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Wrinkles versus collagen – Natural facial rejuvenation through stimulation

Ageing transforms the face to create a look that does not always reflect the person inside, but there are solutions to this

Maintaining a youthful appearance, for some, has a profound effect on self esteem and personal and professional
relationships. There are several non-surgical interventions available, but not all deliver high quality, long-lasting, natural results.

What treatments do you advise against? Well-known anti-ageing treatments are Botox and fillers. Whilst Botox can deliver fast-acting results, if the injections are not well-placed by an expert, the result can sometimes be a ‘frozen face’ appearance. Results from Botox injections also vary between people. There are a range of fillers available, each with varying results. Fillers are inserted under the skin, in different layers to improve contours, scars, folds and flaccidity. Common temporary fillers used today are hyaluronic acid (HA) fillers. Whilst long-lasting, due to their hydrophilic properties (their tendency to bind to water molecules), they can give an unnatural and over inflated look.

What do you recommend?

Newer generation polycaprolactone (PCL) Ellanse collagen stimulators are very effective in restoring volume and redefining contours. They are safe and temporary and require fewer touch-up procedures. Due to their biostimulatory properties, they are my first choice for natural facial rejuvenation and chronological ageing.

Non-Surgical Nose Rhinoplasty

The process of rhinoplasty has advanced so much in just the past decade that many successful rhinoplasty procedures have been completed without the patient “going under the knife”. Non-surgical rhinoplasty is becoming more and more popular, especially here in the UK, and recently, this innovative procedure has made headlines in the national news.

Rugby Star Receives New Look With Non-Surgical Rhinoplasty

The Daily Mail recently printed an article about a non-surgical rhinoplasty procedure which was performed on ex-England rugby player Ben Cohen. Cohen’s bridge had collapsed as a result of his successful rugby career and, rather than undergoing a lengthy, not to mention risky, surgical rhinoplasty procedure, Cohen opted for a non-surgical nose rhinoplasty procedure performed by the experienced team at Rhinoplasty London.

The surgeons at Rhinoplasty London rebuilt Cohen’s profile with four injections which took just 30 minutes. The injections, which used a state of the art gel containing microscopic beads of plastic, was completed with a fine needle inserted deep beneath the skin. The microscopic beads were then placed between Cohen’s muscle and bone giving him his new look.

Cohen stated that the decision to have the procedure was not done strictly out of vanity, but for health reasons as well as he was constantly sick and his deformed nose didn’t allow him to breathe properly. He also developed a serious illness which he struggled to fight off and the rhinoplasty became a welcome “pick me up” when he was well again.

Non-Surgical Rhinoplasty

Non-surgical rhinoplasty is a safe and effective procedure designed to re-sculpt the nose and give it a more contoured look. The procedure is almost painless and it takes very little time to complete, with most procedures being completed in less than 30 minutes. The non-surgical nose rhinoplasty uses a botulinum toxin which is injected into the skin to weaken different muscles, thus creating subtle changes to the shape of the nose. Then, fillers of hyaluronic acid will complete the process giving the patient the look they want safely and quickly.

Contact Rhinoplasty London

To learn more about non-surgical rhinoplasty and how Rhinoplasty London can give your nose a new look and bring your confidence levels to new heights, contact them for a no-obligation consultation and let their experts show you what you could look like today!

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Choosing The Right Cosmetic Surgeon

If you are considering rhinoplasty, there are some important factors that could help make your decision easier. You might have looked at some before and after images online to see just how dramatic the change can be for some rhinoplasty patients. If you feel ready to undergo the rhinoplasty because you wish to change the appearance of your nose, then the next step is to choose the right rhinoplasty surgeon.

While there are many cosmetic surgeons in the UK, there are some factors that can help you choose one that is right for you. Let’s take a look at them now:

How To Find The Right Nose Surgeon:

Make sure the cosmetic/aesthetic surgeon is certified- a rhinoplasty surgeon should be a Fellow of the Royal College of Surgeons (FRCS). Certification to perform surgical procedures here in the UK. While some surgeons might be certified in other surgical procedures, you want one that specialises in cosmetic and aesthetic surgery of the nose. It helps if he/she are members of the Rhinoplasty Society of Europe and of the European Academy of Facial Plastic Surgery as well as belonging to Facial Plastic Surgery UK.

