Laser Resurfacing vs Facelift: Which is better?

June 14th, 2014 admin

Laser Resurfacing vs Facelift:  Apples and Oranges

In the case of laser resurfacing vs facelift, there isn’t truly one that is better than the other because each is very different, like apples and oranges.  While they both are approaches to facial rejuvenation, each techniques is used for a very different reason.

A facelift will lift sagging skin and muscle while removing excess fat. Laser resurfacing will correct fine wrinkles or lines on the skin’s surface, but it will not tighten skin or correct sagging of the neck. Some patients may require both. And, in many such cases patients will have both done at the same time.

Patient before facelift and facial resurfacing

Patient Before Facelift and CO2 laser resurfacing

A facelift is very different than laser resurfacing because it is a surgical procedure.  A facelift is actually a cheek, jaw and necklift all in one because it re-supports the cheek, jawline and neck. To achieve the most natural, long-lasting results, a facelift requires meticulous dissection done in layers and therefore, a great deal of skill. The sagging skin is repositioned and the underlying muscles re-supported, while the excess skin and fat is removed. Dr. Kridel is internationally recognized for his MVP Lift (Mulit-Vector Positioning Lift) because of his attention to fine detail in the dissection on multiple planes and his unique technique that leaves no visible scars.

Laser resurfacing is a non-surgical procedure. It is also important to understand that there are several types or modalities of laser resurfacing, not just one. This is because there are different lasers with different spectrums of power.  The rule of thumb for patients is that the stronger the power, the longer the down time, but also longer lasting results.  Laser resurfacing can be performed as a standalone procedure or in combination with another surgical procedure, such as a facelift.

Patient after facelift and CO2 laser resurfacing

Patient after facelift and CO2 laser resurfacing

The most powerful laser is the CO2 laser. For patients with a great deal of sun damage and wrinkles, this will have the longest lasting effect. In fact, the results are quite impressive. The CO2 laser vaporizes, not burns, the top layers of the skin. Then over a matter of weeks and months after the procedure the skin regenerates Dr. Kridel is one of only a few surgeons in Houston who performs this laser technique with such great success and has written several scientific papers on the topic.  However, while a patient only needs to have one procedure, this technique also requires the greatest amount of downtime.

In the case of younger patients with less significant wrinkles and some brown spots, Fraxel laser resurfacing may be the recommended technique.  This is the least powerful laser and requires a series of 3 to 4 treatments spaced about 6 weeks apart.  However, there is virtually no downtime for each session.

The Fractionated CO2 is more powerful than Fraxel, yet this too may require more than one session. The Fractionated CO2 Laser technique uses the same basic technology as the full CO2. However, this laser is less powerful then the CO2 laser that’s fully ablative. Instead of burning off a large section of skin, the fractional approach sends down little pulses of energy in only selected sections of skin. It does not totally take off the top layer of skin.

At FPSA, we are very fortunate because we have all 3 modalities, or types, for laser skin resurfacing in our office — 3 different grades of lasers that can achieve the results patients will appreciate.

There are no two faces exactly alike. And as a result, it is important to have a consultation first so that they surgeon can provide the most appropriate treatment plan to help you obtain your goal of a more youthful and vibrant appearance.

To make an appointment for a consultation with Dr. Kridel, call 713/526-5665. 

To learn more about the different laser resurfacing techniques, visit Dr. Kridel’s You Tube channel where you can see multiple videos, like this one, about laser resurfacing.

— Kirin, Facial Plastic Surgery Associates, Houston

What is CO2 Laser Resurfacing

January 19th, 2014 Kirin

CO2 Laser Resurfacing in Houston

CO2 laser resurfacing in Houston, TX by Dr. Russell Kridel or Dr. Angela Sturm, is the gold standard in laser resurfacing of the face.  It is a one-time procedure with absolutely amazing results.

Don’t let the name throw you — carbon dioxide is just the type of medium that the laser uses. This is a fully ablative laser, which means that it works on the whole skin surface.  In essence, the CO2 laser vaporizes, not burns, the top layers of the skin. Then over a matter of weeks and months after the procedure the skin regenerates. As the skin regenerates, it does a number of things:

  • It generates new, smooth skin and the wrinkles are gone.
  • Because of the type of energy that’s entered into the skin, the collagen in the skin denatures and then reforms and remodels. So, you will see the results continue to improve over six months after the laser procedure is done.

