Plastics 101: A Newbie's Question Quest with a Leading Plastic Surgeon
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As an avid devotee to the cosmetic world (in this case, cosmetic is a bad word - will explain later...), I no doubt will find myself in the consultation room of a plastic surgeon's office sometime soon. Actually, sooner rather than later.
Yes Tear Troughs, as deep as the Mariana Trench, I'm talking to you!!!
Thinking about getting Botox, filler, implants, or any other procedure is nothing you should take lightly. I know that sounds extremely obvious, borderline insulting, but it is necessary. If you go online and take about 5 minutes, at most, searching for "best plastic surgeon" or some iteration of those keywords, you will find an infinite number of pages and social media shares to grab your attention, and wallets, and your face. With my growing interest in pursuing my first procedure, I've realized - what I'm sure many of you already have, there is a lot out there. Where do I start? Who do I see? And, why are there family doctors/urgent care offering Botox & Fillers?
To get to the bottom of this, I reached out to a friend I trust (always a good place to start) and she referred me to a practice who could help answer some of these questions for me, and more. I am a neophyte after all. Well, for now anyway.
I recently had the pleasure to sit down with Dr. Kimberly Singh, Panacea Plastic Surgery, Board-Certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery (ding, ding, ding – that’s a good sign), to help me understand a bit more of what to look for in non-surgical procedures and what questions to ask your potential plastic surgeon.
Some of my most burning questions were:
1. WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN A PLASTIC SURGEON AND A COSMETIC SURGEON?
Before you even consider going under the knife, make sure your doctor is a Board Certified PLASTIC Surgeon - NOT a Cosmetic Surgeon! A physician who is advertising as a "cosmetic" surgeon does not have the same training, amount of required training, or experience in any way comparable to that of a Board Certified Plastic Surgeon. Remember, this is YOUR BODY we are talking about. Don't take any risks because you saw an ad for a deal on a boob job. Just because you see the letters “M.D.” after someone's name doesn't make them qualified.
(Case in point: Remember LeeAnn Locken from Real Housewives of Dallas had her breasts done by an OBGYN – um…. NO)!
Dr. Singh does, however, give a green light on visiting a board certified facial plastic surgeon; or a dermatologist for non-surgical. Both specialists are skilled in the facial anatomy and have had undergone required training.
AS GOOD GENERAL PRACTICE, ALWAYS DO YOUR HOMEWORK AND CHECK REVIEWS & MAKE SURE YOUR PHYSICIAN HAS HOSPITAL CREDENTIALS!!!!
2. CAN BOTOX REALLY BE USED AS A PREVENTATIVE?
The idea of anything staving off crow's feet is enough to get most people lining up at your door, but can Botox really be used as a preventative? Dr. Singh suggests that although there has not been any solid research study on this yet, anecdotally, however, yes - there is a cause for belief that Botox can act as a wrinkle preventer. Yeeeesssssss!
Actually, it makes a lot of sense. Dr. Singh explains that the more you keep your face from scowling and causing a repetitive motion, the less chance a wrinkle will form. Wrinkles are just a result of moving your face in a certain way over and over again. Like squinting your eyes or furrowing your brows. Since Botox works by keeping areas of your face, where injected, from contracting - you are essentially keeping any future wrinkle from possibly forming. Knowing this, she sees a lot of patients starting Botox in their 20's. (I wish I had).
3. HOW YOUNG IS TOO YOUNG FOR THE NEEDLE?
Since more and more people are becoming interested in Botox at a younger age, I wonder about the growing popularity of injectables at a young age (a'la Kylie Jenner). Dr. Singh explains that you must be at least 18 years old or have a parent or guardian give consent. Although she has not personally seen a patient under 18 for an injectable, more and more young men and women in their 20's and 30's are coming in and joining the filler’verse. At the moment, her most popular procedure are lip fillers. Yep, Kylie. Along with lips, cheekbone enhancement with filler is also extremely popular in this same age group.
4. IS FILLER SAFE?
Yes. Dr. Singh explains that the filler exclusively used at her practice is hyaluronic acid or HA. HA is a plant based derivative and found in all tissue in nature. Thus, it can be considered organic. Although there are many types of filler available, Dr. Singh prefers to work with HA products for a few reasons: easy to work with, reversible (that's a +), and can last a long time while not being permanent. This way the patient has options if needed. I think of this as the “your hair will grow back” option.
5. BOTOX IN A BOTTLE? (PLEEEEEEASE...)
While nothing is on the market yet, Dr. Singh does see this in our future. There are products in the early stages of research & development. Thank you, God!
Meeting with Dr. Singh gave me great insight into the importance of what to look for when choosing a doctor for the first time and better understanding of some of the most popular non-surgical options out there. It is a very exciting time in the plastic surgery and non-surgical worlds. Understanding exactly what is available to you and trusting your physician are paramount. Both of these traits are found at Panacea.
After meeting with Dr. Singh, the best advice given to me was to always ask questions, do your research, and make sure your doctor is properly certified!
No one wants to be on the next episode of Botched!