Does the cosmetic surgeon have rhinoplasty experience? Making sure that the cosmetic surgeon you choose has performed the rhinoplasty procedure before and has the experience needed to provide you with the results you want is important. Be sure to ask the surgeon these questions:

  • Where did you receive your training?
  • How many years have you been performing the rhinoplasty procedure?
  • How many rhinoplasties do you perform a week?

Look at their previous work- this can give you an indication of how your rhinoplasty will turn out. Every surgeon is different and each one is an artist with a different aesthetic sense. Choose the one that appeals to you by looking at before and after photos and focusing on previous patients with similar features as your own.

Visit the office and make note of the way the staff and the surgeon make you feel- if you get a good feeling from the staff or the cosmetic surgeon, chances are you will have a good experience at that office. Even the best cosmetic surgeons might not have the mannerisms that make you feel comfortable and you will have to decide just how much of a factor that will play in your procedure.

Can you trust the doctor to look after you? Can he/she fix issues if there is a problem?

Check the cleanliness and safety ratings of the operating facility- is the operating facility clean and well-staffed? Does it have the emergency life support systems needed in case there is a problem? These are important factors to consider. Be sure to ask about the anesthetist’s qualifications since much of your comfort during the rhinoplasty procedure is based on their work.

To learn more about how to choose the right cosmetic surgeon for you, contact Rhinoplasty London and let one of our facial plastic surgeon experts answer your questions today.

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Beyond Fillers: Rejuvenation through collagen stimulation

Hot quotes:

-Hyaluronic acid is hydrophilic; it gives an unnatural overinflated look.

-Collagen contributes to the scaffolding and keeps the skin tight.

-With Botox, less is more!

Take home message:

Avoid getting rid of individual facial lines. Focus on appearing ‘well’ for the chronological age. With Botolunim toxin, avoid creating unnatural folds and a frozen face. Hyaluronic acid binds up to 1000 times its weight in water, it is a good lubricant ‘jello’ but when injected in the dermis it can cause pseudocysts and can give an overinflated look.  The newer generation polycaprolactone based collagen stimulator restores volume and redefines contours making it the author’s first choice for natural facial rejuvenation.


Lydia Badia  FRCS (ORL_HNS) was appointed as Consultant Surgeon in Rhinology at The Royal National, Throat, Nose and Ear Hospital (UCL) in 2001 after she finished her fellowship in Facial Plastic Surgery. Her main interest is in Rhinoplasty surgery and has always had a passion for facial aesthetics. ‘Patients who were happy with the nose result wanted more treatments’. She wrote a chapter for the latest edition of the textbook Scott Brown on non-surgical rejuvenation of the ageing face. She resigned her NHS post in 2012 to dedicate her time exclusively to private practice and together with Charles East founded Rhinoplasty London to promote excellence in nose surgery.


 Ageing transforms the face to create a look that often does not reflect the vibrant person inside. Maintaining a youthful appearance can have a profound effect on self-esteem, and personal and professional relationships.

I would like to give an overview of the core of non-surgical interventions and focus on collagen stimulation products which I believe provide better longevity for rejuvenation and more natural results but also extremely useful for injured and scarred tissues after trauma.

The causes of ageing in relation to facial appearance may be intrinsic or extrinsic. Intrinsic skin ageing is caused by the same genetic pathways that lead to ageing of all the other organs of the body. Intrinsic ageing of the subcutaneous tissues is also highly relevant as bone resorption, muscle atrophy and variable atrophy of the fibrous layers leads to ptosis of the soft tissues, sagging, hollowing and rhytids. Extrinsic skin ageing is caused by life-style and environmental factors, which result in lines from loss of elastin and collagen fibres. The photoageing also affects the skin colour and tone.