Before and After Photo of CO2 Laser Resurfacing Patient (performed by Dr. Russell Kridel)

CO2 Laser Resurfacing Patient of Dr. Russell Kridel

CO2 Laser Resurfacing Patient, 4 mo. Post-Op (patient of Dr. Russell Kridel)


Best candidates for CO2 Laser Resurfacing in Houston:

Men and women with moderate to severe sun damage and wrinkles are the best candidates for CO2 Laser Resurfacing.  The procedure can be done on the entire face or anywhere that you have significant wrinkles.  Some patients with a past history of smoking have significant wrinkles or deep creases around the mouth that can not be erased with filler or removed with less powerful laser technology.

In addition, patients need to be able to set aside the appropriate amount of recovery time.  It will be 2 to 3 weeks before you can go out and about and can wear make-up.

Who is not a good candidate for CO2 Laser Resurfacing:

While you will benefit from some skin tightening as a result of the formation of new skin, CO2 laser is not a replacement for face lift surgery for those patients with sagging neck, cheeks and jowls.

Why are Dr. Kridel and Dr. Sturm the best surgeons for CO2 Laser Resurfacing?

The CO2 laser is the most powerful laser modality.  And as such, it requires a deft touch and a highly trained surgeon.  This is NOT a procedure that can or should be done by an aesthetician.  In fact, there are less than 10 facial plastic or general plastic surgeons in Houston that perform this procedure.  Dr. Kridel has written multiple scientific journal articles on CO2 laser techniques and has been invited to speak at medical conferences around the world to teach other surgeons about CO2 laser surgery.

In addition, at Facial Plastic Surgery Associates, we are fortunate to have our own CO2 laser so that the CO2 laser procedure can be done in approximately 1.5 hours (depending on how much area is being done) in our fully accredited in-office surgical suite or at the hospital as an adjunct procedure to a face lift (which requires an overnight stay).

View this You Tube video of Houston Facial Plastic Surgeon, Dr. Russell Kridel, talking about C02 laser resurfacing in Houston.

It takes a great deal of skill to successfully perform this procedure.  Dr. Kridel and Dr. Sturm are laser experts.  Dr. Kridel has published scientific journal articles on the laser resurfacing and has taught other surgeons all around the world about his techniques.

—- Kirin, Facial Plastic Surgery Associates


Chin Implant Surgery Trending Up

September 8th, 2012 Kirin

The Chin Is In

Video technology has unwittingly brought chin augmentation surgery into the forefront of facial plastic surgery procedures.  This is not surprising, given how pervasive video chats have become in our everyday life, from job interviews, client meetings, conference calls, online dating, to catching up with friends.  And,the fact that we normally gaze down into a web camera, which is one of the most unflattering angles.  This angle accentuates the waddle under the chin and foreshortens the face.  Over time, the chin and the jawline are among the first to show signs of aging.

People are considering chin augmentation as one of the ways to improve the contours of the neckline and restore their youthful look. A recent study released by the American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS) in January 2012, shows that chin augmentation is the fastest growing plastic surgery trend — indicating a 66% increase for women and a 76% increase in procedures for men in 2011.

Chin Augmentation Surgery

Chin surgery, also known as Mentoplasty, is a surgical procedure to reshape the chin either by augmentation with an implant or reduction surgery on the bone. You may also see chin enhancement surgery referred to as a Chinplant or a Chin Implant. This is a relatively simple procedure that can have very dramatic results.

While chin augmentation may be done as an isolated procedure, it is also very commonly combined with other facial plastic surgery procedures such as rhinoplasty, facelift and liposuction, to achieve optimal facial balance and harmony.

Chinplant Expertise

Dr. Russell Kridel, Houston, TX, has performed hundreds of chin implant procedures.  He is considered an expert in chin augmentation surgery and has published numerous medical journal articles on Facial Rejuvenation and Rhinoplasty, as well as taught his techniques to facial plastic surgeons and general plastic surgeons all around the world.  One of his journal articles that relates to Chin Implants and Rhinoplasty was published in Facial Plastic Surgery Clinics of North America, Nov 1999; Vol. 7, Issue 4: 453-479.

However, Dr. Kridel cautions that every patient is different and a chin implant by itself may or may not be the most appropriate surgical technique to help restore a more youthful appearance. Patients interested in improving their neckline should take into consideration the range of options that best suits their individual needs, which may also include single or combined procedures, such as Chin Implant, Facelift, Ulthera and Liposuction.

Before and After Example:

When you come in for your consultation, Dr. Kridel and the Facial Plastic Surgery Associates team members will show you examples of before and after photographs of his patients.


Here is more information about chin augmentation surgery and additional before and after photos are also available here.

—- Kirin




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