Saturday, October 3, 2009
Let's face some face facts: There is only so far a topical tub of cream can take you. I decided to ask my beautiful and brilliant friend, Dr. Elizabeth Chabner Thompson, (at left), if I could do an interview series with her about the latest advances in injectibles like Botox and Juvaderm and surgical techniques like SmartLipo.
Happily, she agreed! Here's part one.
DD: Many people wonder if Botox or Dysport (the FDA approved competitor), Botulinum Toxin-A (BTX) could be right for them. They fear the dreaded newscaster face, yet desperately want to look younger. Most importantly, people worry about safety.
ECT: Botulinum Toxin-A(BTX) has been used safely for cosmetic use since the 1990's. It received FDA approval for use in the Glabellar area-- those "11" lines or the coin-slot, between the eyebrows, even when your face is not animated. When injected by a trained, aesthetically-minded physician, BTX leads to a lifting of the forehead and opening of the eyes with a natural result. There have been no reported cases of BTX causing brain damage or long term side effects.
DD: Walk us through the process.
ECT: The entire consultation and treatment takes about 15 minutes. My preference, is to talk to patients first, explaining exactly how BTX works, before starting the injection, so I can observe the muscles of their face and their animation. BTX is injected using thin, virtually painless needles in to the muscles of the face, resulting in a smoother, more well rested, youthful appearance. I take extreme care, to avoid bruising or injecting the wrong muscle group. So many people do fear looking "over done" but a fresh, relaxed, result can easily be achieved, (though some patients do prefer a smooth, motionless look). Treatment, is customized-- so the number of units needed will vary as will the cost.
DD: What other parts of the face can BTX be used on effectively?
ECT: Technically, this is an "off label" use. However, BTX can be used successfully to improve "crows feet" around the eyes, erase the "writing table" from the forehead, smooth the "bunny lines" around the nose, improve "smokers lines" around the mouth and some wrinkling of the bands in the neck area.
DD: I would imagine once women start and love the results, they will want to maintain it. How long can results be expected to last and what are the side effects?
ECT: BTX typically lasts about 3-4 months. It gradually wears off and people notice that they have more movement of a certain muscle group and the wrinkles come back. Women with fast metabolism may require more frequent injections. Some patients find that the effect on certain areas of the face last longer than others. I charge patients by the number of units of BTX injected to achieve the desired result. Some physicians charge "by the area." This always works to the physician's benefit and patients pay more. The evolution of the use of BTX has been rapid. Antiquated dilution techniques, swelling, bruising and droopy eyelids all point toward a physician trained in the "early days" before the more up-to-date injection techniques.
DD: Tell us about Dysport. The buzz is good!!!
ECT: Dysport now competes with Botox for a market share. Dysport has a more rapid time to effect, usually 1-2 days versus 3-5 days for Botox. Both BTX products last approximately the same amount of time. Dysport is about 15% less expensive. Treatment of the area between the eyes (the glabellar region) costs an average patient between $250-400 depending on muscle mass-- both the bulk and the width of the muscle.
DD: As a Personal Shopper, I know how terrific people feel when they look their best in beautifully fitted garment. Is it gratifying to help people look more youthful?
ECT: The positive feedback and relationships I have developed with my patients is so rewarding! Often the first time we meet is before an important milestone, like a reunion or a wedding. They love their results and are kind of enough to share me with their friends are relatives. I do like to remind people that an occasional bruise is possible, so it is a good idea to come in about 2 weeks before an event.
DD: Is it true you are generously offering readers of my Blog DivaDebbi a 10% discount off all treatments performed on their first visit?
ECT: Yes, I am! It's my pleasure. I always enjoy meeting your clients. Now I would love to meet your readers!
DD: Thanks Elizabeth!!! Next time, let's talk about hyaluronic acid fillers like Restylane and Juvaderm. I think there is equal interest in how they work.
So, whether you wish to revisit your youth for the first time or consult with Dr. Chabner Thompson and save yourself a fortune by not continuing with expensive Manhattan doctors, put your face in the hands of the best!!!
Elizabeth Chabner Thompson, MD, MPH
The New York Group for Plastic Surgery
155 White Plains Road, Suite 109
Tarrytown, NY 10591