Patients are typically concerned about looking fatigued, dull, angry, negative. If they have suffered injuries, they wish to improve the contouring. Most people want to appear “well” and optimum for their chronological age.

Broadly speaking non surgical treatment modalities may be considered by anatomical layer depending on whether they address changes in the epidermis, atrophy and inelasticity of the dermis, dynamic facial lines caused by the pull of the underlying muscle, and loss of volume at sites of fat or bone resorption.

1.Topical treatments are popular among consumers seeking skin (epidermis) improvement because of their convenience, low cost and excellent safety profile. Whilst results may be modest, the marked is saturated with promise through non prescription topical products. Of the prescription products, retinoids are the most powerful, effective and evidence based topical anti-ageing products available. They should form the cornerstone of any topical rejuvenation plan. The profound biological effect of retinoids on the skin results from their direct action on a family of nuclear hormone receptors, the retinoic acid receptors (RAR) and the retinoid X receptors (RXR). These receptors are found in all cells, though the key targets are keratinocytes and melanocytes in the epidermis and fibroblasts in the dermis. Activation of retinoid receptors leads to a molecular chain of events that changes protein transcription and modifies cellular function. Histologically this leads to epidermal hyperplasia and impaction of the stratum corneum (producing smoother skin with a ‘glow’), increased dermal collagen type I, III and VII synthesis, reduced collaged breakdown and normalisation of elastic tissue organisation (improving coarse wrinkling and crepe-like skin texture), and a reduction in melanin synthesis and transfer of melanosomes to keratinocytes (improving solar pigmentation) [1]. Epidermal effects are seen within six months of use, while dermal effects may take a year or longer to become apparent. Treatment ought to be continued indefinitely for continued benefit.

A concentration of tretinoin of 0.025% is considered therapeutically effective whilst minimising side-effects. Chemical peeling is the topical application of chemical agents to cause controlled destruction of part of the epidermis. This leads to desquamation, liquefaction of the affected layers, followed by inflammation and finally regeneration. Glycolic acid and salicylic acid peels have a similar profile and are frequently delivered at two to four weekly intervals. Trichloracetic acid (TCA) has a higher depth of penetration and in high concentrations also a higher risk of scarring.

2.Botulinum toxin has been the most revolutionary anti-ageing treatment in recent years, two to five days after injection it produces muscle paresis and it therefore stops pulling on the skin. The subjective duration of action in a given patient seems to be stable, but there is great variability between different people. On the European Market, three different branches of BTX-A are off icially registered: Botox®/Vistabel® (Allergan), Dysport® (Ipsen)/Azzalure® (Galderma), and Xeomin®/Bocouture® (Merz). The units are not directly comparable. The products have different amounts of complexing proteins or are free of complexing proteins (ie, Xeomin®/Bocouture®). The diffusion of the different drugs seems to be dependent on concentration. BTX-A has an excellent safety profile and has been used extensively for facial rejuvenation with a focus on hyperkinetic wrinkles and to improve facial wound healing after surgery. [2] Microbotox is the injection of multiple microdroplets into the dermis with the intention of decreasing sweat and sebaceous gland activity and thus improving skin texture and sheen.

  1. Fillers. By fillers, I understand the different products, which can be inserted under the skin, in different layers to improve contours, angles, scars, folds and flaccidity. Fillers can be divided into autologous or synthetic. The filler with long-term effect is autologous fat grafting. This technique was popularized and modified by Coleman [3] There are several issues surrounding fat transfer. One of them is that the injected fat can grow. The have been patients who has gained weight after their fat injections and their faces have enlarged. Another issue is that it is difficult to remove. Fat is not reliable and the adipocyte survival can be unpredictable hence may be working better on one side of the face than the other so touch-up procedures are often necessary.

Autologous platelet-rich plasma injections (PRP) promote tissue remodeling by increasing the expression of Type I collagen in human dermal fibroblasts. [4]. This is the evidence for the “vampire facelift”.

