Tech Neck Can Be Relieved

October 14th, 2014 Kirin


Woman looking down at smartphone

Our beloved smartphones and tablets might be to blame for some of the extra wrinkles you see in the mirror. Often called “tech neck,” or “text neck”, this condition occurs as a result of frequently looking up and down at these devices. The movement and the position causes creases, double chins, and wrinkles to form on the lower face and neck.

Clearly, we are not going to give up our tech devices.  So, what can we do to maintain our youthful appearance?

Fortunately, there are surgical and non-surgical solutions depending on an individual’s needs.


Tech neck is a condition involving loose skin, lines and wrinkles, skin folds, and a double chin. This phenomenon is starting to spread as more and more people discover that their addiction to technology is taking its toll. Newly formed double chins, neck creases, and jawline folds have all begun as a result of frequently bending over your smartphone or tablet.

The position is much different from that used at a laptop or desktop computer, since the screens are flat and often lying on a surface below eye level. Reading your tablet on the surface of a desk requires a unique positioning of your face and neck. If you spend a lot of time in this position, you’ve probably started to notice some new creases here and there.

Think of a piece of paper that you had folded in half in your pocket for awhile, then open it up and flatten it out.  The paper is flat, but the line is still there. This is similar to people who do texting and do repetitive looking down. The concept is that by moving the neck forward and back, and forward and back you’re again causing those wrinkles by scrunching up the skin.  Take a look at someone who is staring down at a smartphone or Ipad in their hand and observe how the skin and tissues react in this position.

Certainly, the biggest culprit for skin damage remains the sun.  In addition, the aging process, as well as your genetic makeup also factor in heavily for loose skin and jowling.  Then add to the mix, the tech neck phenomenon and you may feel like you are looking older faster than you would like.


Looking ahead, you might try to make an effort to read your smartphone and tablet screens when they are at eye-level or elevated above you, but even that won’t erase those creases, loose skin and wrinkles that are already there.


For individuals who have more significant loose skin, wrinkles and jowling in the face and neck area, facelift surgery will add smoothness and tautness to the skin, remove a double chin and create a more youthful profile. It is important to understand that a true facelift performed by a facial plastic surgery specialist is actually a face and neck lift combined, to give you the greatest benefit. With the MVP Lift technique used by Dr. Russell Kridel, you will regain your youthful appearance.  His results are known for being natural, so you will look like a younger you, not a different you.  Patients don’t need to wait until their late 50’s or 60’s for a facelift.  Many patients, from their late 30’s and 40’s, have a facelift, which will permanently shift back the hands of time by ten to fifteen years.

Obviously, a facelift doesn’t completely stop the aging process, but you will have accomplished a virtual time shift.  Read more about Dr. Kridel’s special MVP Lift technique. In a nutshell, tech neck symptoms will be banished by an MVP Lift, leaving you with the clean slate you need to help you change your screen-reading habits.


For patients who are seeing the early signs of aging, as well as tech neck, may not want, need or have time for the downtime associated with facelift surgery.  Ulthera, also known as Ultherapy, skin tightening treatment is a superb option for you.

Ulthera was first of its kind to be cleared by the FDA for non-invasive lifting of the eyebrow, neck and under the chin.  It is now also FDA approved to improve décolletage lines and wrinkles as well. The Ulthera procedure stimulates collagen production by delivering focused ultrasound energy to the skin’s foundational layer typically addressed in cosmetic surgery without cutting or disrupting the surface of the skin.

Like all treatments, results can vary from patient to patient. However, with just a single Ulthera treatment, the regenerative process has begun. Some patients express some immediate results, but the full effect will build gradually over the course of 2-3 months. Patients like the gradual, natural change that occurs over time and remark that their friends and co-workers don’t know that they have had anything done; just that they look more refreshed. Ulthera helps slow down the aging process, with results lasting an average of 12-18 months.


Every person and every face and neck is different.  So, it is imperative that you seek out a facial plastic surgeon.  Facial plastic surgeons, such as Dr. Russell Kridel and Dr. Angela Sturm, focus exclusively on the face and neck. No boobs. No butts.  They believe patients should trust their face to a specialist in this area because the anatomy from the neck and up is far more complicated.

So, the first step is to make an appointment for a consultation with Dr. Kridel or Dr. Sturm.  They are extremely thorough and will provide you with a facial rejuvenation plan specific to you.  Not one size fits all.   Consultations with our surgeons are extremely thorough, so you will need to plan on being with us for about two hours.


