your body, remove or replace hair, tighten sagging skin on the face, waistline or under the arms, change the shape of a nose or chin, add dimples, remove wrinkles, warts, Imaginary Face 
Liftmoles, acne scars, unwanted tattoos, spider veins, remnants of adolescent acne, the ravages of excessive sun worship, or other blemishes. We can call these "cosmetic surgery" if they involve cutting or anesthesia, or "cosmetic procedures" if they are accomplished without a major incision or a hospital stay. We do not use the term "plastic surgery" because technically that means reconstructive surgery.

It is this vast medical specialty that Thailand has become especially famous for.  Appearances are everything here, and Thai people all want to look their absolute best. Young men routinely wear plenty 0f makeup and that girl behind the counter at Burger King may have had a nose bob, breast augmentation, or dental veneers. (Or maybe she is not a "girl" at all.) Consequently, these artificial ways to alter ones appearance are not just for the rich, but for the masses. In Bangkok, for example, there is even a chain of "Laser Centers" in popular shopping areas where you can walk in and get something fixed for under $50.  We do not recommend these, of course, since the work is done by "technicians" of questionable training rather than by a physician.

hile many physical alterations still require a brief hospital stay, technology has brought us the phenomenon of the "Lunch Hour Face Lift." Some problems that could once be solved only with a scalpel can now be fixed with lasers, radio waves, injections, a host of blinking machines, and other means that do not require hospitalization, incisions, or even anesthetic. Some of them can be done so quickly that they can literally be accomplished on your lunch break. Voile! The lunch hour face lift is born.

Let's begin with what can be accomplished in an hour or two with little or no pain or bleeding.

You may assume that all of these mentioned below are registered trade marks. We mention them specifically because you may have heard of them or are already familiar with them. They are good examples of groups of different kinds of products that accomplish the same thing. We are not recommending any specific product or that you choose what you think is best for you based on what you read here. Please rely on the recommendations of a physician who specializes aesthetic medicine.

The most common problems that can be treated with non-surgical procedures are:

● minor wrinkling
● rows feet and certain kinds of skin folds
● damage from exposure to the sun and other elements that make the skin appear old or leathery
● uneven pigmentation, including blotchy skin and "spider veins"
● scarring from acne and other kinds of blemishes
● large pores
● atretch marks
● unwanted tattoos
● minor fatty deposits
● "baggy" face or body tissue like "turkey neck"
● permanent removal or implanting of hair
● skin whitening

There are often many different possible solutions to any cosmetic problem and a talented physician will recommend the best for your particular needs. We can divide most of these into two different groups:

Minimally Invasive Procedures

"Cutting edge" would be a thoroughly inappropriate description for the new technology that solves many different kinds of aesthetic problems because no cutting is involved. In fact, the devices used barely touch the skin at all!Other minimally-invasive procedures involve somehow breaking the surface of the skin, whether it be with an injection, a minor puncture of another kind, or application of chemicals.

Botox and MesoBotox. Over time, you train the muscles in your face to change by making repeated facial expressions. If you frown, scowl, raise your eyebrows you may have wrinkles that were caused by the retrained muscles beneath them. Botox, a natural protein toxin, is injected into the muscles under the skin, causing them to completely relax. As a result, the face is smoother and less wrinkled. It is not a substitute for a surgical face lift and the effects last only about six months. Botox is relatively inexpensive but usually requires pre-testing for possible allergic reactions.

Chemical peels. Application of chemicals to the surface of the skin to destroy two or more layers were popular in the seventies and eighties, but have been replaced by safer, less painful procedures.

Collagen injections. Pure collagen, the organic building blocks of human skin, is injected to plump up creased, furrowed, or sunken facial skin or add fullness to lips. Results appear gradually over a period of weeks following treatment.

Dermabrasion. Micro Dermabrasion uses tiny crystals to polish the skin, removing dead skin cells, fine lines and small scars. The process takes very little time and results are immediate. However, most people require a second or third weekly sessions to get the results they want, especially if there are larger scars or stretch marks to be removed.

Derma Roller. Some patients have better results with Derma Roller than Dermabrasion. The surface of a devise "rolled" across the skin to produce microscopic channels deep below the surface of the skin.  This allows collagen, the substance your body makes to produce new skin, rise through to the upper layers of the skin and deeper penetration of any beneficial substances that are applied on the surface of the skin. Most patients require two to four treatments.