The use of synthetic fillers for soft-tissue augmentation has increased dramatically in recent decades, progressively supplanting surgery as a result of the improved safety and efficacy, the short recovery time and the lower treatment costs. Different types of soft-tissue fillers can be distinguished: non-biodegradable (eg, polymethylmethacrylate (PMMA) and biodegradable (eg, hyaluronic acid [HA]) products. A newer generation of biodegradable products has emerged: the soft-tissue fillers, calcium hydroxylapatite (CaHA),poly-l -lactic acid (PLLA), and polycaprolactone (PCL) which possess biostimulatory properties.

Permanent artificial fillers are in my view no longer recommended, as the widely accepted long-term effect safety has not been established. Temporary fillers are metabolized by the human body and consist of different substances. Hyaluronic acid (HA) also known as hyaluronan or hyaluronate, is a carbohydrate, more specifically a mucopolysaccharide occurring naturally in the human body. It is the most common temporary filler used today. It has a high tolerability profile. Cross-linking gives HA fillers a life span of six to eighteen months. [5]. Although there is some evidence that HA stimulated new collagen, the main effect is from its hydrophilic properties. When not bound to other molecules, it binds to water giving it a viscous quality similar to “jello”. In my view this is the main drawback of HA, it can give an unnatural overinflated look. Figure 1. Shows a comparison sonogram between PCL and HA.  [6] The HA produces multiple anechoic pseudocystic structures. The bright hyperechoic spots noticed in PCL represent microspheres with collagen stimulating properties. Collagen contributes to the scaffolding and keeps skin tight.

Figure 1. Comparison of sonographic morphology between

polycaprolactone versus hyaluronic acid. A, Polycaprolactone. The filler consists of a matrix with hypodermal hypoechoic deposits (*) that contain bright hyperechoic spots with mini-comet-tail artifact (arrows). B, Hyaluronic acid.

demonstrates multiple hypodermal deposits conformed by oval-shaped, anechoic pseudocystic structures. Notice that there are no bright hyperechoic spots within the deposits (o).

Ellanse®, Radiesse® and Sculptra® are particle based dermal fillers. The constitution of these fillers is mainly Carboxymethylcellulose solution, it acts as a carrier gel for the particles and microspheres. The particles of these three different fillers are the part of the filler that functions as a subdermal scaffold after injection and stimulates neocollagenesis around the particles.

Ellansé®, Radiesse® and Sculptra® are all made from resorbable materials. The particles/microspheres are made from:

ELLANSÉ®: Polycaprolactone (PCL): (C6H10O2)n

Radiesse®: Calcium Hydroxylapatite (CaHA): Ca10(PO4)6(OH)2 . 18 H2O

Sculptra®: Poly-L-Lactic Acid (PLLA): (C3H4O2)n

It has been well known that the surface morphology of implanted particles has an effect on the biocompatibility of the implant to the surrounding tissue. [7]. Smooth surfaces of implanted particles contribute to a gentle reaction of the body to the implant, without inducing an overreaction inflammatory response. Particle size distribution is also important after implantation. Particles smaller than 20 μm can be phagocytosed and transported to the lymph nodes.

Ellanse and Radiesse are very comparable based fillers and they are very different from Sculptra which contains large amounts of particles smaller than 20 um and many fragments are larger than 50 um. All three have biostimulatory properties but Radiesse lacks the long-lasting results,[8] and Sculptra the immediate effect [9].

Ellanse combines durability and immediate outcome. This unique product is composed of microspheres of a totally bioresorbable polymer, polycaprolactone (PCL) (30%), in an aqueous carboxymethyl cellulose (CMC) (70%) gel carrier.

The PCL microspheres are 25–50 μm in size and are thus protected from phagocytosis. They are totally spherical and perfectly smooth .PCL biodegradation and bioresorption occur via hydrolysis of the ester linkages, leading to the end products CO2  and H2 O that are totally eliminated from the body.[10-14]

The CMC gel carrier has the immediate effect and is gradually resorbed by macrophages in 6–8 weeks, the PCL microspheres stimulate neocollagenesis.[15,16]  Deposition of newly synthesized collagen around the PCL microspheres was demonstrated by histological and histochemical analysis of skin biopsies from treated animals, showing that collagen type I becomes progressively predominant over collagen type III, thereby achieving earlier and superior qualitative results than other resorbable products with a long-lasting effect.[15 ] The collagen stimulatory effect has recently been confirmed in humans on skin biopsies from treated subjects.[16].