Dr. Russell Kridel is known as “The Doctor’s Doctor.”  He has authored over 100 scientific journal articles and textbook chapters on facial rejuvenation surgery.  As a recognized expert in facial plastic procedures, Dr. Kridel is frequently invited to share his specific techniques with his peers at plastic surgery meetings around the world. Patients and physicians refer themselves and their own family members and friends because of his surgical expertise and international reputation as one of the best facial plastic surgeons in the country.

Dr. Sturm trained with Dr. Kridel and has also been recognized for her surgical skill by patients and peers, having also been named to numerous Top Doc lists.

— Kirin, Facial Plastic Surgery Associates

To make an appointment with Dr. Kridel or Dr. Sturm for an MVP Facelift or Ulthera consultation, please call 713/526-5665.

You can also go to Dr. Kridel’s You Tube channel for a few of his videos on facelift and facial rejuvenation procedures or visit for more information.

Beware of Unproven & Unscientific Plastic Surgery Procedures

January 25th, 2013 Kirin


We often get calls about various procedures that have been heavily advertised directly to consumers, including the following procedures noted in this article in Allure magazine: Vampire Lift (injecting patient’s own blood plasma), SmartLipo (Laser Liposuction), Stem-cell Lift and Artefill (for lips).  Unfortunately, the majority of these procedures do not have scientific evidence of effectiveness and have not been written up in peer-reviewed medical journals by widely respected facial plastic surgeons.  Sadly, we actually see patients that have tried some of these “fad” procedures and now require revisions by Dr. Kridel.

The Allure magazine article, titled “The 10 most overrated trends in cosmetic surgery”, provides an interesting overview of many procedures that Dr. Kridel and Dr. Angela Sturm-O’Brien do not perform or recommend with one exception — Ulthera. In the article the criticism about Ulthera was based on patient discomfort (and not about poor results). Since this article was published  in mid-2012, Ulthera received FDA clearance to non-invasively lift lax tissue on the neck and under the chin, in addition to the FDA clearance they already had for non-invasive eyebrow lift. Ulthera also completed a system upgrade — Ulthera Amplify — to increase effectiveness and reduce patient discomfort.  At FPSA we have the new Ulthera Amplify system and Dr. Russell Kridel and Dr. Angela Sturm-O’Brien have  found that the majority of patients do not require medication for treatment.  However, for even greater comfort during Ultherapy, we can also apply topical cream to the treatment areas.

Dr. Kridel has also found great success using Sculptra for patients with hollow cheek areas.  However, like stated in this article, Dr. Kridel absolutely does not recommend Sculptra for use in the lips.  To view more information about Sculptra click here or to view videos of Dr Kridel speaking about Sculptra click here.

The best advice we can provide to patients about the latest cosmetic surgery fads — Buyer Beware.  Stay away from unproven, unscientific plastic surgery procedures and always seek out an experienced, board-certified facial plastic surgeon.

— Kirin, Facial Plastic Surgery Associates





Ulthera Skin Tightening Treatment Continues to Shine in the Press

January 16th, 2013 Kirin

Dr. Kridel and Dr. Sturm-O’Brien are at the forefront of Ulthera technology for face and neck skin tightening




















The media buzz continues on the benefits of Ulthera™ in the new issue of New Beauty. Ultherapy is a face and neck skin tightening treatment, which uses micro-focused ultrasound waves for non-invasive tissue.  It lifts, firms and tightens lax skin naturally and with no downtime.

At Facial Plastic Surgery Associates, Dr. Russell Kridel and Dr. Angela Sturm-O’Brien have found that Ulthera has become a very popular treatment among patients, both young and old, who are not yet ready logistically, economically or psychologically for surgery. It is an ideal treatment for men and women with mild to moderate skin laxity. However, we do not recommend Ulthera for moderate to significant skin laxity and jowling which would more likely require a surgical procedure.

At the beginning of the New Year, Ulthera is an excellent treatment for patients that would like to start off 2013 with a more youthful and refreshed look without any downtime. Like all treatments, results can vary from patient to patient. However, with just one Ultherapy treatment the regenerative process has begun and many patients express some immediate results.  The full effect will build gradually over the course of two to three months and last about one to two years.

Check out Ulthera in the new issue of New Beauty.

Or view more detailed information about Dr. Kridel’s approach to Ulthera here.

