Ask Dr. Barber

Q. I have heard that there are some technologies that will tighten the skin of the neck and face so that a face lift can be avoided. Is this true and does it work well?
A. The answer to your question is that there is a technology that has been developed to tighten skin. It uses radio frequency waves to create heat which contracts the skin. It is approved for use in most areas of the body, i.e. legs, face, neck etc. The answer to the second part of your question is that it does not work well, in my opinion. The results of RF skin tightening are unpredictable and often disappointing. I do believe that the technology will improve over time but for now, it is just not there. My personal experience using this technology is that I have had some good results, and some very disappointing result. I have never had a result that is equivalent to a neck lift or face lift.

Q. I have heavy upper eyelids with too much skin hanging down. How can I find out if my insurance will pay for an upper eyelid lift?
A. There is a very simple and painless test that ophthalmologists perform in their office called a visual field test. It will measure whether the redundant upper eyelid skin is obstructing your peripheral vision or not. If there is documented obstruction of vision due to the excess skin, insurance companies will often pay for the surgery to remove the excess upper eyelid skin. If you think that you have some decrease in your peripheral vision or if you just do not know if you do, then make an appointment with your ophthalmologist and have the test. If positive for visual blockage, then make an appointment with your plastic surgeon for an evaluation for upper eyelid lift.

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