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Ask the Surgeon
I am looking to hide those lines that are showing my age, particularly around my mouth and eyes. I have heard about collagen injections, is this the best treatment?
Collagen has been used successfully for 20 years as an injectable filler to correct frown lines, vertical lip lines, crows feet, and smile lines. Before you decide on collagen, however, you need to discuss with your facial plastic surgeon what other materials – such as cymetra – that could be used to meet your specific needs. In general, soft tissue fillers are injected to plump up the area around an expression line to make the skin appear smoother. The results are not permanent and vary in length depending on the individual and the type of filler.
Botulinum toxin, Botox, is used in your facial plastic surgeon’s office as a wrinkle reducer. A small amount is injected under the skin to paralyze the muscles in the face that pull the skin and cause wrinkles. Botox can weaken muscles in the forehead and around the eyes. (Botox has not yet been FDA approved for cosmetic uses; however two large placebo-controlled trials have been submitted for FDA review.) Now, doctors have found a new use (under research) for Botox; it is apparently an effective method for treating excessive perspiration (hyperhidrosis). It blocks the release of acetylcholine and nerve endings are prevented from stimulating the sweat glands. Although it is not a permanent solution, lasting between four to six months, treatments can be repeated.
The first step in selecting a facial plastic surgeon is to inquire about board certification, credentials, training, and experience. The second step is to make a consultation appointment with the physician. This is the time to ask questions about your facial features, the procedure(s), and concerns. You want to take advantage of his or her expert opinion.
Your facial plastic surgeon will take this opportunity to get to know you as well. He or she will want to know about your motivations and expectations for a procedure. Your physician will evaluate your face and discuss the options, the risks, the costs, and the alternatives. You should walk away from the appointment feeling informed, not pressured. You should become more comfortable with your doctor and be able to make an educated decision about a cosmetic or reconstructive procedure. Make a consultation appointment today.