An endoscope is a small camera that can be inserted through a small cut in the skin. It transmits an image of the underlying tissues to a monitor screen. It has been used for decades, but is a most commonly known as a technique used by orthopedic surgeons to treat damage to cartilage in the joints (arthroscopy). This scope basically helps doctors examine parts of the body without major incisions and scars.
One of the most intriguing advances in cosmetic surgery has been the use of the endoscope in facial rejuvenation. Even though the technology has been around for quite a while, this minimally invasive practice is now being utilized by cosmetic surgeons. Doctors are now able to perform surgeries such as a forehead or brow lift with just several tiny incisions in the scalp. Face lifts such as these used to require an incision that ran from ear to ear, which meant larger scars.
Plastic surgeons aren’t just using the tiny camera to assess tissue now. Instead, this procedure is now helping actually perform face lifts through the endoscope. For example, if the patient’s complaints are of mid face and jowl sagging as opposed to excess skin, a face lift can be performed through several small incisions in the scalp and lower eyelids.
These techniques have allowed the treatment of the aging face to broaden their reach to much younger patients. Candidates that are in their 30s and 40s with good skin tone can see improved long-term results. Due to swelling that continues for several weeks, one negative is that recovery time is somewhat longer compared to traditional facelifts.
Another way endoscopic surgery has changed cosmetic procedures is with liposuction. By using this technique, the surgeon is able to reduce fatty tissues in localized areas with less blood loss; therefore, allowing more adipose tissue to be removed at one time. A local anesthetic is all that is necessary in most cases and patients go home the same day. Experimental procedures involving ultrasound and liposuction are currently being perfected which will hopefully even further improve these techniques.
A new movement with cosmetic surgery, mommy makeovers, are also utilizing the endoscope. This total makeover procedure is for women that want to rejuvenate their body following childbirth. It is a series of surgeries including liposuction, breast lift, and tummy tuck. The strategy is to help women restore their pre-baby figure as quickly and cleanly as possible, which the endoscope helps accomplish.
Utilizing a laser is also becoming more common with different types of non-invasive cosmetic surgery. One of the current uses of lasers is skin resurfacing. Carbon dioxide lasers are pulsed at very high frequencies are now being used to reduce fine wrinkles around the mouth and eyelids. Less tissue destruction is seen with this technique as opposed to dermabrasion, a procedure that planes the skin.
With the new approaches being constantly developed for plastic surgery, the options to achieve the fountain of youth are countless. Make sure you do your research and find a surgeon that is reputable, makes you feel comfortable, and who answers all of your questions and concerns.