4 Non-Invasive Alternatives to Surgery

4 Non-Invasive Alternatives to Surgery

In 2017, doctors and aesthetics treatment providers reported that non-surgical treatments outpaced surgical procedures by a rate of 8:1. Among surgical options that remained popular in 2017, the top five cosmetic aesthetic procedures were breast augmentation, liposuction, nose reshaping (rhinoplasty), eyelid surgery (blepharoplasty), and tummy tucks (abdominoplasty), according to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS). With recent advances in medical aesthetics, it’s now possible to tap into this demand by utilizing non-invasive cosmetic treatment alternatives, offering consumers the best of both worlds—surgical-like results with the safety and limited downtime of non-surgical treatments. 

Help your aesthetics clinic meet consumer demand while improving service offerings for optimal business growth. Consider the following advances in non-invasive treatments that serve as ideal alternatives for surgery.

The “24-Hour Boob Job”

While only offering a temporary boost in breast size, this short-term non-invasive alternative to breast augmentation may be the perfect suggestion for patients seeking a larger cup size for a special day, or for those who may be unsure if breast augmentation is the right choice for them. For this treatment, dubbed the “24-hour boob job,” areas on the edge of each nipple are anesthetized and a predetermined amount of saline solution is injected into the breast tissue, mimicking an implant for a temporary boost in fullness and volume. Within the next 24 hours, the saline solution will gradually be absorbed into the bloodstream.

 This treatment should be considered a precursor to breast augmentation to allow patients to get a feel for their potential new breasts, or for instances in which a temporary improvement in breast volume and lift may be desired, such as on a wedding day, as ongoing treatments increase a patient’s risk of developing stretch marks. For most aesthetics clinics, this temporary non-invasive alternative to breast augmentation may be the perfect addition to a larger wedding day aesthetics or breast augmentation consultation package (with the latter offering a potentially lucrative way to stand out amongst competitors, especially if your clinic charges a consultation fee).

Body Contouring Treatments

Non-invasive body contouring treatments are an effective alternative to liposuction in improving elasticity and reducing circumference around the waist, hips, abdomen, buttocks, thighs, and more. Among the most popular methods for non-surgical body contouring are cryolipolysis, ultrasound, and radio frequency:

  • Cryolipolysis: This method works to cool fat cells to a temperature low enough to trigger apoptosis followed by inflammation and the removal of dead fat cells by phagocytes. As a result, the volume and density of fat cells in the treatment area is reduced for a decrease in circumference.
  • Ultrasound: A fairly new modality used in body contouring, high-intensity focused ultrasound (HIFU) utilizes targeted ultrasound energy to spur fat cell death in treated subcutaneous tissue for a reduction in fat volume. Historically, HIFU treatments have most often focused on the face.
  • Radio frequency (RF): Used for more than 75 years, advances in radio frequency body contouring has made this a key modality. These body contouring treatments convert RF energy into heat deep within the targeted tissue to induce apoptosis of selected fat cells without damaging surrounding cells for an overall reduction in circumference. Multi-Polar RF body contouring treatments, which are widely regarded as the safest, utilize a complex algorithm for more homogeneous energy delivery and volumetric heating for optimal results. RF technology is proven to be safe for all skin types.


The use of fillers has been adapted as an alternative to many surgical lift and shaping procedures, with non-surgical rhinoplasty being one such example. To start, providers may utilize a temporary filler to perform non-surgical nose shaping. This allows patients to get used to the new shape and size prior to committing to a longer-term filler or surgical rhinoplasty if desired. However, because the nose is one body part that never stops growing as we age, non-surgical rhinoplasty with a permanent filler that will last years before it naturally dissolves may offer a natural-looking alternative to surgery that may also be more easily adapted as the patient ages, as compared to surgical rhinoplasty.

Additionally, while surgical blepharoplasty (to correct defects and disfigurations of eyelids) may be hard to mimic with non-surgical treatments, a combination of dermal fillers carefully injected behind the brow for volume and lift (the skin around the eyes is much more delicate, so misplaced filler can easily cause further weighting and drooping) with laser anti-aging treatments for improved skin elasticity may afford a reasonable alternative to an invasive eyelid lift procedure.

Skin Tightening Treatments

Patients seek tummy tucks (or abdominoplasty) for the removal of unwanted fat and excess skin from the abdomen. A common request among women post-pregnancy and both men and women who have lost significant weight, RF body contouring and skin tightening treatments may offer a less invasive but equally effective alternative. Body contouring treatments, as mentioned above, target and destroy fat cells in subcutaneous fat tissue for an overall reduction in circumference and a more contoured silhouette. Similarly, RF-based skin tightening treatments may resolve skin laxity via collagen and fibroblast stimulation. In particular, skin tightening treatments that combine RF with Pulsed Electro Magnetic Fields (PEMF) better support collagen production via dermal fibroblasts and the stimulation of new blood cells for healthy cell renewal and the contraction of elastin fibers. The overall result of these combined treatments is a more contoured abdomen with firmer, smoother skin.  

Our lineup of advanced non-surgical RF body contouring, anti-aging, and skin tightening devices can help you give consumers what they want—services that are sure to fulfill their aesthetics goals without surgery. Contact an expert today to learn more.

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