Question for Dr. Kridel: Will Fraxel Laser give relief from deep eye wrinkles?

November 16th, 2011 Dr. Russell Kridel

Wrinkles around the eye area are one of the most common patient concerns in facial rejuvenation.  The depth and extent of the wrinkles can vary and as a result the treatment options can vary as well.

When a physician uses any kind of laser, it (the laser) doesn’t automatically know what to do. Therefore, the doctor doing the procedure has to decide on what laser settings and how many passes over the treatment area to use.  Extensive training, experience and skill are all important when you consider any type of laser treatment. However, there are also other variables in addition to the technical skill involved.

There are also variables in the type and strength of lasers. Exquisite care must be used to avoid injury to the eye itself. The Fraxel Dual (also known as Fraxel Re:Store Dual laser) is on the low side for obtaining wrinkle reduction in the eye area, as well as the face. A fractionated CO2 (carbon dioxide) laser is one step up (made by many companies) and then there is the fully ablative CO2 laser. All of these lasers have been shown to be effective.  However, the rule of thumb is that the stronger the laser, the better the results in most cases, but the longer the recovery. The regular Fraxel requires a series of sessions, whereas Fractional and Full CO2 can be done in one session. Chemical peels are another treatment that can also be done and vary in strength and results depending on the chemicals used, their concentration and the skill of the physician.

—  Dr. Kridel, Houston, TX

Question for Dr. Kridel: Can a non-surgical Facelift be a long-term solution for turkey neck in patients with diabetes?

November 9th, 2011 Dr. Russell Kridel


The term “turkey neck” is a common complaint from both male and female patients. A turkey neck is caused by gradual sagging of the platysma muscle underneath the skin in the neck and it usually means you have a waddle of skin and fat below your chin.

Traditionally, the most appropriate long-term solution to “turkey neck” is surgery.  For patients with diabetes, if your diabetes is under good control and your primary care physician clears you for surgery, a Neck Lift can be done.  However, if your diabetes is not well controlled and your primary care doctor doesn’t advise surgery, you could consider non-surgical treatments such as: Thermage (a radio-frequency device) or Ulthera (an ultrasound device).  However, you will need to accept rather minor improvement as these do not replace surgery, but might help some.

More often than not, if a patient has a “turkey neck,” they may have additional loose facial skin and sagging.  In this case, a facelift rather than a more limited necklift, may provide the best results and the most natural appearance.  As a rule of thumb, it is important that all patients – whether you have diabetes or not — with concerns about a “turkey neck” or facial sagging, should seek consultation with an experienced board-certified facial plastic surgeon.  Facial plastic surgeons specialize in cosmetic surgery for the head and neck and will properly evaluate a patient’s specific situation and provide an individualized treatment plan.

For more details about facelift surgery, you can go to this area of the website: Questions and Answers by Dr. Kridel, Houston,


— Dr. Kridel, Houston, TX

Finally, Laser Hair Removal treatment that is fast and painless!

November 4th, 2011 Kirin

FPSA (Facial Plastic Surgery Associates) was one of the first plastic surgery practices in Houston to introduce laser hair removal over 10 years ago, but not since then have we been this excited about a new device for this procedure. The new LIGHTSheer™ Duet laser has advanced technology which has brought a major improvement in speed and comfort.

Now, with the new LIGHTSheer Duet, it takes less time to do treatments with a lot less pain.  For example, a full pair of legs can take less than 25 minutes with the Duet vs. 3 hrs for other laser types and a full back can take less than 40 minutes with the Duet vs. 5 hours. And, with Duet’s increased comfort, most of our patients find that they do not need anesthetic numbing cream before their hair removal appointments.  Plus, it is good for all skin types!

With the LIGHTSheer Duet, it will still take an average of six to eight treatments to get to the point where you do not have to worry about shaving, waxing or plucking.  But with the new Duet, treatments are fast and virtually painless, particularly on medium and larger areas, so you are in and out of each treatment in no time.

If you have been thinking about having laser hair removal, you are not alone. Laser hair removal is actually the number one cosmetic laser procedure and is second to Botox in non-surgical cosmetic procedures in the United States.  However, many patients have been reluctant to have the treatment because they have heard that it is painful and very time consuming. Just think, no more shaving and no more unwanted facial or back hair.  So, if you’ve hesitated on laser hair removal in the past, hoping comfort would go up while treatment times went down, your time has finally come!

As with other cosmetic rejuvenation treatments and procedures, Dr. Kridel is at the forefront and FPSA is the only plastic surgery or facial plastic surgery practice in the Texas Medical Center to offer the LIGHTSheer Duet.

Feel free to give us a call at 713/526-5665, and we can schedule an appointment, as well as, answer any questions you may have. Just think, no more shaving and no more unwanted facial or back hair!

Question for Dr. Kridel: What do I look for in Facelift before & after photos?

November 2nd, 2011 Dr. Russell Kridel

Answer: Reviewing before and after photos is an important aspect in the process of selecting a qualified surgeon for a facelift and other cosmetic procedures.

There are two key areas that you should evaluate when looking at before and after photos.  The first is the photography technique and the second is the surgical result.

When evaluating the photography technique, it is important that both the before and after photographs were taken at the same camera angles, with similar lighting and consistent head position.  Do not be fooled by “tricks” some surgeons use, such as; if the pre-op photo has the head tilted down and the post operative photo has the head tilted up making the result look better than it is, or if the before photo is closer and the after photo further away from the lens making the patient look thinner.

A major surgical skill in facelift surgery is to make inconspicuous incisions that only the surgeon and a very observant hairdresser can see, because they are hidden in the hair and not visible. Some doctors will show facelift results where the photograph only shows the improvement in the neck and the face, but you can’t see the incisions because they have the patient’s hair pulled down to cover them. It is important to clearly see the front of the ear and behind the ear in all photos so that you can judge if you will be able to wear your hair up after surgery. The careful surgeon can hide incisions within the hair and will also preserve the hair so there is no loss of normal hair tufts.

Please look up this paper — Kridel RWH et al.: Techniques for Creating Inconspicuous Face-lift Scars: Avoiding Visible Incisions and Loss of Temporal Hair in Arch Facial Plast Surg. 2003; July-Aug; 5(4): 325-333 —for more in-depth information about our approach.

Also, here is a link to an abstract of the medical journal article:

\”Techniques for Creating Inconspicuous Face-lift Scars\”

— Dr. Kridel