The Changing Face of Cosmetic Procedures
Dr. Glenn DeBias and The Institute for Laser and Aesthetic Medicine are transforming the suburbs, one face at a time
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 today who obtain rejuvenating procedures choose treatments that are non-invasive, non-surgical, low risk and require minimal downtime.


Historically, procedures before the mid-1990s noted as “cosmetic” signified some surgical aspect, such as being performed by a surgeon. Today, the grammatically correct word to signify these beautifying or other rejuvenating procedures is “aesthetic,” which connotes non-surgical procedures that are performed by both aesthetic physicians and non-physicians.


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


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 of risk, effectiveness 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 in Doylestown, says: “Rather than attempt to make someone look 20 years younger than they are with unattainable results and unnatural technique, 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 they have to age.”


ActiveFx—Texture, Tone and Tightness

The Institute has the most comprehensive collection of tissue tightening and resurfacing devices in the Delaware Valley. “The most popular and longest studied of these devices is the CO2 laser, which today is used in a fractional technique,” says Dr. DeBias.


Dr. DeBias owns five fractional CO2 lasers, which are used at his facilities, and he has received international acclaim and recognition for developing the first fractional CO2 procedure in the world, ActiveFX. He has performed more than 15,000 of these procedures over the past eight years and is most likely the most experienced physician performing fractional CO2.


“Fractional equals forgiving,” he says. “Before fractional technology, it was not uncommon for overzealous or poorly skilled and inexperienced physicians to overheat the skin, causing scarring or loss of skin pigment. Active FX is our most popular fractional procedure involving a eight-minute in-office procedure with three and a half days of redness afterwards. The results are nothing less than spectacular with extremely high patient satisfaction. Most patients are so satisfied that they wind up coming back once or twice a year to repeat the procedure as a maintenance strategy.” The procedure has been dubbed by Dr. DeBias’ patients as the “proverbial fountain of youth.”


Other popular fractional devices at The Institute include the Titan, the Affirm, Rejuvelase and the most recent addition, Pelleve RF. The Titan is a no-downtime infrared flashlamp that takes approximately 30 minutes to perform and stimulates collagen production for four to six months. The Affirm laser is also non-ablative and offer a similar collagen-building matrix that refreshes your look. Rejuvelase requires only a quick procedure to stimulate collagen in the deeper skin while refreshing the outer skin, with no discomfort or downtime. Pelleve is a radio-frequency device that gently warms the deep support structure of the skin to greatly reduce fine lines and 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 15 minutes.


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 best technology,” says Dr. DeBias. “There is also a level of skill and art to round out the equation for optimal results.”


State-of-the-Art Aesthetic Facility

The Institute owns more than 50 lasers and light sources and has performed over 190,000 procedures to date. Most procedures performed at The Institute incorporate the use of at least one of these devices to perform hair removal, pigmented legions or vascular vein removal, tattoo removal, tissue tightening/resurfacing as well as rosacea, acne, vitiligo and psoriasis treatments.


Another popular procedure is SmartLipo MPX—involving 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 non-laser aesthetic procedures include microdermabrasion, chemical peels, dermal fillers, Botox/Dysport injections, permanent makeup and therapeutic facials.


Exceptional Growth for The Institute

The Institute has continued to experience phenomenal growth over the past 16 years as evidenced by the opening of its newest office in King of Prussia. The Institute has a very high retention of existing patients who are satisfied and return to the office. The King of Prussia office is growing exceptionally well despite current economic conditions.


“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 treatment 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.  


Photograph by Allure West Studios