— Kirin, Facial Plastic Surgery Associates, Houston TX

It’s Not Too Late to Give the Gift of Beauty by FPSA and Dr. Kridel

December 21st, 2012 Kirin





This holiday give the Gift of Beauty by FPSA!

Are you looking for the unique holiday gift that keeps on giving? Why not pamper someone special in your life with an FPSA “Gift of Beauty “certificate.


  • Is your husband looking for the perfect stocking stuffer for you?
  • Does a friend keep hinting about wanting Botox or fillers?
  • Has a family member expressed an interest in facial plastic surgery, or been inspired by how youthful you look after a recent procedure?
  • Or would you like to treat yourself to a more youthful look?

An FPSA (Facial Plastic Surgery Associates) “Gift of Beauty” gift certificate can be used for any of our skin care products or cosmetic surgery services— from consultation with Dr. Russell Kridel or Dr. Angela Sturm-O’Brien, to nonsurgical rejuvenation treatments (think Botox, Restylane, Ulthera, Thermage, and Fraxel) or to our signature facial plastic surgery procedures. Gift Certificates for Plastic Surgery Products and Services are available for any amount.

Your loved ones will be thrilled to receive the “Gift of Beauty” with the best facial plastic surgeon in Houston.  Give us a call at 713/526-5665 today!

*** Of course, we will examine the recipient of your gift to decide if they are a candidate for a given procedure, and make recommendations based on their goals, exam, and overall medical status.

— Kirin, Facial Plastic Surgery Associates, Houston TX

Understanding the difference between Surgical Facelifts and Drive-Thru Style Lifts

December 5th, 2012 Kirin



During the holiday season, we often see an increase in advertising and marketing of a lifting technique for faces referred to by names such as: the mini-lift, weekend lift, and lunchtime lift.

Most of these lifts rely on very minimal, if any, dissection. We refer to them as “Drive-Thru Lifts” because their indications are for patients with limited signs of aging and the longevity of the results from such techniques are short lived — only about 2-3 years.

At Facial Plastic Surgery Associates, Dr. Russell Kridel does not perform this type of treatment.  For those patients with more limited or early signs of aging, Dr.Kridel will recommend other non-surgical options (ex: Fraxel, Ulthera, Thermage, Botox, Restylane — among others) based on a patient’s individual needs (determined at the time of consultation) that he knows will provide terrific facial rejuvenation benefits and be more cost-effective.  He feels this is very important, rather than seeing the patient spend thousands of dollars now on a “Drive-Thru Lift”, only to have to repeat the procedure in another two to three years. For patients with more significant signs of aging such as jowling and sagging, a true surgical facelift will be more appropriate. When Dr. Kridel performs a facelift, it is a surgical procedure that involves meticulous dissection, lifting and re-draping, and impeccable attention to detail to hide incisions so that they will not be detected.  The results provide a more youthful, rested and natural appearance that helps re-set the aging clock back by more than ten years.  Just ask one of our patients.

To learn more about other non-surgical options click here

To view a wide array of videos about facelift surgery with Dr. Kridel click here 

For general questions and answers about facelift surgery click here 

— Kirin, Facial Plastic Surgery Associates, Houston TX

Dr. Kridel Now Offers the New ULTHERA Update with Improved Patient Comfort

November 13th, 2012 Kirin

We would like to share with you multiple newsworthy and exciting updates for the extremely popular skin tightening treatment, Ulthera.

New FDA Clearance:

First of all, Ulthera has recently received additional FDA clearance to non-invasively lift lax tissue on the neck and under the chin.  This is in addition to FDA clearance already in place for use in achieving a non-invasive eyebrow lift. Here is more information on the FDA clearance announcement. 

New Ulthera Amplify software system upgrade is here!

In addition, Dr. Russell Kridel and Facial Plastic Surgery Associates have the new Ulthera new software system upgrade, called Ulthera Amplify.  The system update has added effectiveness and decreased patient discomfort. Dr. Kridel is one of the first plastic surgeons in the Texas Medical Center area to offer Ulthera and the new upgrade.

About Ulthera Amplify:

The three key elements of the Ultherapy Amplify software upgrade include:

1) Improved patient comfort – Patients do not require medication for treatment.  However, patients can request it.

2) Increased efficiency through a more intuitive user interface for the physician

3) Updated treatment guidelines which include higher density treatments.The new guidelines with Ulthera Amplify have increased the full Ulthera treatment time slightly, from one hour to one hour, twenty minutes.

