Language can be a funny thing. We say one thing, particularly in medicine, and sometimes make the assumption that we will be fully understood or that words mean the same thing to everyone. However, as a recent article by The American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASAPS) pointed out in an article about language and light-based technology, the language can be confusing or ambiguous. What does “minimal downtime” or “some redness” really mean? The ASAPS is attempting to standardize the terminology so consumers, physicians and manufacturers are all speaking the same language.
Since we specialize in many “minimally-invasive” and “non-invasive” procedures, perhaps it’s important to shed more light on how we use that terminology.
When we say “non-invasive” we are referring to procedures that are non-surgical. In our office, Botox, Xeomin, Radiesse, Juvederm, Ultherapy® and CoolSculpting® fall into this arena. In addition to being non-invasive, they offer “no downtime.” This means that you should be able to return to your normal activities immediately following treatment. You may experience some redness with some of these procedures, or temporary bruising that may be covered with cosmetics, but basically, most patients return to their normal routine immediately.
“Minimally- invasive” procedures tend to be a bit more ambiguous since recovery times for patients can vary greatly, but typically these procedures are performed as outpatient procedures and offer less downtime than standard surgical procedures. Examples in our office include; SmartLipo Triplex (when a local anesthetic is used), MACS Facelift, which offers far less recovery time, bruising and scarring than a full SMAS facelift, Rapid Recovery Breast Augmentation, which has patients returning to normal activities within 1-2 days instead of the typical one week, Blepharoplasty (eyelid surgery) which most of our patients recover from within 1 day and resume activities almost immediately with the help of concealing cosmetics, and our mini tummy-tuck or Avelar tummy-tuck, which does not include the use of surgical drain following the procedure and offers quicker recovery than a standard tummy tuck.
If you are interested in any of our non-invasive or minimally invasive procedures, please feel free to call the office for a complimentary consultation.