Aesthetic medical science is currently experiencing a scientific revolution. Until recently, full invasive surgical procedures such as Facelifts or Necklifts were the only choice for many patients, however, a recently introduced procedure called Ellevate™ has been met with great interest by the aesthetic medical community. In this interview with Aesthetic Insider™, Florida based plastic surgeon, Adam J. Rubinstein, MD, a pioneering early adopter of the new Ellevate™ minimally invasive procedure for lower face, jawline and neck rejuvenation discusses why he chose to train in the Ellevate™ procedure and offer it to his patients. As with all new scientific technologies and procedures, the early adopter pioneers such as Dr. Rubinstein are critical to the growth of aesthetic medicine and its best practices because they are the surgeons who perform new procedures using new technologies that will ultimately help shape and set the medical standards and surgical protocols for the next generation of surgeons. Dr. Rubinstein discusses his work with the new Ellevate™ procedure as well as the new ICLED® light guided suture rod system, which is necessary to perform the Ellevate™ procedure. To learn more about Dr. Rubinstein, visit www.dr-rubinstein.com. To learn more about Ellevate™ visit www.MyEllevate.com
How did you become an early adopter of the Ellevate™ procedure?
Beverly Hills plastic surgeon Dr. Gregory Mueller is the inventor of the ICLED® which was first called iGuide. The ICLED® is a light guided suture rod and with it we are able to perform procedures to enhance the lower face and neck which, as a plastic surgeon, really helped me during surgery. Using that same technology Dr. Mueller has refined it and developed the Ellevate™ technique. As I have been using the ICLED® technology and Ellevate™ technique at my practice for some time, it made sense for me to become an early adopter of Ellevate™ and to actually train other doctors at my practice in Miami, Florida. I pride myself on offering innovative treatments to my patients and believe Ellevate™ is going to be a real game changer for people seeking minimally invasive rejuvenation of their neck, as it offers a real impact and great results.
How long have you been performing this procedure?
Ellevate™ is relatively new, but I have been performing the neck defining suture version for patients with a great deal of laxity in the neck using the ICLED® for a more advanced and invasive procedure called the Trampoline Platysmaplasty, for several years. Ellevate™ is a simplified, non-surgical approach that helps younger patients who are beginning to see a little sag in the neck area and want to firm things up. Giving their neck that extra support makes a big difference in their overall facial appearance. So, overall, I have actually been performing the Ellevate™ procedure for many years, and more recently have applied it to patients seeking a non-surgical method to refine the lower face, jawline and neck.
How long does it take you to perform the Ellevate™ procedure?
As I have several years of experience performing the ICLED procedure it takes me less than one hour to perform. In general, once a doctor is trained and has become comfortable with the Ellevate™ technique, it should take one-and a-half hours from start to finish.
Can you explain how the procedure works?
Ellevate™ is performed under local anesthesia and, using the ICLED system we are able to very elegantly leverage the connections between the skin, the glands and the muscles in the neck to refine the jawline and neck area. What I mean by that is we use the ICLED and suture rod to strategically place a stich (suture thread) that is weaved towards one ear and back across the neck to the other ear, and then back to the middle of the neck from where it starts. Once the threading has successfully been placed, the thread is tied to pull back the glands and muscles causing the sagging or neck protrusion. Once elevated to the correct position we can immediately see the definition and result and the suture thread is able to lift the very firm tissue as leverage to lift the whole line across the neck at the angle where the chin and the neck form. The Ellevate™ procedure is a very elegant way to refine the jawline and neck without making an incision under the chin, and without dissecting down to the muscle as we would do if we were performing surgery.
Why do you think this procedure is becoming popular among surgeons?
Well, there are several things that are going on with this procedure that provide great benefit, the main one being that we can get a great, long term result in the neck area without surgery. Other benefits are the ability to offer a neck defining procedure to a younger patient and the fact that the downtime is so minimal makes this a great procedure for both patients and doctors alike, hence its popularity.
Who is the ideal candidate/patient for this type of procedure?
Ellevate™ is a great procedure for a younger patient – perhaps 30s to mid- 40s – who have a small amount of excess fat under the chin, what we call the submental fat pad, and perhaps sagging of the glands in the neck and a jawline that is just beginning to descend. As we age, the muscular support in the neck weakens and the glands begin to show causing more sagging and requiring support. Ellevate™ can help set back the clock back significantly for those patients and within an hour or so can improve those three things giving them a much more refined and younger appearance. Ellevate™ gives doctors an option for patients I call the ‘in- betweeners’ who are patients that are just beginning to show signs of aging but are not yet ready for a full facelift or neck lift (or do not want a full facelift or neck lift). It is a procedure that has allowed me to give that patient an option without having to do a big surgical operation, and without having to put them under anesthesia as Ellevate™ can be performed using local anesthesia.
