The Surgeon Minute

Injectables vs. Surgery: Shouldn’t your surgeon really be involved?

Injectables vs. Surgery: Shouldn’t your surgeon really be involved?

It seems as though injectables, like Botox and Voluma, are on every street corner these days!  Who would have ever thought you could go to a Botox party just like you used to go to a Tupperware party?  Easy access is nice and convenient but is it really the best avenue to pursue when changing your facial features?  How do you really know who is injecting you, and what are their qualifications?

by Terrye Tebbets
and Caroline Glicksman, MD

Who injects the injectables?

“Whether you are new to facial fillers and Botox or you have had it done before, one of the most important things to think about is who is looking at you when you are considering getting these products?” states Dr. Caroline Glicksman of Sea Girt, NJ, “If you are consulting a board certified plastic surgeon you may have a better chance of spending your money wisely.”

There are many things to consider when researching non-surgical options in facial rejuvenation.  Which product is right for you?  How much should be injected and where?  Understanding facial anatomy, like only a surgeon can, gives the surgeon a huge advantage in planning these procedures for you.  For example, Dr. Glicksman says not everyone needs to be treated with the same amount of material, “Sometimes we can use a little more or a little less in areas just to give restore a more youthful, pretty look again.”  Knowing what, when, where, and how is extremely important to achieve a natural looking result.

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Knowing the surgical anatomy

Having a surgeon involved in your decision-making, will help you evaluate your facial aging as a whole. Over time, several aspects of the aging process must be considered. The first signs of facial aging are often a loss of volume, then excess skin, and along with these changes, many experience a decline in the quality of their skin and tissues. There may be a point at which injectables and nonsurgical options can become a huge waste of time and money. By involving a board certified plastic surgeon, you will have an experienced eye to help you know when it may be time to have your eyes done, or to have a facelift to address the loose skin of your neck and jaw-line. “If you are being treated every time by someone who doesn’t have surgical training, they may continue using fillers and Botox in you for as long as you ask,” says Glicksman, “But a board certified plastic surgeon is likely to evaluate both the quality and quantity, of your skin and you may save money in the long run.”

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Renting Injectables, or Buying Surgery?

For those who want to look fresh and younger, the availability of nonsurgical facial rejuvenation options is an incredible advance in the field of aesthetic medicine, especially for those not yet ready for eyelid surgery or a full facelift.  However, Dr. Glicksman reminds her patients, “You are only renting these products.  Botox only lasts about four months, fillers in the lower face only last about a year.  And Voluma, in the mid face, lasts about two years.”

By involving a board certified plastic surgeon at the beginning of your journey through nonsurgical facial rejuvenation, you can be assured that the proper material, the amount of the material, and the proper injection locations will be optimized.  And when it is time think about more permanent surgical options, your surgeon will be in the best position to advise you.  “You may reach that point where you need to decide if you want to keep using more and more products, or invest the time and money and move on to surgical procedures that will help fight the signs of aging. The best results are most often a combination of injectables and minor surgery, and patients should be informed by their surgeon when this might be the next best step,” says Dr. Glicksman.

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