Fraxel Laser, Cool Glide, Varia and a host of other laser treatments can  eliminate redness, acne scarring, uneven skin tone, sun damage, and stretch marks, large pores, spider veins and uneven pigmentation with minimal downtime and outstanding results. Some laser procedures can remove blemishes, unwanted hair and unwanted tattoos.

Galaxy Fotofacial, IPL (Intense Pulse Light) and similar treatments do just about the same thing but with bipolar radio frequencies and light that penetrate the skin to a depth that can be controlled.

Hylaform is a highly purified form of hyaluronic acid, a natural sugar that occurs in all human cells. Hylaform injections under the skin reduce the appearance of wrinkles and crows feet by plumping the surrounding skin tissue. Hylaform (and Collagen, described below) are longer lasting than Botox and do not usually require allergy testing. Results appear gradually over a period of weeks following treatment.

Smart Lipo. You are probably already be familiar with liposuction, a surgical procedure that removes large quantities of fat with suction. The principle behind "Smart Lipo" is almost the same except that it is designed for smaller fat deposits such as chins and underarms. A "wand" more slender than a pencil is inserted through a small incision with local anesthetic. A laser on the tip of the wand liquefies the fat and your body disposes of it naturally. Smart Lipo requires no hospitalization and there is minimal discomfort. The incision usually heals completely within a few days and will leave no scar.

Thermage is a modern medical miracle that has made the concept of a "lunch hour face lift a reality. Thermage uses high frequency radio waves to heat the collagen in the lower layers of the skin with a simple hand-held device about the size of a small computer mouse. The result is gradually a tightening of the skin that continues for as long as four months following treatment, which literally gives the appearance of reversal of ageing. Results are permanent in that they will probably outlive you. Thermageis safe, comfortable (with a local anesthetic), and requires no hospitalization. It is primarily used on the face, although it can be used on other areas of the body where skin is wrinkled or sagging. In some cases there are no apparent visible results after treatment, so you should discuss this at length with your physician before you commit to it.

Peptide Mesotherapy represents some of the newest and avanced aesthetic medicine for many complexion problems, including uneven pigmentation, age spots, wrinkles and acne scars. Peptides are amino acids (tiny proteins) that often have medicinal properties. Human growth hormone, silk, and insulin are peptides. In recent years pharmaceutical companies have discovered how to isolate peptides from natural sources or actually manufacture them to cause specific parts of your body to react in specific ways. Mesotherapy means using a micro syringe to inject medication under the skin. An anesthetic gel is applied first, so the procedure is painless. Each treatment requires one vial of the liquid peptide. People who choose this approach average five treatments, but you can have more or fewer as needed. Half of the vial is administered with the syringe beneath wrinkles and at acupuncture points on the face, then gentle "stippling" in less wrinkled areas. The other half of the vial is sprayed onto the skin. Peptide molecules are very tiny, so they are readily absorbed. You will experience some redness that is usually gone by the next day. The peptide I have been using specifically stimulates the growth of both collagen and elastin, which are the building-block proteins of our skin.

Aptos and other Thread Lift procedures. Using a syringe under local anesthesia, the doctor inserts fine silk thread under the skin. Under a microscope the thread appears "barbed." The thread is gently pulled back and anchored. Threads do exactly what a good bra does—lift your sagging tissue back to where it is supposed to be. Threading provides a supportive new architecture for the face, and stimulates collagen and elastin production. This is a “lunch hour” procedure that requires little or no down time. The threads eventually dissolve. Results are long-lasting but not permanent, however less costly, painful and inconvenient than surgery. The best clinic we recommend for thread lifts charges 35,000 baht (about US$1,000) for 30 to 50 threads.

Surgical Solutions

More comprehensive solutions that usually require a brief hospital stay. To read more go here:  Go!

Request Evaluations

We provide a free referral service for people who want to to be evaluated at a clinic or hospital. Normally we set up two to three appointments. Options are more limited outside Bangkok. Although photos are helpful no clinic or hospital will recommend a course of treatment until they examine you first. Treatmets are often a "package deal" at a pre-agreed cost.

Please use the form below to start this procedure. It will save quite a bit of time if you send us a photo as well. Just click on the button at the bottom of the form and the photo will be attached automatically. You will be asked if you want to send a second photo after you click "finished."

All information you provide will be treated with the utmost confidence. Photos will be deleted after they have been sent to the health care providers we think may be the best options for your personal case.

Using this referral service will not increase your costs.

Form Object