Since the First World War, humans have sought ways to correct deformities and facial damage inflicted during the horrors of combat. Additionally, many more individuals seek ways to correct hair lips, cleft palates, and other facial problems, originated at birth (1). Modern medicine and surgery have pursued many ways to help those afflicted by flaws and imperfections; and now we may have an answer.
Perhaps the most pervasive inducer of stress in the modern world is related to our aesthetic beauty. As elementary as this conflict may sound, it is simple for some to assert that cosmetic surgeries will resolve such conflict at all costs. Nonetheless, there are potential consequences for any action one takes, and this is no exception in the world of plastic surgery. Though the probability of post-surgery side effects is noted to be so minuscule that it can be neglected due to the unparalleled technological developments in these operations, even such trifling possibility triggers anxiety within patients and practitioners. Yet, what if we found a possible panacea for the backlashes of surgery complications? In other words, what if someone avowed that, in the world of plastic surgeries, it is possible to correct aesthetic imperfections without any potential consequence?
Of course, it is farfetched to argue that there is a zero-percent risk during or following any operation, as nothing is flawlessly guaranteed in this world. Yet, humans always strive to improve themselves, and this is the same in the domain of beauty. Nitrogen plasma surgery, a surgical operation set forth by Portrait, opens a new gateway for the medical field to explore operative care while minimizing unwanted and hazardous repercussions. By utilizing plasma to produce a thermal profile at and beneath the skin’s surface, this procedure replaces old collagens with new collagens while leaving the outer epidermis intact (2, 3). As implausible as this claim sounds, the merits brought forth by this technological development potentially represent a scientific advancement in the field of cosmetic surgery, placating the fears faced by thousands of potential patients. From a cosmetic perspective, this offers a revolutionary change, which demands further scrutiny.
It is necessary to delve into the history of cosmetics to understand the logistics of nitrogen plasma surgery. Plastic surgery dates back to the Old Kingdom of Egypt, which existed from 3000 to 25000 BCE. At this point, plastic surgery consisted of no more than inchoate procedures with the aid of rudimentary utilities. No practical developments were made during the period between the ancient world and the 20th century until Sir Harold Gillies, known as the father of modern plastic surgery, pioneered modern facial reconstructive surgery in order to help soldiers who suffered grievous injuries during World War I (1). Yet with the finite amount of technology and knowledge available at that time in history, plastic surgery was used to simply lessen the severity of one’s facial deformities (4).
Nevertheless, in a matter of few decades, plastic surgery had advanced sufficiently to serve a purpose of reconstructing and beautifying one’s appearance. No matter what type of cosmetic surgery one decides to pursue, the basic procedure involves removing the outer epidermis, manipulating the tissue beneath, and then closing the epidermis after alterations are complete (4). Hence, it is inevitable for physical scars to form following the process of these surgeries. As a result, afflictions and infections are inadvertently sustained, creating grief, discomfort, and despair among patients, many of whom become afraid to expose their modifications (5). Though developments are being made to reduce the possibility of these unintended misfortunes, it is impractical to wish for a risk-free operation in perfecting one’s appearance. This underlying danger forced plastic surgeons to concede the inherent risk assumed by patients in order to protect themselves against malpractice lawsuits (6). Yet, with the dawn of nitrogen plasma surgery, these threats are beginning to recede.
The Portrait Plasma Skin Regeneration is a leap forward in terms of maximizing the surgeries’ efficiencies, while reinforcing a path for ongoing development in the world of aesthetics. This new technology employs the fourth state of matter, known as plasma, to produce a thermal profile at and below the skin’s surface (7). The hand piece delivers micro-pulses of plasma directly into the epidermis while keeping the outer skin layer intact (4, 8). The gravity of this new technology lies in the notion that the outer layer of skin is undisturbed and unmarked by the surgical process. In other words, patients nor other individuals will be able to perceive that the surgery ever took place.
