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In several previous posts including most recently Buyer Beware When It Comes to Selecting A Doctor to Perform Your Plastic Surgery, I have emphatically stressed the importance of seeking a well qualified board certified plastic surgeon for your plastic surgery needs. This is true not only for cosmetic surgery procedures such as breast augmentation, tummy tucks and facelifts but also for non-surgical ones like Botox® and Dysport® injections and dermal fillers such as Juvederm®, Restylane® and Radiesse® to enhance facial volume and address deep creases and wrinkles. (Note: There are many well trained and skilled dermatologists who also offer these injectables.)

It may seem rather obvious to you as to why you would want to have your cosmetic surgery performed by someone who is well trained and board certified in plastic surgery. Unfortunately, I have seen countless, otherwise intelligent patients over the years who knowingly sought care from poorly “trained” health care providers that often unscrupulously portrayed themselves as either plastic surgeons or an “equivalent” and ended up with either substandard  or even disastrous outcomes.

Even with injectable agents, training, experience as well as ethics matter. There are individuals in virtually every area of the health care industry offering Botox®, Juvederm®, Restylane® and other dermal fillers such as anesthesiologists, obstetricians and gynecologists, internists, family practitioners, nurses, dentists, naturopaths and other “para-professionals”. A weekend course is not enough to provide one with the aesthetic foundation, nuances, skills, experiences, etc. that would be a requisite for safe and appropriate outcomes.

The following patient who I saw exemplifies this problem. (She was very happy to share this experience with others so that they might be able to avoid the situation that she has found herself in.) She was unhappy with some grooves below her lower eyelids (called naso-jugal grooves) that were making her look old. There was no excess skin or fat bags. While living in California, an experienced plastic surgeon skillfully treated them with Restylane® resulting in an excellent outcome.

After moving here, a friend recommended that she use her person who wasn’t a doctor of any kind or even a nurse – but did offer injectable treatments. This provider not only injected the absolutely wrong material but also did it unskillfully and in the wrong location – and precipitated significant bleeding.

Eyelid bags and swelling created by inappropriate and unskilled injection of dermal filler into lower eyelids

Left lower eyelid bag resulting from dermal filler injection

Rights lower eyelid bag resulting from dermal filler injection

A trifecta of incompetence!

This unfortunate patient now has extremely prominent injectable created bags and distortions where there were none before. Making matters worse is that this is not a correctable situation. Hopefully with time, the injected material will dissipate and there will be no permanent long term deformities.

So, the next time that you are considering cosmetic plastic surgery, Botox® for your wrinkles or even treatment of the creases and grooves of your face with dermal fillers, think “Plastic Surgeon”.

If you would like information on any cosmetic plastic surgery procedure that I perform or to schedule a complimentary consultation with me, please call my office at 480-451-3000.

Steven H. Turkeltaub, M.D. P.C.
Scottsdale and Phoenix, Arizona

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