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A New You in the New Year? News From the Frontiers of Aesthetic Surgery

Our aesthetic surgery expert Diana McBride tells us about the latest procedures

News from the frontiers of aesthetic surgery. For those of you interested in a nip and tuck and what is involved, our expert Diana McBride from Plastic Confidential is here to tell it like it is. This sort of work is not without controversy, but we find it utterly fascinating to know about. 

Ahhh the holidays. A time to gather together with loved ones, reflect on the past year, make New Year’s resolutions…and have some “work” done. According to plasticsurgery.org, the holiday season is the most popular time to have cosmetic procedures.  It’s a time of year when people can take a block of time off work, are less active, and wear layers of clothing — perfect for covering up stitches & bruising —and have months to heal before that spring trip to the Caribbean.

Little Johnny probably won’t be upset if grandma is “away on a ski trip” over the holidays as long as Santa brings him everything on his wish list. So, if you’ve been good this year, here’s a list of new procedures you may want to ask Santa for:

Ellevate suture suspension — This relatively new procedure is a minimally invasive way to pull up a sagging neck and jawline, according to Aesthetic Insider News Magazine.  Developed by board-certified plastic surgeon Dr. Gregory Mueller, the procedure uses a light-guided surgical rod that allows the surgeon to make sutures under the skin that can elevate and support soft tissue, without the need for large incisions, to create a much more defined and youthful lower face and jawline. Not to be confused with the “thread lift,” Ellevate uses a braided polyester suture that is placed over the muscle and beneath the skin which allows the surgeon to place the “sling” in the exact location to permanently support the glands and muscles of the neck. This method delivers much more accurate and long-lasting results. You can expect a lot of swelling and bruising after the procedure but all in all much less recovery time than a traditional lower face and neck lift. Average cost: $7,500.

Tickle Lipo — also known as Nutational Infrasonic Liposculpture (NIL), is an FDA-approved fat removal procedure designed to sculpt the body more comfortably, safely, and effectively than traditional liposuction.  Tickle Lipo uses a unique cannula that vibrates and rotates at 10 Hz, to block pain as it loosens and suctions out fat. The rotational movement, along with the use of air rather than heat, creates a sensation that essentially tricks nerves from signaling pain while fat is removed and liquified — making Tickle Lipo far less painful than conventional lipo. This method uses acoustic waves to break up fat and leaves the connective tissue and blood vessels completely intact which results in far less blood loss. Tickle Lipo gets its name from the tickling sensation that patients sometimes feel during the procedure since the treatment area is numbed but the patient is awake. Tickle Lipo can be used on many parts of the body — the inner and outer thighs, back, abdomen, love handles, hips, saddlebags, and buttocks — areas where traditional liposuction is difficult or impossible. The recovery time is minimal since the surgery doesn’t use general anesthesia; you can leave immediately after treatment. You will have to wear a compression garment for one to four weeks, but you can resume most normal activities within a few days. Average cost: $1,250 to $6,000 depending on the area treated.

Upper Lip Lift — A lip lift is a surgical procedure that removes a small strip of skin under your nose to raise your top lip. This also rolls it slightly, making the top lip look larger, fuller, and more defined. As we age, the volume is lost in our lips and the skin between the bottom of the nose and the top of the upper lip lengthens, making the lips appear thinner and lower on the face. A lip lift shortens the area between the nose and the upper lip — an area referred to as the philtrum — and addresses thinning and sagging due to age. A lip lift also exposes more of the upper teeth, which can make you look younger. Lip lifts can be done as an outpatient procedure under local anesthesia and usually take about an hour, leaving only a discreet scar that heals in a few months. The results often look more natural than injectable lip fillers, especially in older patients. The surgery can also be customized to tweak the shape, make lips more upturned, and minimize asymmetries. Recovery time varies from a few weeks to a few months.  Average cost: $4,000.

Personally, I am interested in the Lip Lift. All my life I’ve never had much of a top lip and the older I get, the more nonexistent my top lip is, giving me a reptile-like appearance that I’m increasingly self-conscious of. I don’t think lip fillers are the answer to a lip that isn’t there to fill so I’m in the process of getting two or more consultations by board-certified plastic surgeons (something I recommend to everyone considering any surgical procedure) and will share the outcome with you. 

Here’s to a happy New Year ahead! 

See medical disclaimer below. ↓


  1. Tell me your thoughts on the thread lift as the Dr. who fills my face is touting that big time. I did a lot of reading on it but it makes me a little nervous. One of my friends said hers lasted only a few months. I am a filler believer but my doc thinks my face is full enough for the moment and the thread lift would be the best? Feed back please!

  2. I’m a big fan of upper lip lifts & have been recommending them for over a decade. Some caveats to consider: 1. patient selection: history of favorable scarring, realistic expectations, not in combination with open rhinoplasty; 2. Intraop planning: measure as precisely as if it were a cleft lip repair because even if some degree of relaxation may be expected, this procedure should not cause exposure gingivitis which occurs when the upper lip is shortened excessively.


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The ideas expressed here are solely the opinions of the author and are not researched or verified by AGEIST LLC, or anyone associated with AGEIST LLC. This material should not be construed as medical advice or recommendation, it is for informational use only. We encourage all readers to discuss with your qualified practitioners the relevance of the application of any of these ideas to your life. The recommendations contained herein are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. You should always consult your physician or other qualified health provider before starting any new treatment or stopping any treatment that has been prescribed for you by your physician or other qualified health provider. Please call your doctor or 911 immediately if you think you may have a medical or psychiatric emergency.

Diana McBride
Diana is an Orange County native who truly enjoys living and working on the California Riviera. She has spent the past ten years as Associate Publisher for Modern Luxury, a prominent luxury lifestyle publication, where she's gained a wealth of knowledge in the area of aesthetics and anti-aging. At 61, Diana has launched "Plastic Confidential" to share her insight with anti-aging enthusiasts who also believe that "age isn't a number, it's an attitude". diana@plasticconfidential.com


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