Barry DiBernado, MD, is a plastic surgeon and owner of New Jersey Plastic Surgery in Montclair, New Jersey.
Gregory Mueller, MD, FACS is a Beverly Hills Board Certified Plastic Surgeon in Beverly Hills, California.
Expert physicians highlight the rise in minimally invasive procedures using the MyEllevate light-guided suture technology for neck and facial rejuvenation.
Now that the days of safe in-person services are returning, and thanks to consumers with pent-up buying impetus and a year’s worth of savings, the dermatology and cosmetic surgery sectors are experiencing a notable trend: The popularity of minimal to noninvasive cosmetic procedures is surging. Chief among those procedures is the patented MyEllevate light-guided suture technology for facial rejuvenation. As clients experience these innovative techniques and their significant results with negligible recovery time, they are referring their friends and coming back for more. MyEllevate has become the poster child for minimally invasive procedures. Cynosure’s recent acquisition of MyEllevate confirms the method’s arrival as the leader of this new and improved generation of technology.1
The question most people ask is what is MyEllevate, and how did this paradigm shift occur in a steadfast industry like cosmetic surgery?
Gregory Mueller, MD, FACS, a plastic surgeon in Beverly Hills, California, developed MyEllevate and the ICLED light-guided suture system. The highly effective neck rejuvenation technique has minimal downtime and long-lasting results. In addition to its speedy recovery time, MyEllevate effectively treats a broad range of aging-related concerns: from excess neck fat to bulging glands and prominent platysma bands.2
MyEllevate was designed very simply as a percutaneous approach to placing a neck suspension suture. Vincent C. Giampapa, MD, FACS, and Barry DiBernardo, MD, published an article in 2000 on placing a neck suspension suture during an open facelift.3 Mueller took this concept and over a 15-year period developed the MyEllevate procedure. Initial variations had issues with the depth of suture placement, which led to the light-guided approach of the procedure. He experimented with many types of absorbable and permanent sutures, finally deciding on a 4-0 braided permanent suture.
The surgeon performs the procedure in an operating or procedure room under local anesthesia or intravenous sedation of general anesthesia, according to the patient’s wishes. The approach is simplified and broken down into easy-to-learn steps.
The patient is prepped and the platysma bands, if present, are marked and injected with local anesthetic. A puncture wound is made adjacent to the bands with a specialized puncture tool and then the attachments are cleared with a “clearing” tool that is part of the ICLED kit. The rod and Suturod suture, also included in the kit, are placed deep and superficial to the band. The band is then cut by sawing the suture back and forth until the suture pulls through.
The neck is tumesced with 300 to 400 cc of standard tumescent solution. If desired, the physician can use an energy-based device internally; however, this step may be omitted.Commonly used devices include Precision Tx SmartLipo (Cynosure),4 FaceTite (InMode),5 Renuvion (Apyx Medical),6 or the Vaser ultrasonic system (Solta Medical).7 Liposuction is then performed and damaged fat is removed, and the area is additionally undermined by the liposuction cannula.
Additional puncture wounds are created (Illustration). The light is activated and placed on the rod, then the light-guided suture is placed through standardized puncture sites. The suture is tied through the first puncture site and cut. The rod is then used to help bury the knot. Finally, a dressing is applied.
The procedure is routinely performed in under 1 hour and patient recovery is swift. Patients are asked to wear a soft collar for 10 days after surgery and many resume normal activities within 48 hours.
The MyEllevate team vets all physicians before they are trained in the procedure to help maintain quality control. Physicians are asked to go to the Myellevate.com website to register and then watch a recorded procedure. Live training is available at 4 US sites and a trainer is sent to observe the physician’s first 2 cases.
Impact of the Zoom Boom
The procedure has been rapidly implemented by physicians and has generated much interest from patients in recent times. An article in Elle magazine brought national exposure to MyEllevate in its December 2020/January 2021 print issue, dubbing the procedure the “Zoom Lift.”8
The procedure’s popularity started with the struggle shared by many people during the early days of Covid-19, which in turn abruptly introduced the work-from-home culture. Dermatologists and plastic surgeons were suddenly inundated with requests and complaints about previously unobserved “trouble areas,” and their appointment books began to fill quickly. On a global scale, working professionals went from looking at their faces for perhaps 30 minutes each day—from a glimpse in the mirror to a quick FaceTime call and the occasional selfie—to staring at them for 8-plus hours daily on Zoom as they worked remotely. This increased, targeted focus on facial features led to many plastic surgeons’ clients scrutinizing their imperfections on an intensified level that substantially raised the demand for cosmetic procedures, including MyEllevate.
Mueller is the creator of MyEllevate. Pozner and DiBernardo stockholders in ICLED Surgical and trainers for MyEllevate.
1. Cynosure to acquire MyEllevate, innovative minimally invasive facial rejuvenation treatment. Cynosure, Inc. Press release. April 30, 2021. Accessed June 8, 2021. https://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/cynosure-to-acquire-myellevate-innovative-minimally-invasive-facial-rejuvenation-treatment-301281186.html
2. MyEllevate. MyEllevate. Accessed June 8, 2021. https://myellevate.com/surgeons/
3. Giampapa VC. Suture suspension technique offers predictable, long-lasting neck rejuvenation. Aesthet Surg J. 2000;20(3):253-255. doi:10.1016/S1090-820X(00)70026-4
4. Precision Tx. Cynosure. Accessed June 8, 2021. https://www.cynosure.com/product/precisiontx/
5. FaceTite: minimally invasive face contouring. InMode. Accessed June 8, 2021. https://inmodemd.com/technologies/technologies-facetite/
6. Renuvion. Apyx Medical. Accessed June 8, 2021. https://www.renuvion.com
7. Vaser ultrasonic system. Solta Medical. Accessed June 8, 2021. https://www.vaser.com/#home
8. McCully M. Meet the Zoom lift. Elle. Accessed June 8, 2021. https://myellevate.com/zoomlift/