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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Doctor Gives Spark To Cosmetic Surgery

If the eyes, as the saying goes, are a window to the soul, then the face, according to Dr. Roman Karayev, is a window to the stomach, the liver, the kidneys, and the intestinal tract.

For this psychoneurologist turned cosmetologist, the face can reveal whatever ails the body, and the good doctor can conceal whatever troubles the face -- from acne to age spots.

Cosmetic surgery? Nothing of the sort. Karayev eschews the tried and true method of nipping and tucking for the considerably less invasive route of static electricity.

Using an apparatus he patented three years ago in Russia, Karayev attaches two rods slightly reminiscent of knitting needles to a portable galvanic device that collects charges of static electricity. With delicate point-by-point circular motions, he massages the face of each patient -- a process that can take up to an hour. "This is completely noninvasive," said Karayev, who operates out of Moscow's Semashko Medical Institute. "The patient feels no pain, and there are no side effects."

Over the past three years Karayev has treated more than 1,000 patients -- almost exclusively women. And by his account, after just one session with his magic wand, those unseemly bags under the eyes disappear, as do wrinkles and unsightly blemishes and blackheads. The complexion turns pinker, the skin smoother, the pores tighter, and the eyelids perkier. Even the shape of the face becomes more slender.

"This technique has no analogies in the entire world," said Karayev, adding that he stumbled upon the discovery six years ago when he was treating patients for spinal disorders. Using low levels of static electricity to strengthen the nerves running alongside the spine, Karayev said he noticed a dramatic improvement in the quality of his patients' skin.

Abandoning his former career to research this phenomenon, Karayev developed his current technique -- a marriage of a slew of "ologies," among them cosmetology, dermatology, neurology, and reflexology.

He has published articles in a handful of Western medical journals, including the European Academy of Dermatology and Venereology, and has been invited to attend the World Congress of Cosmetologists to demonstrate his technique. If it sounds too good to be true, there are drawbacks. The people most in need of the rejuvenating process are often exempt from the program.

Karayev's patients range from 25 to 60 years in age, and as a rule, they must provide certificates of health before they can submit to the one-hour procedure.

"A woman at 60 can either be in good form or bad form," said Karayev. "If she is in good form I can take her at 70, for that matter."

If a patient is any older, or not in particularly good health, the effects of these sessions will be fading at best.

"There is no question that this can help rejuvenate people of any age, but the effects will be very short-lived for very old or very ill people," said Karayev, adding that one session, which ranges from 300,000 to 800,000 rubles ($60 to $160) depending on the level of treatment, usually lasts from one to six months.

For more lasting results, Karayev recommends repeat procedures over a three to six month period, although extra sessions can be squeezed in for special occasions when looking good is an absolute must.

Still a one-man operation, Karayev is not quite ready to steal business away from plastic surgeons who traditionally cater to a slightly older clientele. Not many of Karayev's thirty-something patients are exactly face-lift candidates. But, as the doctor says, it is not the age of his patients that matters, only the technique.

"The point is that the opportunity exists," said Karayev.