Not Ready for Surgery? Try These Non-Surgical Alternatives

From taking a few years off to changing the size and shape of certain areas of the body, it might seem that there isn’t much plastic surgery can’t do. But what if you don’t have the time to set aside for the lengthy recovery needed after surgery, or what if you aren’t sure that you want to commit to making a permanent change to your appearance?

That’s where non-surgical alternatives to plastic surgery can come in. While non-surgical option might not exactly replicate the results you’ll get from a surgical procedure, they can provide some impressive results. If you’re looking for a subtle change, or are just beginning to show the signs of aging, a non-surgical treatment might be the right option for you.

Non-surgical treatments aren’t just for the face and neck. Whatever your goals, there’s probably a minimally invasive treatment that’s just right for you. Here are just a few great options.

Sculptra Butt Lift

In the past few years, the Brazilian butt lift has become one of the most popular plastic surgeries nationwide. The surgical procedure involves using liposuction to remove fat from one area of the body, which is then injected into the buttocks. The goal is to enhance the size of the backside, creating a rounder and curvier look.

Not everyone is a candidate for a surgical butt lift. For one thing, the procedure requires you to have some excess fat in at least one area of the body. People who are very thin might not have the fat needed.

A Brazilian butt lift also involves a pretty lengthy recovery time. Patients are unable to sit for long periods during the first few weeks after their procedure.

The Sculptra butt lift can be an appropriate non-surgical alternative to the Brazilian butt lift. Instead of having your own fat injected into your backside, a surgeon injects Sculptra, a filler that stimulates collagen production. Sculptra produces results gradually, so if might look as if your buttocks got their shape as a result of days at the gym, rather than a cosmetic treatment.

Downtime is limited after Sculptra treatments — you’ll most likely have to take a day or so off from working out, but otherwise, you’ll be able to go about your regular activities.

The downside of the Sculptra butt lift compared to the Brazilian butt lift is that results are often much more subtle. If you’re looking for a dramatic increase in size, it might not be the treatment for you.


Often, liposuction is viewed as the gold standard treatment when it comes to getting rid of unwanted or stubborn fat that just won’t go away with diet and exercise.

But liposuction is a surgical procedure, which involves preparation and a week or two of recovery afterward. If you’re looking for a fat removal treatment that has pretty much no recovery time, Coolsculpting might be right for you.

Coolsculpting helps to get rid of fat (often up to 25 percent in the treated area) by freezing it noninvasively. Exposure to cold temperatures destroys fat cells. Your body then flushes the destroyed cells out over time.

The treatment works pretty much all over the body, anywhere a person might have stubborn, unwanted fat. That includes the chin, abdomen, hips, thighs and upper arms.

How does Coolsculpting compare to liposuction? The big advantage is a quick treatment (1 hour or so, depending on the number of areas treated) followed by a short recovery time.

One thing to know about Coolsculpting is that it can take a while for your results to appear. In some cases, depending on how fast your metabolism works, it can take up to 16 weeks before you see full results. Liposuction results usually appear a bit sooner than that.


While some people notice the first signs of aging in the form of wrinkles or dark spots on their skin, others notice a slight increase in skin looseness or sagging as they get older.

It used to be that the only way to treat sagging, loose skin was with a surgery such as a facelift (for the lower part of the face) or a brow lift (for the upper area of the face).

Today, we have Thermage, a non-surgical skin tightening treatment that works on all areas of the face. Thermage can also be used on other parts of the body prone to aging, such as the abdomen and thighs. Thermage uses radiofrequency energy to help stimulate the production of collagen in the dermal layer of the skin. The increased collagen production helps to make skin firmer and tighter.

The treatment isn’t right for everyone. For example, if you have significant skin sagging, you might be better off choosing a surgical treatment. But for people who are just beginning to notice some looseness in the skin, Thermage can be a quick, but long-lasting, fix.

About Dr. Ran Rubinstein

Dr. Ran Y. Rubinstein is a board-certified plastic surgeon. He offers patients a variety of surgical and non-surgical treatment options at his practice in Manhattan, and can work with you to help you choose the cosmetic treatment that will help you reach your goals. Dr. Rubinstein offers patients a variety of procedures, from fillers to rhinoplasty, at Laser & Cosmetic Surgery Specialists, PC in Newburgh, New York.  To schedule a consultation with Dr. Rubinstein, call 845-863-1772 today.