Balancing work and play has become the dilemma of the modern day aesthetic practitioner. Dr. Anil Rajani, a former professional windsurfer, and current competitive ice hockey player, intrepid mountain biker, and basketball player, discusses how a competitive spirit can help build a superior aesthetic practice. Based in Portland, OR, Dr. Rajani says sports have helped him maintain a clear, focused understanding of how to incorporate state-of-the-art medical products and technologies into an aesthetic practice. His passion for delivering advanced aesthetic results that allow patients the immediate benefit of aesthetic treatments without the downtime, discomfort, or cost of an invasive surgical procedure has advanced his professional career. One of his signature treatments is in the use and advanced training of NovaThreads® Polydioxanone (PDO) threads a completely absorbable, safe, and effective non-surgical alternative for patients desiring short term facial and body lifting techniques. Dr. Rajani has built a very successful aesthetic practice in Portland, OR and is an official faculty trainer for PDO threads withThe American Institute of Aesthetic Medicine (AIAM). To learn more about Dr. Rajani, visit www.rajanimd.com. And to find out where to get trained on PDO threads techniques near you, visit www.pdotrainings.com.
Is it difficult to balance a successful aesthetic practice and the NovaThreads® training courses with your sports and outdoor activities?
Sometimes it can be difficult because we start early at the practice and often go late, and then offer the NovaThreads® training courses on the weekend. I believe life is a balance – everyone needs a balance – so I try to make time to do the sports, outdoor activities, and everything else that I enjoy as well as managing my practice. Also, the competitive spirit you acquire from sports helps the inner drive to always learn new things, be ahead of the curve, and be at the forefront of the industry. Luckily, I have a great staff around me and I try to always surround myself with supportive people, which further helps me maintain balance.
What three things did you learn from sports that helped you become successful as a doctor?
First, I would say staying ahead of the curve and keeping my eye on new trends and technology. For example, in sports, you are always looking to have a competitive advantage, so you choose different equipment to help you get that extra edge over your opponent. It’s the same thing we are doing in our practice when we add things that we think are going to give us the edge and provide our patients with a better result, or technique, that our competitors cannot. At my practice we continually work on our offerings to make the practice better.
The second thing is learning. I am always learning from other people and experts with specialized training and great track records. Competitive people always line themselves up against the top of the pack. They go up against people who are doing the best things and are excited at the same level and can compete at the same level. I think surrounding yourself with those types of people is important.
The third thing for me, is really keeping up my energy, and a lot goes into that. If you look at successful people in the athletic world, they get up early, they watch their diet, practice at the right time, and keep their body, mind and their soul perfectly balanced. The same thing goes for an aesthetic practice. As an example, I travel a lot to conduct the NovaThreads® training and it’s hard when you’re on the road to be eating right, exercising regularly and be in front of people throughout the day burning up a lot of energy. I need to be mindful of all the things that go into keeping my mind and body balanced to make it happen in a way that does not deplete me. I think obtaining and maintaining high levels of energy is one of the keys to true success.
What are the NovaThreads® lift procedures?
NovaThreads® are available to lift areas in the face and the body. I started using the body threads about five or six years ago overseas, and now they are available in the United States. I’m very excited about them because they allow us to do things that we’ve never been able to do before in terms of creating aesthetic angles and contours. The NovaThreads® have a great balance of longevity, ease-of-use and patient satisfaction. What I admire most about NovaThreads® is that the company is always working to improve the threads and provide expert training. They also ask for feedback from their customers as well. I’ve been using them for a while and have seen the evolution of NovaThreads® as a company and it has been very exciting to watch them grow in this very competitive field.
Can you explain what PDO threads are and how they work?
The origin of PDO threads is actually quite interesting. They were originally developed in South Korea based on Acupuncture techniques. The European aesthetic medical community immediately saw the advantages of combining acupuncture techniques with Polydioxanone thread, which proved with great success to increase collagen production around the thread area. Since then, they have been used in European aesthetic medical practices. NovaThreads® then introduced their brand of PDO threads to the USA and since then they have become the most popular PDO threads brand on the market.
