A Plastic Surgeon and Dermatologist Couple Predict the Top Trending Procedures in 2022


As strict lockdowns and mask mandates begin to come into the rearview people are eager to seek treatments to help them look their best. Both New York plastic surgeon Elie Levine, MD and New York dermatologist Jody Levine, MD have noticed some consistencies in their practices in the wake of COVID: People want to look their best, and they want to look their best now. People are seeking comprehensive procedures and treatments that will deliver maximum results so they can look better sooner. Drs. Levine shares with us the trends they’ve seen recently and what they predict will be popular this year.

Thread lift

“One thing that I have brought back that I used to do in the past, but now I’m way more excited about, is the thread lift because the newer threads are way superior to the ones in the past, and I am loving the thread lifts that I’ve been doing lately. I do a thread lift on the forehead to lift the brows, on the midface to lift the cheeks, the lower face for the jawline, and also on the neck to smooth out the neck.

The thread that we use is a suture that the body absorbs and breaks down within around six to twelve months. The thread itself promotes some collagen growth, and the results are lasting for about a year. That provides a really nice natural lift and tightening of the cheeks and neck and lifting of the brow. It’s super natural, does not cause any bruising, and is very easy to have done. You don’t need to numb, and it’s a really nice complement to filler because certain areas are lacking volume, and you need to fill those areas, but other areas really need some tightening and lifting. There’s only so much tightening you can get with filler. So I love to combine a thread lift with filler.”

—New York dermatologist Jody Levine, MD

New fillers on the market and using filler in unusual spots

“There are new fillers that are on the market. I’ve always loved combining different fillers for different areas of the face. There are a lot of great new fillers, especially the RHA family of fillers. They really can address specifically very thin lines, like the lines around the lip or the ones on the chin. The horizontal creases on the neck can be treated beautifully with these fillers.

We are also using fillers in new areas. We’ve been concentrating a lot on building up the chin with filler. You don’t even realize how much a chin and jawline does for the neck. Building out the chin really helps support the neck, and lots of times if you have a deficient chin and you build it out just a little bit it really looks phenomenal. Earlobes are another area. We all focus on the center of our face, and then as soon as I mention that somebody’s earlobes are losing volume, my patients get so excited. They’re like, ‘yes, my earrings don’t sit right anymore.’ A little bit of filler in the earlobe looks great—they could wear their earrings again.

The temple has for a long time been a favorite of mine, and it continues to be, because filling the temples offers a super natural looking lift. It opens up the eyes, it starts to lift the whole face. If I add filler in the depression of the temples, it even begins to help define the jawline. Doing a liquid rhinoplasty is so satisfying to the patient. You really look like you had a surgical correction with just a few areas of filler that really can change someone’s entire appearance.

Another focus of mine with fillers really is the outside of the face, not the center. We like to put a little bit in the center where it’s needed, but the natural way is really to fill along the periphery of the face. You want to pull the skin away from the center, and that causes not just a fill, but a lift as well. Another trick is we now use hyperdilute fillers to tighten the skin of the neck as well as the chest and other parts of the body. I even use fillers in the skin above the knees. You can use filler to tighten crepey skin.”

—New York dermatologist Jody Levine, MD

Lasers and devices

“Ultherapy is something that I used to do in the past, and then I took a break from it, and I think that the Ultherapy that we do now is even better and more effective than the way it was done initially. Ultherapy gives a really nice tightening effect.

I also love radiofrequency devices such as Morpheus and Fractora, which is very good for scars. It helps with acne, also helps with pigment and general skin tightening. I am still a major fan of the PicoSure laser—that’s one of my favorites. Combining the PicoSure with BBL really brightens up everybody’s skin. I think the key with lasers is the right combination. We have about 20, so we could really choose the right lasers for each patient’s needs.