To serve the uttermost needs of the patients, nitrogen plasma surgery utilizes its effectiveness in multiple dimensions. There are three different regimen types of nitrogen plasma surgery, which are named PRS1, PRS2, and PRS3 (7, 9, 10). Each of these regimen types is a form of nitrogen plasma surgery with a specific role to fulfill. PRS1 divides the treatment into three to four low energy sessions and is primarily used to treat mild sunburns and wrinkles. PRS2 is employed when the patient has severe wrinkles or major skin damage. The skin will gradually darken into a brown tone, showing signs that the skin beneath is remodeling and reshaping itself. PRS3 is an extension of the aforementioned operations with more extensive resurfacing of the skin (9, 10). Each distinguished treatment is based on the individual patients’ needs, allowing patients to choose the therapy that suits best for them. Such diversified treatment is not easily found in orthodox facial operations prevalent in nations such as the United States and South Korea.
Up until today, there has been overwhelming evidence of convenience and satisfaction for users of nitrogen plasma surgery. Out of 272 investigated procedures using nitrogen plasma surgery, there were only a total of five complications, meaning the percentage of dissatisfaction or unwanted disfigurement out of the procedures taken was a mere 1.8% (11). The surgery’s ability to predict the approximate depth of the tissue injury and the post-treatment healing process that allows Portrait to maximize the convalescent’s needs enables the procedure to achieve an unprecedented success rate. Furthermore, the percentage of tissue undermining is 0.2%, meaning only one out of 475 treated areas with plasma surgery suffered difficulties related to the inner tissue (12). The statistics not only demonstrate the safety of these surgical procedures, but also indicate a heightened level of patient fulfillment. It is important to note that the priority in the medical world is not only to pronounce premier outcomes to the public, but also to provide verification with actual results. Nitrogen plasma surgery achieves this goal with its innovative development in the field of aesthetic surgery.
Another impressive factor regarding nitrogen plasma surgery is the flexibility with which this procedure can handle different situations. Regeneration using nitrogen plasma can occur after traditional procedures, including operations to the forehead and mid-face regions. This procedure yields the double benefit of the traditional treatment the patient may need and the plasma procedure which amplifies the textural structure and appearance of the skin. Such procedures minimize thermal injury and laser tissue interaction, while producing a natural skin tone (9). Though this technology is still maturing, the safety and flexibility achievements of nitrogen plasma surgery deserve special recognition. Undoubtedly, the world of aesthetics has never seen an operation that can offer such high success rates in safety and accuracy as nitrogen plasma surgery.
To neglect the sophisticated advantages of nitrogen plasma surgery is to forgo a revolutionary progress in the field of aesthetic surgeries. There is no doubt that plasma surgery requires further development before reaching its finest potential. Nonetheless, the scientific advantages and implications it elicits are aspects to keenly observe. The hand piece allows computer-controlled diffusion of plasma into the intended skin layer, prohibiting hindrance of the nervous system and minimizing the possibility of human error (8). This development avoids additional anesthesia meaning the possible repercussions regarding stimulation of the nervous system are mitigated. Such enhancement is not only significant in the field of cosmetics, but also in the world of other scientific endeavors that require the usage of anesthesia. Hence, nitrogen plasma surgery has prompted in reducing the need for anesthetics, marking a breakthrough in the field of surgeries.
All forms of cosmetic surgery deals with the epidermis, the largest organ of the human body. No matter what type of aesthetic surgery one decides to take, the patient is attempting to alter an organ made up of complicated tissues composed of millions of cells. The primary difference between nitrogen plasma surgery and more established or contemporary alternative surgeries is that nitrogen plastic surgery does not require incisions or other compromising procedures. Rather, nitrogen plasma surgery keeps the epidermis intact, while alternative methods require risky and invasive measures which compromise the very same organ said procedures seek to heal or improve (8, 13). Doctors’ awareness of cosmetic surgery’s inherently counterproductive mandate – healing or improving only after a patient is willing to risk scarring and infection – is what prompted the creation of national plasma surgery. Previous surgeries which sought to “unzip” the largest organ in the human body and make alterations beneath the skin did not adequately address safety and dependability issues during or after surgical procedures (6). Nitrogen plasma surgery, on the other hand, does not involve any sort of physical opening of the skin, precluding many forms of infection which were present in traditional procedures. Though it may sound farfetched, nitrogen plasma surgery may very well precipitate the dawn of closed-skin organ surgery such as a closed-skin heart surgery. This hope, while ambitious, is based upon science’s marked ability to build upon the foundations of preceding experiments.