The first important distinction is that the “PDO” in PDO threads stands for polydioxanone. They are used commonly in surgical procedures, so if you’ve had a surgical procedure, you may have had them without even realizing it. The ones I use resorb over a 4 to 6 months’ time frame so they are very different from the permanent threads of the past that led to all kinds of problems. The beauty with these threads is that they do resorb, but not before the tissue they are tightening is securely lifted into place. They provide long-term results – my patients experience anywhere from a one to three year lift – compared to the glycolic threads you may see being used overseas. The PDO threads are absorbed by the body and do not draw water in. This is important to avoid the “puffy” look that people complain about from fillers. The polydioxanone threads are perfect because they last long enough to build collagen, which gives a good look, but not too long to cause the complications that the older threads did.
Are NovaThreads® a stand-alone procedure or do you combine them with other treatments?
It really depends on the patient and their needs. It’s important to know that as we age, our face changes and contours differently. Because of this, NovaThreads® may have to be repeated every one to three years, depending upon the patient’s aging process. Some people might see that as a negative because they have to come back in for another procedure, but it’s actually a great positive, because these threads build the patient’s own collagen and that’s what gives them a natural look. I must say also that aging isn’t just one or two dimensional, it’s three dimensional. It is bone, fat, and the skin’s surface. To really address all three of these areas, most people want more than threads, although a lot of people are going to be happy with threads because their main concern is lifting.
Are there any incisions required with this technique?
No, there are not. The beauty of it, and what has made the Thread Lift so popular, is that it is an in-office procedure, with little to no downtime, and because the very small openings required to place the threads are made with needles, the patient can go right out to lunch or dinner without concern of any obvious signs that they underwent a cosmetic treatment.
How often does this treatment need to be repeated?
Some people want subtle results and they are happy with that, and some people want a more dramatic result. Typically, I’ll ask a patient to return for review a month after the procedure to see how they are doing. If they like the result and feel comfortable with it but want a little more of a lift, I can easily add more threads to create more lifting and wait for that collagen to build. Then, I’ll request that they come back in at 3 months and typically, at that point, most people are really happy and we see them back in a year to a year and a half. I would say most people do two sessions over 3 months and then they are good for a year or two.
Is a localized anesthesia required?
There is not really much discomfort involved in the NovaThreads® procedure. General or even localized anesthesia is not required, but most patients will want a small amount of topical anesthetic and/or a small amount of injectable anesthetic. We don’t need to do general anesthesia or conscious sedation, and there is no need for any oral medication either. Really just a topical numbing is suitable for this procedure.
How long can a patient expect to recover?
Not long at all. Our patients are able to drive themselves home. There is not a lot of restriction. The main advice we give is to keep the area around the Threads clean, and we do restrict exercise for the first day to two mainly to prevent bruising. Patients don’t need to massage the area, and there is not a lot of care necessary for this procedure. If it’s in a dynamic area around the mouth or along the jaw line we might ask them to restrict excessive movement for a few days to a week, but that’s about it. When we are using threads in the body to do a buttock lift for instance, we do advise patients against doing any kind of deep squatting exercises or other strenuous sports for a couple of weeks. The patient does need to allow the body to build collagen around the thread so that it can create the desired lift.
What type of training is available in the USA for physicians interested in learning the NovaThreads® techniques?
There are many courses available to physicians wanting to learn how to accurately place NovaThreads® both in the face and body. The courses general include the theory aspect and a demonstration, along with a hands-on experience aspect. For the most part, many physicians have already had experience doing fillers and injectables of some type, so they are relatively comfortable the first time that they actually do a PDO thread procedure. We find that most aesthetic practitioners are able to quickly learn the correct way to lift the tissue – whether it is the face, buttocks, or another area – and are excited to quickly return to their practice to offer Thread Lifts to their patients. Doctors interested in learning more about trainings can find course details at www.pdothreads.com.
Where do you see the future of NovaThreads®?
One of the most important areas that I train on and is what I feel is the biggest advancement that NovaThreads® provides is rejuvenation of the lower face. Traditionally, that’s where we provided fillers ten years ago. Now, the threads provide a natural facial contouring and lift that looks natural and beautiful. I think that’s one of the major advancements that threads are going to bring in 2017 and beyond. It’s going to be a major theme for the next five to ten years to come.
To listen to Dr. Rajani’s interview on Aesthetic Insider™ Radio CLICK HERE
Physicians interested in PDO Thread Trainings, visit www.pdotrainings.com.
CLICK BELOW to watch Dr. Kian Karimi demonstrate a PDO Thread procedure.