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Presidential Update

How Noninvasive ‘Tweakments’ Are Changing The Plastic Surgery Game

Woman considering tweakment procedures
Woman considering tweakment procedures

Call it exhaustion or vocabulary burnout, someone somewhere decided that they’d had enough with using all the words, giving birth to the ever-popular portmanteau. A portmanteau is the super trendy way in which two old, tired words are tossed together to create one new word. Breakfast + lunch = ‘brunch’, web + seminar = webinar, brother + botox = ‘brotox’—you get it. Which brings us to the latest portmanteau being bandied about by the “cool kids” (i.e. Vogue, Harper’s Bazaar and Allure). The word is ‘tweakment’. And if you haven’t heard it yet—you will.

A tweakment is a small and subtle change that enhances the natural beauty of a patient via nonsurgical, in-office procedures. Gone are the days of exaggerated cosmetic surgical results—overfilled lips, frozen faces and outsized breasts and butts. Today’s savviest patients are opting for treatments that offer small improvements to give their natural features a subtle glow-up, as opposed to drastically altering their appearance. Think the virtual results of an Instagram filter—except in real life.

Are injectables considered a tweakment?

Are they ever! In fact, they sit at the forefront of the most popular tweakment procedures. Botulinum toxins like Botox and Dysport have been the number one in-office aesthetic procedure since 1999. Their ability to soften wrinkles and fine lines caused by repetitive movements is near-legendary, and in the hands of a skilled and licensed practitioner, they can offer miraculous results catered directly to each individual patient. They’ve also been known to gently ‘flip the tip’ of a cupid's bow and straighten out an asymmetrical eyebrow.

Dermal fillers like hyaluronic acid-based Juvederm and Restylane have seen an uptick too. Patients looking for nonsurgical ways to subtly address undereye circles, ever-deepening marionette lines, or slightly plump a too-thin lip find that these treatments offer just enough improvement to make them look like themselves… only better. The latest statistics from The American Society of Aesthetic Plastic Surgery state that injectable procedures have shot up by a whopping 39% in the last five years. That’s a lot of tweakments.

The rise of ‘liquid’ procedures.

Tweakments are also being used in lieu of popular surgical procedures like a nose job and facelift Liquid rhinoplasty and the liquid facelift: offer the patient enough subtle improvement via a combination of dermal filler, neuromodulators and/or laser therapy without the risk, downtime and commitment (surgery is forever, folks) associated with going under the knife. And while these liquid tweakments are temporary and not a replacement for more invasive and permanent “gold standard” surgical procedures, they do offer your doctor the ability to fine tune results in an in-office, noninvasive procedure. Think liquid rhinoplasty to reshape or refine the nose, a filler/ Botox/ laser combo to address the beginning and sometimes middle signs of aging, correcting sagging or outstretched earlobe w/ injectables, and injections of Kybella to dramatically reduce a double chin without liposuction Dermal filler is even being used to reduce the tell-tale signs of aging in the hand.

Tweakments to contour the body.

While these tweakments don’t offer the immediate glow up of injectables, they’re still a heavy hitter when it comes to subtle, noninvasive treatments that offer a big payoff.

Ultrasound (Ultrashape, Liposonix) and Cryolipolysis (CoolSculpt) are noninvasive body contouring technologies used to treat limited areas of unwanted body fat on the thighs, hips, abdomen and back. Both work by damaging targeted areas of underlying fat, which the body then naturally eliminates over time. Multiple sessions are usually required for the best result, and the payoff will take several months to appear, but the minimal risk and discomfort and little to no downtime? Priceless.

Skincare tweakments:

No list of tweakments would be complete without in-office treatments aimed at achieving a beautiful #iwokeuplikethis complexion #nofilter. Noninvasive microdermabrasion treatments, laser therapy and light chemical peels can produce miraculous results by addressing minor broken blood vessels and discoloration, and sloughing off the outer layer of dead skin cells on the face. And let’s just call 2019 ‘The Year of Prevention,’ shall we? An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of tweakments… or something like that. Nothing offers more ‘glow-up’ than a consistent skincare regime and the regular use of sunscreen, am I right?

Savvy patients are increasingly seeking less-invasive ways to stave off the signs of aging and/or enhance their natural beauty, and doctors are increasingly finding ways to give the people what they want. A sit down with your board-certified plastic surgeon is the best way to assess what tweakments could offer the most benefit to you. ‘Cause who doesn’t want to look their best with minimal effort? (Answer: no one.)


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