Can Ellevate™ be combined with other techniques or technology?
Yes. I frequently combine this technique with fillers and skin resurfacing, as well as radiofrequency devices, and a new device that uses plasma and radiofrequency combined. Ellevate™ lends itself very nicely to any device that is going to help add firmness to the skin.
Is Ellevate™ the same as a thread lift?
No, however, many people misunderstand the procedure because when we say we use a suture thread, then PDO or other thread lifting techniques come to mind. Ellevate™ is in no way shape or form anything like a thread lift. Thread lifts are temporary. They only provide about six months of improvement before they absorb and the patient has to return for another procedure. Some patients do get a nice improvement but it’s just not something that I’ve been impressed with. Thread lifts may be a nice alternative for lifting certain parts of the face temporarily if that is what the patient and doctor choose, however, a regular suture thread is not strong enough to hold the very strong and heavy glands and muscles in the neck. The long lasting Ellevate™ suture thread is capable of holding that weight and it does not absorb making it as close to a permanent solution as possible.
How long does the Ellevate™ procedure last?
I performed my first Ellevate™ procedure (using the ICLED®) for the first time about 6 years ago and that patient’s jawline and neck area still looks great. Since then, I have refined and performed this technique hundreds of times and each patient shows marked and long lasting improvement.
What can a patient expect during recovery from this procedure?
The Ellevate™ procedure is actually pretty simple to recover from. Patients may have a little bit of bruising and some swelling due to the tunneling required to place the thread, or from sub-mental liposuction if that was included. The suture itself does not leave any kind of mark and there may be a little bit of dimpling for the first 24 hours but that goes away quickly. Patients generally return to work within a day or two, and their neck may feel tight or firm for about two weeks but, again, this quickly dissipates as the patient (and the brain) adjusts to the new firmness. We do ask that patients refrain from heavy lifting or gym activities for two weeks which is normal with most of our procedures, but they can instantly go back out in public perhaps wearing a collared shirt, or neck scarf to hide any short term bruising.
Where do you teach other doctors how to perform the Ellevate™ procedure?
I have taught doctors from all over the world how to perform this procedure but Dr. Mueller is, of course, the guru. As I have been involved with ICLED® and now Ellevate™ for some time, I often have other doctors on the East coast that want to learn first-hand how to do this procedure so I open up my Miami practice to them and we have done several training seminars in Miami, FL and across the country on the ICLED® device and Dr. Mueller often joins us to demonstrate his approach to the more refined Ellevate™ technique when possible.
To learn more about Ellevate™, visit www.MyEllevate.com
To learn more about Adam Rubinstein, MD, visit www.dr-rubinstein.com
To listen to Dr. Rubinstein’s interview at Aesthetic™ Insider Radio, CLICK HERE!
To listen to the interview with Dr. Gregory Mueller the inventor of the ICLED and Ellevate™ procedure CLICK HERE!
To read the Aesthetic Insider™ news article “The Next BIG Thing In Aesthetic Surgery” featuring Dr. Gregory Mueller CLICK HERE!
The Ellevate™ procedure and the ICLED® light guided suture system is a new minimally invasive and advanced option that, when used in combination, will tighten sub dermal ligaments to better define facial features. Ellevate™ is not a facelift, necklift or threadlift. It is a minimally invasive procedure that addresses the muscles and glands of the neck and uses a clear uncomplicated method that allows a surgeon to tighten the neck by effectively placing sub-dermal sutures using the innovative patented ICLED® light guided Suturod® system which easily identifies not only location but also the correct depth of suture placement. When combined with the ICLED® suture system, Ellevate™ safely and easily delivers exceptional patient outcomes with precise accuracy, reliable and reproducible results. For patients who want to improve/rejuvenate neck contours, the lower face and jawline, Ellevate™ takes approximately 1 hour and is easily performed under local anesthesia. This procedure can be effectively combined with energy based technologies that tighten skin/dissolve fat/ remove fat and can also improve facelift or necklift results. By smoothing out the targeted treatment area and effectively sculpting in and around the neck, Ellevate™ can dramatically enhance results. For more information visit www.myellevate.com, or call 310.498.2102.