All in all, patients are the number one priority in any surgical procedures, and this goes the same for the realm in cosmetic surgery. Every year 14.6 million patients worldwide are taking the risk of potential backlashes during or after cosmetic surgeries (12). This potential backlash demonstrates how urgent it is to not only reduce the potential harms after these aesthetic surgeries, but also to alleviate the psychological damages patients may go through after their procedures. To mitigate the mental breakdown patients go through due to the lack of success in the operations they eagerly awaited for, the priority is to produce optimum results in the surgical procedures (14). It is that simple. A change in the system itself not only assembles better results, but also elevated satisfaction within patients.
The world of surgeries is a continuous process. What this means is that a success in the procedure will lead to a contented patient; on the other hand, a failure in the procedure will lead to a malcontented patient. Favorable results recondition both the patient’s inner and outer beauty and nitrogen plasma surgery can serve as the finest assurance (5, 15). If one is not able to embrace a mere 0.2% of potential harm, no operation in this world will possibly satisfy oneself (11).
The world of science is too convoluted for a single breakthrough to change the entire field. Nonetheless, history has shown that a single discovery can branch off to multiple innovations. Though we hear time to time to never judge a book by its cover, it is the innate behavior of all humans to make first impressions out of anyone or anything they perceive. This implants the thought within us that more beauty will lead to more success. A dawn in cosmetic surgeries originated from this simple belief, and it is too late now to try to alter this perception. For science to develop and for the world to enhance, it is the job of those capable to make a potential into a reality. And in this consumer world, there seems to be nothing more important than beautifying the faces of millions of people. As idealistic as this claim sounds, plasma nitrogen surgery may be the breakthrough we have been anticipating.
- Nordquist, (2014, September 15). “What is cosmetic surgery? What is plastic surgery?.” Medical News Today.
- D. Holcomb, K. J. Kent, D. E. Rousso, “Nitrogen plasma skin regeneration and aesthetic facial surgery: multicenter evaluation of concurrent treatment,” (2009).
- Kilmer, N. Semchyshyn, G. Shah, R. Fitzpatrick, A pilot study on the use of plasma skin regeneration device (Portrait PSR3) in full facial rejuvenation procedures. Lasers Med. Sci. 22, 101-109 (June 2007).
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- Janik, J. L. Markus, Z. Al-Dujaili, R. F. Markus, Laser resurfacing. Semin. Plast. Surg. 21, 139-146 (2007).
- Fitzpatrick, et al., A histopathologic evaluation of the Plasma Skin Regeneration System (PSR) versus a standard carbon dioxide resurfacing laser in an animal model. Lasers Surg. Med. 40, 93-99 (February 2008).
- American Society of Plastic Surgeons, “14.6 million cosmetic plastic surgery procedures performed in 2012: minimally-invasive, facial rejuvenation procedures fuel 5% growth,” (2013).
- H. Bentkover, Plasma skin resurfacing: personal experience and long-term results. Facial Plast. Surg. Clin. North Am. 20, 145-162 (May 2012).
- Powell, et al., “Psychological risk factors for chronic post-surgical pain after inguinal hernia repair surgery: a prospective cohort study,” (2012), (available at http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22396088).
- Brownç, (2007, July 5). “Higher rates of personality disorders in nose job candidates.” Medical News Today. (available at http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/releases/76005.php).