Clymer MD

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Dr. Clymer

SCALPEL VERSUS SYRINGE

Today’s rejuvenation and facial enhancement industry consists of a vast array of options.  One way to broadly categorize these is by dividing the options into categories of “scalpel”, that is surgery, and “syringe”, or injectables of BOTOX® Cosmetic, Dysport®, Restylane®, Juvéderm®, Kybella®, and others. As a facial plastic surgeon, I am able to offer the full range of these types of services.  As I often tell my patents, it doesn’t matter to me if they do a “full facelift” or a single BOTOX® Cosmetic injection, as long as their goals are met. 

Scalpel versus Syringe, Dr. Clymer, Nashville, TN

With nearly 25 years of experience, I have seen countless times where the “syringe” fails to beat the “scalpel”.  The cynical reader of that statement may think that as a surgeon, all I want to do are more operations.  This is simply not true.  The effort, expertise, follow up care and support required with the surgical treatments I perform, is a great deal more than for injectable procedures.  I really enjoy the sculpting and immediate effect that is achieved with fillers and the natural, softer, rested look that comes from expertly done BOTOX® Cosmetic or Dysport®.  I enjoy providing both options in my practice, the “scalpel” procedures and the “syringe” procedures. 

With either the “scalpel” procedure or a “syringe” procedure, the most important thing is that the patient’s goal is met.  I stress to my patients, it is absolutely fine to have a non-surgical procedure, or a “syringe” procedure, but it is not reasonable to expect surgical results from non-surgical, treatments.  I have previously written a blog about how “fillers fill and lifts lift.”  Check that one out for more details, but the point of that post and this is that patients should carefully weigh their options, and remember, opting to NOT have surgery is fine, as long as the goal is met with a non-surgical procedure. 

It is important to recognize that the goals may have many components.  Part of that overall goal may be to avoid recovery time, and therefore the “syringe” will meet that goal without achieving the entire enhancement or result the patient seeks.  On balance then, the goal has been achieved.  The cost of surgery is more substantial up front, but I have heard countless patients when given their surgical quote remark that they have spent more on non-surgical options over the years! 

It is important to consider all of the factors involved in determining the right treatment plan for you.  First, what is your goal?  Share your goal with your provider.  Remember, “fillers fill and lifts lift.”  You can camouflage sagging, but in my opinion, fillers do not lift the face.  They fill it out.  They can make the cheeks look higher by filling the upper portions, or they can disguise the jowls by filling in front of the jowl, but NEITHER pushes or lifts up the face. 

Once you have determined what the variables are in creating the look you want to improve (and it may require BOTH lifting and filling) then prioritize the aspects of each of your options.  If you want no downtime, filler to camouflage sagging is fine to do, as long as you don’t expect a lifting result.  If you either have done fillers without the benefit you desire, or don’t want to spend money repeatedly for shorter duration benefits, then consider more seriously surgical options.  If you feel the volume has decreased in your face over time (as it does in all of us to varying degrees), then fillers are the best option.  Then again prioritize the downtime filler, fat transfer or fat injections, versus the shorter duration fillers, such as the Restylane® family, the Juvéderm® collection, or Radiesse® or Sculptra®.  Lastly, “do the math.”  In the long run a more long lasting surgical procedure with more up-front cost can be LESS expensive in the long term.

In summary, don’t let fear of any procedure or the quest for the newest “miracle” procedure keep you from having a discussion of ALL of your treatment options.  Armed with excellent information, my patients have made the best decisions for themselves for many years.

Contact our office online or call 615-661-4005 if you would like to learn more.

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