Fibreoptic Adipocyte Nanotechnology (FANLIFT)
FACELIFT SURGERY RESULTS WITHOUT THE KNIFE!
There is a rapidly growing global interest in non-incisional aesthetic procedures to rejuvenate the face and neck. Up until now, the most effective technique for an extreme makeover has been the cervicofacial rhytidectomy, also known as a surgical face and neck lift. Many non-invasive modalities have emerged promising to deliver results similar to a facelift but with disappointing results, either in effectiveness or durability. As a result, the traditional face and neck lift surgery is still widely performed today.
For any Asian patients, two major factors contribute to cervicofacial (face and neck) ageing: adipose malposition and reduced skin elasticity. Unlike European senescence (ageing process), Asian features show increased fat accumulation in the wrong places as we age; this is adipose malposition.
Traditional Face & Neck Lift Surgery
The original technique of cervicofacial rhytidectomy was designed to remove excess skin and increased skin tightness. It was not developed to address the problem of adipose malposition. As a result, many Asian patients after face and neck lift surgery tend to complain of persistent ‘chubby cheeks’, double chin and deep smiling lines (caused by cheek fat descending over the mouth area). Unfortunately, until now, there has been no solution for unsatisfied post-surgery patients or for patients who desire the results of rhytidectomy but forego the incisional surgery for fear of visible scars as well as the potential complications of keloid, infection and prolonged recovery time.
The Fibreoptic Adipocyte Nanotechnology (FAN) Lift was developed to specifically address the problems of skin laxity (looseness) and adipose malposition. The technique is based on utilising a fibreoptic guided system to separate the loose skin from the underlying muscle, liquefying/vaporising fat that has accumulated in the wrong places, tightening and redraping the skin using the patient’s own fat as a biological ‘glue’ to reattach the skin to the deeper tissue plane. Fat cells (adipocytes) are on average 500,000 nanometres in size and can be altered into various states of solid/liquid/gel depending on the energy being delivered. Liquefied adipocytes can also be manipulated to reconstitute into a sticky glue-like gel layer which gets stronger by an energy-delivery process that induces collagen build-up in between adipocytes.
The procedure is performed using local anaesthesia and light sedation (twilight anaesthesia). A needle is used make a 1mm puncture behind the hairline and an optical fibre (1mm diameter) is introduced that allows the doctor to know exactly which area and layer is being treated at all times. The fibreoptic allows the doctor to first separate the skin layer from the deeper muscle tissue. Once this is done, the areas of unsightly fat are then treated with controlled delivery of a laser beam that liquefies and vaporises the adipose tissue. This liquefied adipose tissue is extracted and modified to be used as skin/muscle ‘glue’ later on. Next, the skin is tightened from inside using the optic fibre to guide the doctor until sufficient tautness is achieved. Before redraping the contracted skin over the muscle layer, ‘biological’ tissue glue using the patient’s own fat extracted earlier is injected in a thin liquid sheet.
Layers of Tissue Within the Face
The fibreoptic is then removed, allowing the 1 mm punctures to close naturally over the next few hours. To ensure that the skin ‘gums down’ successfully, the face and neck are then wrapped with a warming device for 30 minutes before the patient is allowed to return home.
The primary reason for performing the FAN Lift is to rejuvenate the ageing face without incisions and the associated risks, but delivering the results comparable or superior to conventional face and neck lift surgery.
A secondary use of the FAN Lift is to sculpt a round face into a more aesthetically appealing oval shape without having to cut the bone and skin (traditional jaw-bone reduction surgery). This is a procedure for a younger age group, especially those drawn to the now-popular Korean model of facial beauty.
Best Areas for Treatment
The best areas for treatment are the jowls, sagging cheeks (laugh lines) and loose neck skin. Other areas also include the jawline and puffy wrinkled skin below the eyes.
Worst Areas to Treat
The forehead is considered the most difficult to treat using the FAN Lift. Four factors contribute to the problems in treating this area: minimal fat deposits, thick fibrous attachments of skin to muscle, minimal area to redrape the skin after release and frequent muscle movement from facial animation. Achieving dramatic results in the forehead using the FAN Lift alone has been disappointing until now.
Expected Recovery Process
The FAN Lift is able to deliver results comparable to surgery because it is a surgical procedure. No incisions are made and no stitches are required to close the 1mm insertion points, and there is little risk of cutting nerves, blood vessels and other facial structures. However, being a surgical procedure means that there is an expected recovery process that patients have to be adequately prepared for.
Patients experience less severe and much faster recovery when compared to traditional incisional face and neck lift surgery, which include swelling, bruising, skin irregularity, numbness, nerve damage and excessive tightness. Unlike conventional surgery which may take up to 9 months to fully recover, the FAN Lift requires a fraction of that time. There are also no stitches to remove, no scars and no risk of keloid formation.
The day following procedure, the patients experience some bruising and puffiness. The swelling tends to peak between the first and fifth postoperative day. At one week post procedure, the swelling begins to recede. Any bruising also begins to fade.
The complications of the FAN Lift are surprisingly rare. Very rarely, patients can experience prolonged bruising and swelling which can last between 8-12 weeks, but all make full recovery.
The degree of improvement achieved with the FAN Lift is comparable to conventional incisional face and neck lift surgery but without the associated risks. Potential complications, especially those of unnatural results, scarring and keloid formation are eliminated in this procedure. The procedure is safe and effective for both male and female patients, for both rejuvenative and reshaping purposes.