What should I consider before trying fillers, and how do I determine what’s right for me?
First off, as a filler “virgin” you need to make sure that the person doing it—whether it is a plastic surgeon, dermatologist, or nurse-practitioner—is on the same page as you in terms of aesthetic ideal. If their own face has that alien blowfish look and that’s not what you’re aiming for, you should probably go elsewhere.
Second, when it comes to fillers—which can be amazing!—usually less is more. Start small. Some of the fillers come in half-syringes so you don’t have to buy as much at one time. And start with a hyaluronic acid that is reversible, like Juvederm, Restylane, or Perlane. As with collagen, hyaluronic acid is a natural building block of the skin. It dissolves over time, and it usually lasts about four months in the lower face, while in the upper face it can last years. However, if you don’t like how it looks, it can be dissolved and removed with a hyaluronidase injection. So there’s no reason to be afraid.
Oftentimes my patients feel that their faces need refreshing, but they can’t pinpoint what’s bothering them. This is where you need to trust your doctor. The areas that can be dramatically improved with a small amount of filler volume are under the eyes (tear troughs) and upper cheeks. But sometimes it’s about balance. The lines from your nose to the corners of your mouth (nasolabial folds) and jowls can be softened, but you should be conservative in the lower face.
Located in Beverly Hills, Dr. Suzanne Trott is a board-certified plastic surgeon who specializes in breast and body contouring. Her areas of expertise include liposuction and the new “natural breast augmentation” procedure with autologous body fat. She answers your questions on her blog, Lipo Queen, an international resource for unbiased information regarding all of the newest developments in plastic surgery and cosmetic medicine. Her book, Lipo Queen will be available next year. Further information about Dr. Trott and her practice can be found at Drtrott.com.