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Less invasive plastic-surgery options may be beneficial

December 15, 2008 |

Given today’s busy lifestyle and hectic schedule, it is often difficult or impossible to arrange a week to recover from a procedure. This is part of the reason that less invasive options have become so popular over the last decade. In 2007, 4.6 million people had Botox injections, over 1 million had a hyaluronic acid filler, over 1 million had a chemical peel, and laser hair removal and microdermabrasion were each performed more than 1 million times each in 2007.

It is true that nothing compares with the effects that can be obtained with a face-lift, brow lift or blepharoplasty, but there are many less invasive options which can take years off your face.

Which procedure is best for you will depend upon what you are trying to improve. Often a combination will give the best results and complement each other. Laser treatments can treat fine wrinkles, blotchiness, pigmented areas, fine veins under the skin and unwanted hair growth.

Downtime is usually minimal, but sometimes several treatments are required. Botox helps with wrinkles around the eyes, between the eyebrows, in the forehead and around the mouth. It relaxes the muscle causing the creases or wrinkles. It takes a few minutes and requires no recovery time. It is very safe and effective. Soft tissue fillers fill the depression or wrinkle with a substance. Fillers include an ever growing list of products.

A few of the more popular choices are fat, Collagen, Juvéderm, Radiesse, Sculptra, and Restylane.

They all have pros and cons and vary in composition and duration of effect (usually 6 to 24 months) but all act to fill grooves or creases with volume rather than by acting on the underlying muscle.If you paralyze the muscle and fill the crease, you get more than a twofold effect.

There are at least 20 different kinds of fillers, so you should ask your plastic surgeon which one is best for you.

Some have been approved by the FDA for defined uses, and other uses are considered “off-label.”

Complications are uncommon with these, although bruising that can last for days or even weeks occurs 15 to 40 percent of the time.

Stopping any aspirin or Motrin for two weeks before will help minimize this possibility.

The injection can be done quickly in the office with a nerve block or no anesthetic.

If topical anesthetic is used (to numb the skin), and then it is necessary to wait for 20 to 30 minutes to allow this to work.

The size of the needle and the pain threshold of the patient determine the best type of anesthetic.

While legally, almost anyone can perform these treatments, you should go to a board-certified plastic surgeon (American Board of Plastic Surgeons: with experience with each procedure so you can get the best results.

When it is time to go to the next level, then your surgeon can give you the results you want.

When going to less qualified practitioners, or physicians from other specialties, you are gambling with your face.

Most patients are very happy with the results, and this is the primary reason this area of plastic surgery continues to grow.

Contact Dr. Reynolds at 532-6662 or go to

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