The Surgeon Minute

Avoid the Injectables Lottery

Avoid the Injectables Lottery

Injectables have become so common that many patients take a “ho hum” approach to something that is, at its core, a medical procedure. They think maybe they had a bit of filler done a few years ago, but they can’t remember where or which one.

Dr. Craig Colville of Toledo, OH refers to this as the injectables lottery. And like most types of gambling, the chances of you hitting the jackpot with this kind of lax approach to facial rejuvenation aren’t promising. Dr. Colville discusses why it is important to avoid the injectables lottery if you want a safe, natural looking result.

How is the Injectables Lottery Dangerous?

“The injectables lottery to me is the patient who comes in and they kind of want this or they kind of want that.” explains Dr. Colville. They’ve read about fillers, and they want to use it to get rid of a wrinkle between their eyebrows, their crows feet or their laugh lines.

The first discussion that needs to be had is on the difference between a neurotoxin like Botox and a hylauronic acid filler. Neurotoxins freeze the underlying muscles in the treatment area, aiding in the temporary cessation of active wrinkles. On the other hand, hyaluronic acid fillers can either fill in fine lines and wrinkles or add volume to areas such as the mid-face/cheek.

Today, there are specific injectables to treat specific problem areas, and if a patient wants good results, he or she needs to understand this. Too many patients today don’t know what’s been done to their own face and this is dangerous. It is important for patients to remember that, “an injectable is a medical procedure,” says Dr. Colville.

Why You Need to Have a Record

Despite all of the direct-to-consumer advertising, injectables aren’t something casual. It is a smart idea for patients to have a record of the work that’s been done. At the very least, they need to know where they started. This is where photos can be very helpful.

Many patients don’t even know what they used to look like before they went in on their injectables lottery. Dr. Colville uses 3D imaging on all of his injectables patients, even the knew ones who have been elsewhere first, because it shows the volume, shape and curve of the face. If a patient comes to him and has had a lot of work done, but can’t remember where or what, this can send up a red flag. If they’ve moved around, that’s one thing, but if not, it may be time for that patient to “take a little holiday” from injectables.

Why See a Plastic Surgeon for Your Injectable Treatments?

Most plastic surgeon would argue that it is important to see them for your injectable procedures because they are deeply trained in facial anatomy. Someone at a MedSpa, for example, probably is not. “But where I go is a little different,” says Dr. Colville. Because he offers everything, he feels that this makes him the “most objective person” that a patient could see.

If you go somewhere and all they do is provide Botox and some fillers, then they are going to want to treat you with what they know even if that’s not necessarily the best treatment option for your needs. The risk of any non-surgical or minimally-invasive approach is “not enough result,” explains Colville.

Avoid the Piecemeal Approach

As Colville explains, another word for “a piecemeal approach is a fragmented approach. It’s not a plan.”  It’s too disharmonious and will not yield a unified result for the patient. This is the big problem with patients buying into the injectables lottery. “As we develop a plan or a process for somebody, even injectables, we need a more integrated approach,” explains Colville.”Instead of a little bit of this here and a little bit of that there, they should consider everything at once in an order.”

Injectables - Lip filler before and after.

If the patient doesn’t want to do it all at once, that’s fine. There should be, however, an orderly plan for the future so that all of the different components of a patient’s facial rejuvenation work together. If a patient follows this, the end result is a younger looking face that still appears, moves and smiles in a totally natural way.

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