Another great laser is the one we use for laser hair removal. I feel like it just keeps getting better and better. We now use Splendor X. It’s painless and we don’t even need numbing. The old laser hair removal technology you really did need to numb, but now it’s so fast it’s painless. It’s really the best results that I’ve seen from laser hair removal.”

—New York dermatologist Jody Levine, MD

PRP

“We’ve been using more and more PRP.  It’s effective for hair loss and thinning. I also use it after certain lasers to help healing as well as for the benefits of growth factors which lead to collagen formation causing tightening of the skin and rejuvenation of the skin in general. I also inject PRP the same way I inject filler, with a needle, into various areas, and I found that very effective.”

—New York dermatologist Jody Levine, MD

Injections

“Microinjections of Botox Cosmetic, hyaluronic acid, antioxidants and growth factors continue to be popular for a nice glow. I’m excited about all the different neurotoxins that are out there as well as what is coming. Revance is a company that has a new neurotoxin that’s on the way that’s going to last almost double twice as long as Botox does—we’re just waiting for approval. That’s very exciting. I happen to love all neurotoxins, especially Xeomin, which is a purer neurotoxin without the accessory proteins.”

New York dermatologist Jody Levine, MD,

Complete body makeovers

“People are trying to address more when they talk about doing things like Mommy Makeovers and body contouring. I’m sensing that there’s more of a commitment to overall improvement. People are looking for more dramatic improvements. I don’t know whether you can attribute that to it being easier for people to recover because they’re working from home—I think that’s an element. I think there’s also an element of people starting to get antsy with the repeated shutdowns and they’re excited at the thought of the spring and being out and about and more independent and socializing more. So they’re imagining what they’re going to look like, not just necessarily in a picture, but what they’re going to look like in a social situation.

Everything from breast work to body contouring ranging from liposuction to tummy tucks to combinations of treatments to cellulite treatments to fat transfer, just kind of creating great shape because I think people are looking for the complete body makeover more so than addressing a few issues like they may have done in the past.”

—New York plastic surgeon Elie Levine, MD

Comprehensive facial rejuvenation

“This I definitely would attribute not only to people being able to recover at home but definitely to seeing what they look like on a FaceTime or Zoom call. People want a complete rejuvenation and it’s unusual for me to do just an isolated brow lift or an isolated neck lift these days. I’m generally doing comprehensive facial rejuvenation combining face and neck lifts with fat transfer and oftentimes doing eyelids, upper and lower lid, and chin augmentation. Combination treatments are popular because people are seeing so much of what their appearance looks like in a kind of magnified setting, and they just want to address all issues. They don’t want to do things in small steps. They want to look significantly better. They don’t want to just kind of improve something; they’re really looking for spectacular results. Obviously, we’re able to do that and still maintain a natural aesthetic, but people are not looking to undertreat.”

—New York plastic surgeon Elie Levine, MD

Radiofrequency

“I’m using more of the fractionated radio frequency, the deeper fractionated radio frequency more for skin tightening, and I’m using that sometimes independently on the jawline and neckline. I’m also using it in combination with other treatments. Sometimes, I am using bipolar radiofrequency internally in isolation or in combination with external fractionated radiofrequency to maximize shaping and skin tightening in facial rejuvenation. I’m also using fractionated radiofrequency devices for arm tightening. People often think they have a lot of fat in their arm, and it’s generally not a lot of fat, it’s generally more skin laxity. So using both internal plus external deep radiofrequency really works nicely.”

New York plastic surgeon Elie Levine, MD

Fat transfer

“I’m using fat transfer in body contouring with Brazilian Butt Lifts as well as breast augmentation, but I’m also using it microscopically on the face. I’m using it sometimes to fill a lower eyelid or using it for lip augmentation in addition to general facial rejuvenation. I’m using it on hands. I’m using more and more fat because the long-term benefits really are astounding. There are definitely growth factors in the fat that are being transferred, and there’s definitely a rejuvenating effect to that fat transfer—the skin even shines more.”

New York plastic surgeon Elie Levine, MD

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