The PCL-based safety has been demonstrated in clinical studies and recommendation on injection techniques are provided for the upper, mid and lower face, and zone by zone for each of these areas. [17].

  1. Darlenski R, Suber C, Fluhr JW. Topical retinoinds in the management of photodamaged skin: from theory to evidence-based practical apporach. Br J Dermatol 2010; 163: 1157-65.
  2. Badia, L. The use of Botulinum Toxin in Facial Rejuvenation. ENT News. Feature article. 2006; Volume 14 Number 6:59-63.
  3. Coleman S.R.: Structural fat grafts: The ideal filler. Clin. Plast. Surg.,2001; 28: 111.
  4. Kim DH, Jin Je Y, Kim CD, et al. Can platelet-rich plasma be used for skin rejuvenation? Evaluation of effects of Platelet-rich plasma on human dermal fibroblast. Annals of Dermatology. 2011 Nov; 23(4): 424-431
  5. Beer K. Lupo MP. Making the right choices: attaining predictable aesthetic results with dermal fillers. J Drugs Dermatol 2010; 9 (5):458-465
  6. Wortsman K, Quezada N: Ultrasound morphology of Polycaprolactone filler. J Ultrasound Med 2017;00:00-00
  7. Lemperle G et al. Migration studies and histology of injectable microspheres of different sizes in mice. Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery. 2004;113(5): 1380-90.
  8. Jacovella PF. Use of calcium hydroxylapatite (Radiesse) for facial augmentation. Clin Interv Aging. 2008;3(1):161–174.
  9. Redaelli A, Rzany B, Eve L, et al. European expert recommendations on the use of injectable poly-L-lactic acid for facial rejuvenation. J Drugs Dermatol. 2014;13(9):1057–1066.
  10. Pitt CG. Poly-epsilon caprolactone and its polymers. In: Chassain M, Langer R, editors. Biodegradable Polymers as Drug Delivery Systems.Vol. 45. New York, USA: Marcel Dekker; 1990:71–119.
  11. Pitt CG, Gratzl MM, Kimmel GL, Surles J, Schindler A. Aliphatic polyesters II. The degradation of poly (DL-lactide), poly (epsilon-caprolactone), and their copolymers in vivo. Biomaterials. 1981;2(4):215–220.
  12. Taylor MS, Daniels AU, Andriano KP, Heller J. Six bioabsorbable polymers: in vitro acute toxicity of accumulated degradation products. J Appl Biomater. 1994;5(2):151–157.
  13. Ma G, Song C, Sun H, Yang J, Leng X. A biodegradable levonorgestrelreleasing implant made of PCL/F68 compound as tested in rats and dogs. Contraception. 2006;74(2):141–147.
  14. Sun H, Mei L, Song C, Cui X, Wang P. The in vivo degradation, absorption and excretion of PCL-based implant. Biomaterials. 2006;27(9):1735–1740.
  15. Nicolau PJ, Marijnissen-Hofsté J. Neocollagenesis after injection of a polycaprolactone based dermal filler in a rabbit. Eur Cell Mater. 2013;3(1):19–26.
  16. Kim JA, Van Abel D. Neocollagenesis in human tissue injected with a polycaprolactone-based dermal filler. J Cosmet Laser Ther. 2015;17(2):99–101.
  17. De Melo F, Nicolau P et al. Recommendations for volume augmentation and rejuvenation of the face and hands with the new generation polycaprolactone-based collagen stimulator (Ellanse). Clinical, Cosmetic and Investigational Dermatology. 2017: (10):431-440

How To Look After Yourself After Rhinoplasty Surgery

If you have just had any kind if nasal surgery, taking care of yourself at home is important to the healing process and it could actually speed up healing so you can feel better sooner. In fact, the first 2 days after your surgery are the most important and you should follow the instructions provided by the surgeon’s office.

