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SANANTONIO -- A San Antonio cosmetic doctor is the first in Texas to offer a new procedure, an alternative to face-lifts and fillers. It uses tiny needles and radio-frequency energy to create a more youthful look.

66-year-old Alice Navaira of San Antonio has never had cosmetic work before, but now she s eager to turn back the clock a little.

I notice that I don t have the fullness that I used to have, Navaira commented. And there are some hollow areas. And so I m looking for some tightness and fullness in my face.

After injecting a numbing agent, Dr. Laura Bennack uses a hand piece that s loaded with tiny needles. Those needles penetrate to the deep later of skin.

The machine they re hooked up to delivers radio-frequency (RF) energy for four seconds at a time, heating the tissue to about 150 degrees Fahrenheit.

The idea is to trigger some last skin changes.

So it actually goes through the skin to the dermis and creates new collagen, hyaluronic acid, elastin to tighten and volumize the skin, explained Bennack, Radiance MedSpa medical director.

The tightening and volumizing takes about six to eight weeks to start to show. The effect can last three to five years.

The medical term for Evolastin is energy-based dermal remodeling. Improvement is comparable to about a third of a face-lift. At $2500, the cost is much less than surgery.

It s very appealing that you can come in the office and do this in an hour, maybe just take one day off, and then you have this process that s going to continue getting better for six months, Bennack said.

Navaira is looking forward to the subtle changes to come.

I feel good, Navaira added. So if I look good, it ll be even better.

Right now, doctors are using Evolastin from the cheeks to the neck. The company is developing a device that works around the eyes.

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