Why One Plastic Surgeon Says Non-Invasive Treatments Are ‘Absolutely Necessary’ for Maintaining Surgical Results

Why One Plastic Surgeon Says Non-Invasive Treatments Are ‘Absolutely Necessary’ for Maintaining Surgical Results featured image
Getty images

Newton Centre, MA plastic surgeon Joseph Russo, MD is a big proponent of nonsurgical treatments, and it’s not only because they’re less invasive than surgery, but because they maintain and enhance prior surgical results, too. “This is my 31st year in practice, and the holy grail of plastic surgery has always been skin tightening,” he says. “Over time, we’ve learned that adding volume through fillers can make the skin look better, but adding collagen through non-invasive in-office treatments helps keep the skin looking younger for longer, especially when loose skin appears after a surgical treatment.”

Skin Deep

“When we’re talking about enhancing or maintaining a facelift, a lot of it is based on the fact that we’re all born with different genetics and some of us are born with different skin thickness than others,” says Dr. Russo, who adds that patients with thinner skin may need more help maintaining their surgical results with skin tightening procedures as they don’t have as much dermis. “The number-one thing is to determine what your skin type is—if it’s a thicker dermis it will do well with many different treatments. If it’s thinner, it can get easily damaged.”

Dr. Russo adds that skin starts to age the second your surgical procedure is done. “So, a lot of the devices now have been invented to create collagen synthesis, because the loss of collagen as you age makes the skin thin. All the common devices like lasers, radiofrequency and ultrasound procedures are trying to do the same thing: create an injury in the skin and create more collagen, making the skin thicker and therefore tighter.”

Treatment Menu

“If you’re getting a surgical treatment like a facelift, it’s like buying a brand new car,” says Dr. Russo. “What do you do? Do you drive it into the ground until it’s unusable or do you get it cleaned, fill it with oil and keep it lubricated in order to maintain it? In this case, doing in-office procedures is like getting an oil change.”

A few treatments he does the most in his practice: Sofwave, which he calls “the new craze” and Utherapy. “Radiofrequency with microneedling is also popular,” he adds. But, most of all, he prefers FaceTite, BodyTite and Renuvion. “Sometimes, there are patients who don’t quite need a facelift but they’re starting to notice some laxity. You could do one of these non-invasive radiofrequency treatments to zap that lax skin right away. These are the most powerful non-surgical treatments that we offer in the office.” According to Dr. Russo, these treatments are “absolutely necessary” because if they’re not kept up with, “you’re going to lose the surgical results way faster than a person who comes in to do these procedures a few times per year.”

Sleep Talk

“At the time of surgery, when the patient is asleep, I usually give them their first two nonsurgical treatments,” says Dr. Russo. “Once we’ve completed that initial three pack (the surgery and then two rounds of a non-surgical treatment), then we advise on coming back and getting another treatment at least twice a year. When you look in the mirror and notice a little softening, then come back. And again, the rate of skin sagging has to do with the thickness of the skin.”


While Dr. Russo says no at-home treatment can relate to the strength of an in-office treatment, using medical-grade skin-care is important. “This is the most effective way to enhance surgical results from home,” he says. “With all the products that turn on your cells, there are scientifically-proven additives that offer results. It also doesn’t hurt to use a needling roller or LED light therapy at home from time to time, but they’re nowhere close to the medical-grade devices we offer here.”

Related Posts

Find a Doctor

Find a NewBeauty "Top Beauty Doctor" Near you

Give the Gift of Luxury

NewBeauty uses cookies for various reasons, including to analyze and improve its content and advertising. Please review our Privacy Policy and Terms of Use for more about how we use this data. By continuing to use this site, you agree to these policies.