Aside from the doctor’s instructions, there are some tips to keep in mind and that you should follow if you want to make your post-surgery experience a better one. Let’s take a look at some of them now and see how you can best look after yourself after your rhinoplasty surgery.

8 Ways to Look After Yourself After Rhinoplasty Surgery

  1. Drink a lot of fluids the first day after your rhinoplasty surgery. Drinking lots of fluids will keep your mouth from getting dry and since you are forced to breathe through your mouth during the healing process, you will always have a dry mouth.
  2. Do not drink alcohol or smoke for 10 days after your surgery.
  3. Apply ice to your face in intervals of 20 minutes on and 20 minutes off as needed. Only use ice or cold compresses, never heat.
  4. Avoid any heavy lifting which could put pressure on your nose. In fact, you should not bend your head below your heart.
  5. Do not blow your nose or insert anything into your nose. Although sneezing is natural, try to avoid it if possible or sneeze through your mouth.
  6. Use a cool air humidifier at night in your bedroom.
  7. Sleep sitting up or at least with an extra pillow under your head to encourage proper drainage.
  8. Do not take showers, take baths instead. Avoid using water that is too hot as it could make you dizzy. Do not wash your hair until at least 3 days after your surgery.

What if your nose starts to bleed?

If your nose starts to bleed at all during the first two days post-surgery, sit up straight and do not tilt your head backwards or lie down. Hold a towel gently under your nose to catch any blood and spit out any blood that begins to drain down your throat. Do not apply pressure to your nose unless your doctor recommends it.

When should you call your doctor?

You should call your doctor if your nose bleeds for more than 10 minutes or if you have a temperature of more than 37.5 degrees Celsius. Also, if you are sneezing a lot or you have a lot of drainage coming from your nose, you should call your doctor.

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What to Expect when You Decide on Rhinoplasty Surgery

Our appearance is important to us and, like it or not, the way we look to others can make us successful in life or hold us back in many areas including our careers. For most of us, there is something about ourselves that we don’t like and wish we could change. It may be our smile, our weight or the way our body looks, or it might be our face. In fact, when asked, more people said they would change something about their face before they would change anything else about themselves. And a high number of them said it was their nose that bothered them most.

Perhaps you are one of the people who don’t like the look of their nose. And, you might have decided to have rhinoplasty to change the appearance of your nose making it smaller, larger, more narrow or whatever it is you want. Rhinoplasty is a safe surgical procedure that can permanently change the look of your nose and give you the face you want. If you are considering rhinoplasty, here is what you can expect from the surgery:

Rhinoplasty Surgery Includes the Following Steps:

Step 1 – Anesthesia

Intravenous sedation or general anesthesia medications are administered for your comfort during the surgical procedure. Your doctor can recommend the best choice for you.

Step 2 – The Incision

Rhinoplasty is performed either using a closed approach, or an open approach. The difference being that an incision is made inside the nose with a closed procedure, or outside the nose, in the skin in-between the nostrils with an open procedure.

Step 3 – Reshaping the Nose Structure

Once the incision is made, the surgeon will begin reshaping the nose by removing or reducing bone or cartilage.

Step 4 – Correcting a Deviated Septum

If your septum is deviated, it can be straightened and the projections inside the nose reduced to improve breathing.

Step 5 – Closing the Incision

Once the surgeon is finished sculpting the nose to the desired shape, the nasal skin and tissue is redraped and the incisions are closed.

Step 6 – See the Results

After waiting one week, the surgeon will remove the cast and stitches so you can see the results, but the nose is still swollen so the final result doesn’t happen for sometime.

Are you a good candidate for rhinoplasty?

Rhinoplasty is a highly individualized procedure and you may be a good candidate for rhinoplasty if:

  • Your facial growth is complete
  • You are physically healthy
  • You don’t smoke
  • You have a positive outlook and realistic goals in mind for the improvement of your appearance

If you are considering rhinoplasty surgery and have questions, contact Rhinoplasty London and let one of our experts assist you and answer any questions you might have about this safe surgical procedure.

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