Refresh Your Look for 2011
Dr. Glenn DeBias and The Institute for Laser and Aesthetic Medicine can help you achieve your goals
by Jeanne Criblear

In today’s image-oriented society, there is a desire to always look and feel the very best for your age. While looking your best today could involve different levels of invasiveness and risk, most people opting for rejuvenating procedures choose treatments that are noninvasive, nonsurgical, low risk and require minimal downtime.


Historically, these were noted as “cosmetic” procedures, signifying some surgical aspect to the procedure, such as being performed by a surgeon. Today, the grammatically correct word to signify these beautifying or other rejuvenating procedures is “aesthetic,” which connotes nonsurgical procedures that are performed by both aesthetic physicians and nonphysicians.


The paradigm shift has occurred. If you asked someone 15 years ago what was available to significantly rejuvenate one’s face, the answer would be surgical (cut and pull) and deep phenol peel. Today if you asked the same question, you receive a variety of answers, mostly nonsurgical, including the most popular: laser resurfacing and tissue tightening. Other treatments would involve other light sources, medical microdermabrasion, chemical peels and injectables such as dermal fillers and Botox.


New vs. Old Mindset

Before the advent of laser technology and current aesthetic treatments, most people had to resort to an invasive surgical procedure such as a facelift or lid-tuck to obtain improvement. These results were “quick fixes” and not natural, offering varying levels or risk and irreversibility. We’ve all seen results of this type of rejuvenation strategy.


Today, the idea is to perform little or no invasiveness to achieve a more natural result and to perform these procedures intermittently, as needed, to keep pace with the patients’ aging process.


Dr. Glenn DeBias, founder and medical director of The Institute for Laser and Aesthetic Medicine, which has offices in Doylestown and King of Prussia, says, “Rather than attempt to make someone look 20 years younger than they are with unattainable results, the goal today is to help someone look refreshed for their age, giving them their best natural look. Then if you could continue to treat them and intervene as often as requested by the patient, you can keep them looking their best—safe and natural, despite the fact that they have to age.”


No-Downtime Rejuvenation

The signs of aging in our facial and neck skin occur very slowly over decades, beginning in our 30s. We lose collagen resulting in the loss of elasticity. Gravity then becomes more of a factor as our facial skin is drawn down onto our neck, which then becomes the collection area for our redundant skin. Our skin thins out also as a result of the loss of the collagen matrix. 


Dr. DeBias explains the need for collagen replacement procedures are vital to maintaining your best refreshed look as follows: Think of your collagen supply as a bucket completely filled with collagen beads in your 20s. Sometime in your 30s the aging process punches a hole in the bottom of your bucket, letting some of these collagen beads out. The hole continues to get bigger as you age. To prevent the bucket from losing all of its collagen, you need to find a way to fill the bucket back up. This is where ActiveFX, Starlux, Titan, Affirm and Rejuvelase come in. These procedures set up a “quasi injury” in the skin to stimulate new collagen. The more treatments you do, the more collagen you build regardless of age.  


“I treat people in their 80s and 90s with great results,” says Dr. DeBias.


Pelleve: New for 2011

One of the most recent wrinkle-reduction/tissue-tightening procedures to enter the mainstream aesthetic market is a radio-frequency device Pelleve. This device gently warms the deep support structure of the skin to reduce fine lines, wrinkles and improve laxity in the skin, most notably on the face and neck. The treatment requires no anesthesia or skin cooling and can be performed in half an hour.


“It is the newest procedure we offer, which can be done on a maintenance basis to smooth and tighten the skin by remodeling of collagen and stimulating new collagen over a period of time without downtime,” says Dr. DeBias. Despite the fact that Dr. DeBias was one of the top five Thermage users in 2005, he and The Institute are excited about this new radio-frequency device and its potential for face and neck refreshment.


How to Choose the Right Aesthetic Physician

In order to accurately credential or qualify a potential treating aesthetic physician, you need to ask the right questions: How many of these procedures have they done? How long have they been doing them? How many do they do in an average week? Do they train other physicians on this type of procedure? There is no board certification that is AMA or AOA recognized in this subspecialized area of medicine.


“The doctors who consistently obtain the best results are most likely the ones that have the most experience and the best technology,” says Dr. DeBias. “There is also a level of skill and art to round out the equation for optimal results.”


The Institute owns more than 50 lasers and light sources, and has performed more than 150,000 procedures to date. Most procedures performed at The Institute incorporate the use of at least one of these devices to perform hair removal, pigmented lesions, or vascular vein removal, tattoo removal and tissue tightening/resurfacing, as well as rosacea, acne, vitiligo and psoriasis treatments.


Another popular procedure is SmartLipo MPX, which involves a laser fiber to liquefy problematic pockets of fat, which are subsequently removed via aspiration. The tissue is also tightened by the laser as the fat is being melted. Other nonlaser aesthetic procedures include microdermabrasion, chemical peels, dermal fillers, Botox injections, permanent makeup and therapeutic facials.


Exceptional Growth for The Institute

The Institute has experienced phenomenal growth over the past 12 years, as evidenced by the opening of its newest office in King of Prussia. The practice has a very high rate of retention among existing patients who are satisfied and return to the office. The King of Prussia office is growing exceptionally well despite current economic conditions in the country.


“We offer patients a highly skilled and experienced staff utilizing the best technology available to achieve optimal results at a fair price,” says Dr. DeBias. Most patients are very satisfied, as indicated by their repeat treatments and maintenance, as well as their referral of friends and family to the facilities.


“Most of our new patients have either had treatment at other facilities and have not been happy for one reason or another with their previous treatment,” Dr. DeBias adds. “Some new patients are brand new to the procedures, and some have been satisfied at the facilities but are trying us out to see if better results are available.”


The Institute for Laser and Aesthetic Medicine is located at 110 Hyde Park in Doylestown and 1030 Continental Drive in King of Prussia. For office hours, to schedule an appointment or for more information, visit or call 215-230-1804.


Jeanne Criblear is a freelance writer from Doylestown.