Facial cosmetic surgery has finally reached a tipping point where aesthetic surgeons can not only turn back the clock for many patients, but with new innovations they can also possibly prevent a patient from going under the knife for years to come. Kian Karimi, MD, a Double Board Certified Facial Plastic Surgeon who practices at Rejuva Medical Aesthetics in Los Angeles, CA recently developed the NovaSculpt technique which is showing great promise in facial age reversal and youth retention. NovaSculpt uses a combination of NovaThreads® PDO Threads and Dermal Fillers to lift and soften tissue, giving the patient an almost immediate youthful look. NovaThreads® PDO Threads (Polydioxanone) have gained popularity recently as a stand-alone procedure, and now with this new technique, NovaSculpt is defining its own unique space within non-surgical facial aesthetic treatments. To learn more about Dr. Kian Karimi visit www.rejuvamedical.org. To learn more about NovaThreads® visit www.us.novathreads.com.
What is the New Aesthetic Face of 2017?
The trend in aesthetics has been moving toward lesser invasive treatments for several years now. At one point a facelift, whether it was upper-face, mid-face, lower-face and neck or all three combined was the only option for patients with facial aging. The new face of 2017 will still incorporate a combined approach but the options available will be targeted at multiple signs of aging. Besides simply lifting tissue, our new approach is combination therapy which includes treatments that lift the skin and muscle, remove sun damaged tissue and replace fullness. We have realized in aesthetics that facial aging is multi-dimensional and often requires more than one technique. Patients also want less down-time and to be surgery-free whenever possible.
Is there a signature technique of the New Aesthetic Face?
Yes. A new combination procedure called NovaSculpt. It is really the most exciting thing to come to my non-surgical aesthetic practice in quite a while. Last year, we pioneered the use of Polydioxanone or PDO Threads specifically NovaThreads® in our practice. We were one of the first practices, if not the first practice performing the NovaThreads® in the United States. As we started using more and more of the NovaThreads® to address sagging tissues on the face, I realized that we were also able to address a second component of facial aging which is the loss of volume. We then combined the NovaThreads® with the DermaSculpt Microcannula technique and created the NovaSculpt procedure.
Can you explain the NovaSculpt procedure?
NovaSculpt is a combination therapy treatment that addresses sagging tissue of the face, specifically the lower face, and restores lost volume with fillers. NovaThreads® are PDO Threads (polydioxanone) that are made of an absorbable suture material that is commonly used in surgery. The PDO Threads for aesthetic use originated in South Korea nearly a decade ago, and this concept came from aesthetic acupuncture which increases the lymphatic flow of the skin to the face and body when you insert needles into it or when you put PDO Threads into it. The great thing about PDO Threads is that as they are broken down by the body (absorbed) collagen forms in the area where the threads are inserted. So, not only are we achieving lifting of the tissues but also seeing improvement of the collagen in the overlying skin. We then continue therapy with the DermaSculpt Microcannula which involves using specialized smooth-tipped needles or microcannulas to inject fillers such as Restylane® or Voluma® , etc. to replace lost tissue. The beauty of the DermaSculpt® procedure is that it is completely bruiseless. In essence, NovaSculpt is a combination of NovaThreads® and DermaSculpt.
What is the benefit to the patient of a NovaSculpt procedure?
There are several benefits to the patient. We can lift the tissues with the PDO Threads and as the procedure is non-surgical, we are able to perform it in the privacy of our medical practice. In addition, we can address problem areas at the same time and improve volume loss with fillers, reduce crows feet and wrinkles with Botox® and rejuvenate sun damaged skin with laser treatments all in one appointment. Plus, using the bruiseless DermaSculpt® Microcannula we are able to create results that we’ve never been able to create before in the office which are truly amazing. So, basically the patient can get more improvement in less time and with little to no bruising and downtime.
What area of the face gains the most improvement with NovaSculpt?
I have found that the lower face and neck region benefit the most as that has traditionally been a very difficult area to treat. Many people find as they age that they develop jowls at the jawline and loose skin on the neck. At the same time the nasolabial folds around the mouth are where more prominent volume loss occurs. The NovaSculpt procedure easily restores this area because the combination approach lifts the tissue into a more favorable position using the NovaThreads® PDO Threads, and we can simultaneously restore lost volume with fillers in one treatment which looks completely natural.
Is NovaSculpt addressing two components of facial aging?
