Breast augmentation and Botox may continue to be the most commonly performed cosmetic procedures, but we’ve got the inside scoop on two new treatments that are rapidly gaining in popularity.

For consumers looking for a fuller arch, eyebrow transplants are all the rage. Gone are the days of over-plucked brows, and many are turning to more permanent options than makeup or tattooing. In the last year alone, interest in eyebrow transplants on RealSelf has grown more than 140 percent.

The second treatment making waves is Silhouette Instalift. Popular in Europe for years, it recently made its way stateside with approval from the FDA. The thread lift method remains somewhat controversial among surgeons, but those trained in the technique tout it as a major development in delivering the effects of a facelift without surgery.

Find out more about these buzz procedures from expert RealSelf doctors.

Eyebrow Transplants

  • Who’s getting it and why?
    “Over-plucking of the eyebrows is the most common reason people are looking to restore them,” explains Miami facial plastic surgeon Dr. Jeffrey Epstein. He performs three to four transplants a week, with 70 percent of his clients being women between ages 35 and 45. He cites aging as another factor that leads to thinning hair, so it’s not uncommon to see men and women over 50 seeking out the treatment.
  • How does it work?
    After discussing and designing the ideal brow shape, the surgeon harvests the hair follicles. These are taken from one area of body (the “donor site”), either by removing a strip of skin with follicles or removing them in individual groups. The follicles are then trimmed to the desired size and transplanted to the eyebrow area.
  • How much does it cost?
    Expect to pay roughly $7,500 for most procedures, possibly less if fewer follicles are needed.
  • What are the risks and side effects?
    “This is a very exacting process,” says Dr. Epstein. “It allows the surgeon full control of how the hairs will lay, their direction of growth, and the density of the eyebrows.” If it’s not performed by a surgeon who’s experienced with the procedure, you run the risk of an unnatural appearance. Other possible side effects include prolonged redness or improper healing of the donor site.
  • What happens after the procedure?
    Healing resembles that of a tattoo, with some mild bruising and crusting. “Most patients are presentable three days later; within eight days the eyebrows look great,” Epstein says. It takes roughly four months for the hairs to begin to regrow, with full results at about a year. After this time, most patients maintain the length of the hair by trimming their eyebrows every two weeks.

Silhouette Instalift

  • Who’s getting it and why?
    Those looking for the effects of a facelift who don’t want to go under the knife could benefit from this procedure. Dr. Michael Gold, a Nashville dermatologic surgeon who’s one of fewer than 10 U.S. physicians currently trained in the technique, says it may also be an option for those who aren’t good candidates for surgery.
  • How does it work?
    The procedure involves threading dissolvable sutures up through the cheeks to hold the skin in an elevated position. The placement of these sutures stimulates the production of collagen, which helps smooth fine lines and wrinkles. The treatment can be performed in a doctor’s office in roughly 30 minutes.
  • How much does it cost?
    “Cost varies based on how many sutures are used and where you are in the U.S.,” says Dr. Gold. On average, he charges $3,500 for the procedure, but you should expect to pay more in major metropolitan areas like LA and New York.  
  • What are the side effects?
    Possible side effects include swelling, bruising, and tenderness, though Dr. Gold says these should last no more than a few days. More serious and longer-lasting side effects may include nerve damage and a lopsided face.
  • What happens after the procedure?
    Unlike previous thread lifts, which used non-absorbable stitches, Silhouette uses biodegradable polymers that dissolve slowly over time. After any initial side effects have subsided, expect the results to last roughly two years.
  • Why is it controversial?
    For many doctors in the RealSelf community, the traditional facelift remains the gold standard for turning back the clock. Many cite the relatively transient results of Silhouette as not being worth the price. Dr. Gold, on the other hand, expects it to become one of the most popular procedures over the next few years. However, given that the method is still so new to the States, he strongly advises going only to a board-certified dermatologist or plastic surgeon who can prove they’ve been trained in the technique.


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