PSC Roundtable

Lasers, Peels, Fillers… Limited Downtime with Beautiful Results

Lasers, Peels, Fillers… Limited Downtime with Beautiful Results

Interested in restoring a youthful glow to your face with little to no downtime? With all of the information and before and afters available on the Internet, patients excite themselves on the possibilities of rejuvenation, especially when there is little downtime. Drs. Kevin Smith and Stephan Finical, board certified plastic surgeons from Charlotte, and Dr. Mary Lupo, a board certified dermatologist from New Orleans, sit down to discuss the impressive list of modern procedures that get patients in and out with a beautiful result.

By Mary Lupo, MD, Stephan J. Finical, MD, and Kevin L. Smith, MD
and Adam McMillon
The Plastic Surgery Channel

With options come choices

The Internet is an unbelievable resource for every walk of life. A great amount of information is just that, however: information. Sometimes there can be too much, making it difficult for patients to know exactly what they would benefit from the most. “Patients come in and obviously they’ve been doing a lot of research on the internet,” says Dr. Kevin Smith. “They’re very interested in non-invasive procedures to look better. Patients will come in and say they’d like a peel, or lasers, or fillers, how do you choose?”

“It’s very individualized on what the patient really needs,” says Dr. Mary Lupo. “Sometimes the information on the internet can be misinterpreted. My first question is this: can you have any downtime at all? The answer will change the dynamic of how I treat them. I will use lower-level peels, or lower-level lasers, and tell them they need to do a series of these. If they aren’t in a hurry and don’t mind 5-7 days of downtime, I can do a more aggressive laser that will do in 1 treatment what would have taken 3-6 months with a lower level laser.”


Surgical solutions tend to work the same way. All of a patients concerns can often be addressed in one procedure, but the downtime may be too much, depending on the circumstances. “For surgical rejuvenation, I normally tell people it’ll be about a week that they’re out of all contact, two weeks out of normal social circles and a month before they’ll be ready to get their picture taken,” says Dr. Stephan Finical.

wp1Lunchtime peels

Of great interest to many would-be patients is the idea of going into a physician’s office during their lunch break to have a procedure. Obviously such a procedure would be small and non-invasive, but incremental procedures that don’t disrupt your daily life are very attractive to many.

“With peels, I do everything in my office in what I call ‘Lunchtime Peels’,” says Lupo. “I always do these in series. One single lunchtime peel gives minimal impact, but when you do it every 1-2 weeks in a series, you get cumulative improvement. By the same token, if I were to do a low-level laser, I will do that in 2-3 intervals, but patients need to know that results will come incrementally. If the patient can handle a week of downtime, then I’ll be more aggressive and use a stronger laser to get results more quickly.”

Easing into fillers

Botox and fillers continue to be all the rage, due mostly to the fact that they work and work well. As with lasers and peels, fillers work at their best when done thoughtfully by a board certified physician. “With fillers, I always like to do them over 2-3 visits. Even when they need 4 or 5 syringes, I like to break it up because then you will never go through that period of extreme distortion when they’re injected with all they need at the same time.”

Trust an expert to create your unique facial restoration

It’s important to realize that with great breakthroughs and technologies in the medical device world, tempering enthusiasm with an expert is critical for the best results. Just because a certain amount of Botox did wonders on your friend doesn’t mean the same amount will be right for you. Trusting a board certified physician to create a program designed for your unique situation and anatomy is the ultimate first step in getting a beautiful result.

“Patients don’t leave the office and shock their friends by being so different,” says Dr. Smith. “Easing into a result is more much subtle. In summary, the peels and the lasers treat the superficial skin while the fillers are deeper. With a combination, patients could get a fantastic rejuvenation set to their own unique schedule and needs.”

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