Yes, we are definitely addressing two different facets of facial aging. Previously with fillers we were able just to address volume loss and sometimes practitioners got into trouble trying to recreate a “lift effect” by just adding fillers. What this sometimes created was a puffy face look due to the face being overfilled in the wrong areas in an attempt to “lift up” the actual tissue. Now we are able to lift the tissues or tighten the areas around the jaw and the neck with the absorbable PDO Threads, and then use fillers judiciously to complement the lift rather than create the lift. At my practice we add fillers after we have lifted the tissues and we have found that we actually require less fillers to achieve the same or improved results for facial rejuvenation.
Do you always perform the NovaSculpt procedure in-office?
This is completely performed in the office, under local anesthetic and is just as comfortable as injectable fillers.
Are there any incisions?
No. It is performed under local anesthetic and there are no incisions placed on the face or on the body. It’s simply done through an injection just like injectable fillers.
Are NovaThreads® PDO Thread also injected into the skin?
Yes. The threads are also injectable.
Have you trained any other doctors on the NovaSculpt technique?
Yes and AIAM is currently setting up additional training workshops for more physicians this year in all of the aesthetic sub-specialties including plastic surgeons, facial plastic surgeons, dermatologist, cosmetic surgeons, etc.
Is the procedure safe?
This is a very safe procedure as all of the threads are placed immediately under the skin. The threads are loaded onto blunt cannulas much like we are doing our injectable fillers. In fact, in my opinion, they are safer than injectable fillers performed with a needle as there is no risk of occluding a vessel causing skin necrosis or other devastating complications which have been reported with injectable fillers using a needle.
How long does the result of NovaSculpt procedure last?
The NovaThreads® threads themselves are completely dissolved by six months. The effects typically last longer than that because the body has laid down collagen and the skin which was treated with threads will tend to hold itself up for longer than that and we’ve seen results even up to one year.
Is NovaSculpt defining its own unique space within non-surgical facial aesthetic treatments?
I absolutely agree that it is. Even as a surgeon I sometimes will recommend the NovaSculpt procedure if somebody really is not a candidate for surgery or if surgery would be too extreme for them. NovaSculpt in the right candidate is an amazing treatment.
Where can other doctors learn about NovaSculpt training workshops and courses?
Dr. Karimi and the American Institute of Aesthetic Medicine (AIAM) are offering comprehensive training on PDO threads nationwide. Visit www.pdotraining.com to find out more about a course near you.
Editors Note: Dr. Karimi who is a faculty member of the Advanced Aesthetic Cosmetic Dermatology meeting gave a talk and live thread demonstration at the recent annual AACD meeting in Marina Del Rey, California. The general feedback was that threads are an important and exciting option that are, with training, accessible to a broad range of specialties for their ‘aesthetic’ toolbox.
Kian Karimi MD, FACS is a double-board certified facial plastic surgeon / head and neck surgeon. Originally from Indiana, Dr. Kian received his medical degree at Indiana University School of Medicine and graduated at the top of his class, earning him membership into the Alpha Omega Alpha honor society. Dr. Kian completed his residency at the University of Florida and fellowship in facial plastic surgery at the University of Toronto. Dr. Kian maintains an active practice in facial plastic surgery, head and neck surgery, and endoscopic endonasal skull base surgery in Los Angeles, California. Dr. Kian is serving his sixth year as one of the team plastic surgeons for the Los Angeles Kings Hockey organization. He is a volunteer lecturer and clinical instructor for the UCLA medical students and residents. Dr. Kian is nationally recognized and has been featured on EXTRA! and CBS ‘The Doctors’ for his cutting edge, minimally invasive aesthetic techniques. Dr. Karimi teaches the NovaSculpt technique at The American Institute Of Aesthetic Medicine www.pdotraining.com.
To learn more about Dr. Kian Karim, visit www.rejuvamedical.org.
To learn more about NovaThreads® and for training, visit www.us.novathreads.com.
To listen to Dr. Karimi discuss NovaSculpt on Aesthetic Insider™ Radio, CLICK HERE!
To watch Dr. Kian Karimi demonstrate this technique on CBS TV Show “The Doctors”, CLICK HERE!
To watch Dr. Kian Karimi perform the NovaSculpt procedure, CLICK HERE!
Dr. Karimi will be demonstrating PDO Threads LIVE at the Vegas Cosmetic Surgery symposium in June, and
at The Aesthetic Show in July.