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Nipntucks Sooner or Later?

June 23rd, 2009

Today is injection day at my office.   Botox ® and Restylane ® fillers will be injected to help reduce the effects of aging.   Generally Botox ® is injected around the eyes and forehead to reduce wrinkles.   The filler materials are injected into the lower face and lips to counter the aging changes.   These do wonders with little or no down time, but they are temporary fixes.   Eventually, surgical measures will need to be considered, to maintain a youthful appearance to the face.

Facial rejuvenation surgery will improve many of the same conditions which injections improve, but provide the patient with a more long-lasting change.   Forehead lift surgery reduces the need for botox ® and face lift surgery acts to reduce the need for Restylane ®.   So when is the time to consider these surgeries?

As a general guideline, patients often consider surgery when the annual expense for injections reaches 10% of what surgery would cost.   Most rejuvenation surgery lasts at least 10 years before the aging process catches up. However, most surgery lasts significantly longer, before signs of aging return.   If you are spending more than 10% on these quick fixes, you most like likely would benefit from the surgery.

There are certain conditions where surgery is not an adequately remedy.  In fact, crows feet are very difficult to treat with surgery.   Botox is best for these fine lines around the eyes.  Similarly, injections are well-suited as a remedy for thin lips.   It is my opinion that the surgical option for thin lips looks too artificial or “done.”   Finally, the fine lines on the lips respond well to injections without the skin bleaching that is often cased by deep chemical peels or laser resurfacing.  As with any cosmetic procedure, I encourage my patients to understand their choices.

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DYI Cosmetic Surgery

June 22nd, 2009

A recent case in Minneapolis has raised the issue of do it yourself cosmetic surgery.   WCCO TV reported on a patient who gave herself facial injections in an effort  to save money.   Since  the cost and availability of prescription drugs were out of reach, she turned to silicone lubricant.   According  to the patient, she had paid $900 for past injections.

The lubricant was obtained over the Internet and it is sold as a personal lubricant.   The needles and syringes were purchased at a drugstore.   She proceeded to inject the silicone lubricant into her face.   The initial appearance was acceptable to her.   Shortly thereafter she began to notice the characteristic inflammation of silicone injected into the skin.   Her photos show the reaction in her lips and cheeks.

Judging from her pictures this will be a difficult maybe impossible problem to correct.   This will leave her with facial scars permanent distortions of her face and lips.

Silicone in any form when injected into the body  (see “Welcome Back Collagen“)  will cause inflammation.   It is the normal process the body goes through to wall off the foreign material.   There is the potential for the skin to react so much that the silicone drops are actually expressed from the red, firm scars and skin.   Please do not do this to yourself.      In addition, do not do it to your friends.   Finally, do not allow it to be done on you regardless of the price.   It is not worth it!

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