Your guide to the future of the anti–aging and enhancement industry.

Whether you want a brighter smile, liposuction or to rejuvenate your tired–looking skin, there are state–of–the–art procedures and technologies out there to help you look and feel your greatest—and many of them are so subtle, no one will ever know you had anything done in the first place. (Talk about a secret to success!) Here are some of today's most innovate and revolutionary procedures that are just too good to keep to ourselves any longer.

Crystal Ball

Before patients commit to a treatment, they generally want to know what the end result will be. Thanks to the new Vectra 3–D imaging system, patients–to–be can get an up–close peek into their future. "Previous technology was based on two–dimensional imaging morphing," says Dr. Cory Torgerson, MD, PhD, FRCSC, in Toronto. "Although useful, it doesn't provide a global seamless image. Being able to visualize a future projection in three dimensions gives the patient a more realistic outcome." The photo, which is taken in three seconds, requires about 30 seconds to create the 3–D image. Image manipulation is typically done by the physician and patient together and usually takes 10 minutes, and can be accessed by patients at home. Although some doctors include the imaging in the consultation fee, they may cost up to $250.

Sigmacon Magic

Sigmacon is well–known for its state–of–the–art technology in all fields of Canadian health care, including ophthalmology, dermatology, otolaryngology, gynecology, phlebology and urology. And today, the machines are also changing the cosmetic industry. Dr. Emad Guirguis, MD, CCFP, FRCSC, of Lakeview Surgery Centre in Barrie, Ont., uses the machines to treat everything from fine lines to cellulite. Pelleve is a new innovation used to reduce facial lines and wrinkles. It uses high radiofrequency to heat the deep skin layer (dermis), thereby stimulating the healing process and collagen formation. The end result? Tighter, smoother skin. Clients feel warmth in the treated area but no discomfort. Three treatments, every two weeks, are recommended and each treatment takes 45 to 60 minutes. There is no downtime or recovery and patients can pay $450 per treatment or $1,200 for a package.

"The results (which last six months) are excellent," says Guirguis. "Clients notice an immediate improvement with the first treatment."

In addition, TriPollar also uses radiofrequency energy to tighten and smooth skin on the face, neck, hands, arms, abdomen, thighs and buttocks. The radiofrequency energy safely penetrates the skin to selectively heat the fat cells and extracellular matrix (ECM) where collagen fibres are embedded. Localized heating immediately shrinks the fat cells, contracts the collagen fibres and increases the metabolism of the fibroblasts, thereby accelerating the production of new collagen fibres. The skin tightens, creating a smoother, healthier and younger–looking result. The treatment, which is painless and feels like a mild heating sensation, takes about 20 minutes per session and a typical treatment course consists of four to eight sessions. There is no downtime and patients can resume all normal activity immediately. Treatments cost $295 per session or $1,050 for a package of four sessions.

Lastly, Acoustic Wave smoothes skin below the waist by targeting cellulite and decreasing the dimples found on the thighs and buttocks. Using high–energy pressure waves, it safely permeates fat cells and tightens connective tissues, increasing circulation, collagen production and tissue elasticity. Skin is visibly smoother and firmer as a result. Though virtually painless, patients may feel a vibration of the soft tissue during treatments. On average, each session takes 30 minutes with four to 10 sessions at three– to four–day intervals being necessary. Treatments are $275 each or $1,000 for four.

Looking Up

As we age, skin loses elasticity and collagen, causing things to go south—namely our brows and forehead. Invasive brow or forehead lifts were the initial solution, followed by the slightly less involved endoscopic brow lifts. Today, The Endotine TransBleph is a revolutionary new product that allows surgeons to perform a brow lift through a single, upper lid incision used for a conventional blepharoplasty. Placed underneath the brow and anchored directly to the underlying bone for the secure brow elevation, the beauty of The Endotine TransBleph is that it means less downtime, fewer incisions and a more alert and refreshed appearance. Patients can expect bruising and swelling for a week, but this is a far cry from the month–long recovery associated with traditional brow lifts. Expect to pay about $7,190 for the hour–and–a–half long brow lift and upper eyelid blepharoplasty, says Dr. Cory Goldberg, B. Sc., MD, MASC, FRCS (C), of Toronto.

Skin Science

As any mother can attest, slathering on the cocoa butter won't do much to minimize the look of stretch marks. Thankfully, Kevin Schwenk, cosmetic laser technician at Calgary's Age Defiant Laser Clinic, has a more permanent option: The Palomar Lux 1540.This fractional, non–ablative skin resurfacing tool delivers light in an array of narrow, focused microbeams to create columns of coagulation within the skin. These columns form new healthy tissue naturally, resulting in an improved skin appearance.

"We'll tell people, if the stretch mark was the size of your finger, by the time we're done, it'll look like a tiny thread on your stomach," says Schwenk.

Typically, it takes two to six sessions for final results, which can eliminate stretch marks by as much as 75 to 99 per cent. The procedures, which are not painful (they're comparable to a mosquito bite), cost about $500 to $700 a treatment and should be done one month apart. While there's no downtime, patients need to stay out of the sun for one to two weeks once home, and to hydrate with lotions and water.

In addition to erasing stretch marks, Schwenk says the fractional laser treatment can also be used to decrease acne scars and treat melasma.

Say Cheese!

Having glowing, beautiful skin is one thing—having a smile to match is another. Thanks to advances in cosmetic dentistry, it's possible to have both. "Some porcelains today mimic or replicate the tooth's enamel so well, it's difficult to tell them apart," says Dr. Brian Friedman, DDS, in Toronto.

Friedman says revolutionary products such as Porcelin Emax—a glass ceramic used for metal–free crowns, veneers or inlays/onlays – can fix discoloured, crowded or crooked smiles. A painless procedure, once an anaesthetic is applied, patients can sit back, watch TV and enjoy the massage chair while Friedman perfects their smile. Just be prepared to be there for a while. Friedman says it can take up to five hours to do veneers on the upper teeth—patients leave with a temporary set of veneers and after three to seven business days come back for their permanent set—but once all is said and done, downtime is minimal. The procedure costs about $700 to $1,500 for a brighter, whiter, straighter smile.

The Cherry on Top

For those whose cheeks are lacking an endearing divot, here's good news: Dimples can now be yours.

Dr. Jamil Asaria, MD, FRCSC, of the FACE Clinic in Toronto, says dimple surgery is attracting patients from across the country who bring in pictures of their favourite celebs in the hopes of attaining their indentation.

The office–based procedure, which recreates the naturally occurring depression in the skin, is done from inside the cheek with no invasive cutting

"A tiny bit of local anaesthetic is applied inside the cheek, so the pain is minimal and comparable to going to the dentist," says Asaria.

The procedure only takes 20 minutes and costs $2,000 to $4,000. The dimple appears immediately and the recovery is minimal—patients can expect two to three days of bruising around their cheek.