It is amazing to think that just a few decades ago, a facelift consisted of little more than tightening facial skin, resulting in a look that was unnatural or ‘stretched’, because the other causes of facial ageing – loss of volume, for instance, were unable to be addressed.

Today, the opposite is true. Plastic surgeons have been considerably liberated, thanks to the advent of groundbreaking technology and new techniques. Dr. Kai Kaye, founder of Ocean Clinic in Marbella, explains that “Botox, facial fillers, laser, and other procedures now enable doctors to rely on more than one technique – sometimes with no surgery at all and at other times with a combination of surgical and non-surgical approaches.

Today, we have a vast array of non- or minimally-invasive methods that allow us to replace or simply delay the need for surgery. These techniques also enable us to maintain the effects of surgery for longer, so that patients can extend the time between surgical procedures.”

Facelifts Aren’t a Cure-All

A facelift lifts sagging/drooping areas of skin, but one thing it does not address is the cause of skin ageing itself – loss of elasticity. Says Dr. Kaye, “Ocen Clinic is staffed with plastic surgeons, dermatologists, and other specialists who, together, can target the signs of ageing in a multi-faceted way. Patients who have facial rejuvenation surgery – an eyelift or a facelift, for instance – may find that after a few years, skin begins to age again. This is where technology can make a big difference.”

Microfocused Ultrasound (Ulthera) for Neocollagenosis

Treatments like Microfocused Ultrasound, also known as Ulthera, encourage the production of new collagen via thermal heating. “These devices heat the deep thermal layer, creating a thermal microtrauma that reforms the skin’s elastic fibres. Ulthera stimulates the production of collagen – one of the skin’s basic building blocks. It can be used as a stand-alone treatment or combined with others.” The procedure, says Dr. Kaye, is ideal for women in their mid-40s and above, though he adds that “Biological age doesn’t give you the whole picture.”

Filling in the Gap

Fillers are an equally fantastic option for those wishing to look younger. As is the case with Ulthera, and other types of laser like Fraxel and Fractora, fillers are used in conjunction with both surgical and non-surgical procedures, for various conditions – everything from uneven skin to hyperpigmentation, acne scarring and active acne. “For some patients,” says Dr. Kaye, “we may recommend a filler plus Ulthera, followed by radiofrequency. It is interesting to use these different treatments close together, because each targets different layers of the skin.”

Venus Viva for Skin Resurfacing

Another popular treatment for those wishing to target fine lines and pores is Venus Viva – a fractional radiofrequency resurfacing technique that also corrects signs of skin damage, improves the appearance of acne scars, and targets stretch marks, deep wrinkles, and uneven skin texture. It involves using tiny pins that safely deliver heat (via nano-fractional radiofrequency) through the skin’s surface. This creates tiny micro-dermal damage that the skin then works to repair – thus increasing collagen and elastin fibres and causing skin to take on a smooth, youthful appearance.

Venus Viva is safe for all skin tones, has little to no downtime, and is quick – a session lasts between 15 and 20 minutes! Radiofrequency is also combined with surgeries like liposuction, since “studies show that using radiofrequency post liposuction significantly improves skin retraction and elasticity. It also reduces post-surgical scarring.”

Targeting Cellulite and Stubborn Fat

Staying young isn’t just about facial rejuvenation, of course. One of the biggest bugbears women have is cellulite – the unsightly dimpling caused when fat cells push up against the skin while the bands that tether skin to the underlying muscle pull downwards. Dr. Kaye shows me before and after pictures of patients who have had Cellfina – a revolutionary new anti-cellulite treatment – and the results are no less than amazing (think dimple-filled to baby smooth from one picture to the next). Cellfina is an FDA-approved, minimally invasive procedure that disrupts the bands that cause dimpling with the use of a minimally invasive device.

If stubborn fat is your predicament, then CoolSculpting (featuring FDA-approved Zeltiq technology) can help you reduce volume by ‘freezing’ fat cells to oblivion. CoolSculpting can target nearly all areas of the body – including the double chin, back, legs, waist, and abdomen.

Meeting Dr. Kai Kaye is always an educational experience, since he is a vast source of information regarding all the possibilities that new technologies have to offer. Depending on your goals, different approaches will be recommended. Sometimes, a treatment like Venus Viva may be enough to lend skin a more youthful glow. At other times, surgery plus a filler like Radiesse (which also stimulates the natural supply of collagen) or radiofrequency may be the ideal way to lift and smoothen skin.


Ocean Clinic. Avda. Ramón y Cajal 7, Marbella. Tel: 951 775 518.