With the new Ulthera Amplify software upgrade, patients do not require medication for treatment.  However, for even greater comfort during the Ultherapy treatment we can apply topical cream.  And, we can also use nerve blocks to further numb the skin if desired.

Our Results Show and We Are Proud Of Them:

Facial plastic surgeons, Dr. Russell Kridel and Dr. Angela Sturm-O’Brien have already performed a significant number of Ulthera treatments and have found that the best candidates not only like the results, but also appreciate the fact that it is a non-surgical treatment with virtually no downtime. When you come in for your consultation, you will review before and after photos.



Ulthera Segment on Good Morning America:

If you’d like to see the Ulthera treatment in action, check out this segment on “Good Morning America.” 




The best way to get started on facial rejuvenation is to come in for an individual consultation. In that appointment, we will discuss your issues and determine if you are a good candidate for Ultherapy.  Call us at 713/526-5665.

— Kirin, Facial Plastic Surgery Associates, Houston, TX

Dr. Kridel Notes that Ulthera Remains Popular In the News

September 13th, 2012 Kirin

Apply the Heat

One of the hottest options available to combat sagging skin is Ulthera. And it is in the news again. The September 11, 2012 issue of the Wall Street Journal (, “Fighting Wrinkles With Heat”, discussed facial rejuvenation treatments, including Ulthera, that use radio frequency or ultrasound energy to heat the tissue.  Ulthera, also known as Ultherapy, uses ultrasound technology, where the sound waves deliver energy directed deep under the skin. This gently heats the tissue to lift and tighten loose skin without cutting or disrupting the surface of the skin.The heat stimulates the growth of collagen.

Dr. Russell Kridel and Dr. Angela Sturm-O’Brien have found that among their Ulthera patients, the greatest attraction to both men and women is that Ulthera is done in one treatment in the office and has virtually no downtime.  It is more effective for mild sagging around the jawline and brows.  However, for more significant laxity or moderate jowling and deeper wrinkles, other surgical and nonsurgical treatments are a more appropriate option.

Dr. Russell Kridel and Facial Plastic Surgery Associates is one of the first private practices in the Texas Medical Center in Houston, Texas to offer the new Ulthera technology. To make an appointment to see if you are a candidate for Ultherapy, please call us at 713 526 5665.  In addition, you can find a great deal of information about Ulthera and Ultherapy here, including a demonstration.

— Kirin, Facial Plastic Surgery Associates, Houston, Texas

Dr. Russell Kridel Welcomes New Associate, Dr. Angela Sturm-O’Brien

August 10th, 2012 Dr. Russell Kridel

I am so pleased to announce the addition of Dr. Angela Sturm-O’Brien as an Associate to Facial Plastic Surgery Associates.

Dr. Sturm-O’Brien is board-certified by the American Board of Otolaryngology, Head & Neck Surgery which examines its applicants in facial plastic surgery as well as, other head & neck specialties.  She completed the prestigious American Academy of Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery (AAFPRS) Fellowship with me.  Dr. Sturm-O’Brien is also well on her way to becoming one of approximately 50 female surgeons board-certified by the American Board of Facial Plastic & Reconstructive Surgery (ABFPRS).

I know that Dr. Sturm-O’Brien shares the same commitment to the highest
standard of patient care and surgical skill that has been the hallmark of our facial plastic surgery practice here in Houston. With the significant growth in aesthetic procedures, particularly for patients wanting to maintain their youthful appearance at an earlier age, she is passionate about working with every patient to tailor the most effective method — whether it is surgical or non-surgical — to help them achieve their desired results for facial rejuvenation.
In addition to advanced training in facial plastic surgical techniques for Rhinoplasty, Facelift and Blepharoplasty, Dr. Sturm-O’Brien has extensive training and expertise in non-surgical modalities for facial rejuvenation including, advanced laser techniques such as: Ulthera, Thermage and Fraxel.  Her expertise also applies to laser treatment of birthmarks, unsightly veins, tattoo and laser hair removal.
Patients can make an appointment for consultation with Dr. Sturm-O’Brien by calling 713/526-5665. You can also read more about Dr. Sturm-O’Brien, including her CV on our site 
Please join me and the entire FPSA staff in welcoming, Dr. Angela Sturm-O’Brien, to Facial Plastic Surgery Associates.
— Dr. Russell Kridel, Houston, TX