Posted by: ann | 2010-10-25

very unhappy about fillers

Ive recently had some fillers injected in my face at a very well known spa in Potchefstroom to treat the area from the corner of my nose to the end of my lip. The fillers that was used was juvederm. I could not notice a real differance and when i went for my follow-up appointment 2 weeks later, the doctor told me that there isnt anything that can be done about these lines.(nlf/nfl?) She explained that it had to do with the contours of a persons face and that fillers would not work to get rid of it - no matter how much got injected. The whole procedure cost me R4000 (R2000 per filler) I am very unhappy about this - it seems as if any gp can just inject botox or fillers, and not care about the results. Do doctors need an additional qualification to inject botox or fillers or can any gp do this? Would you suggest that I consult a dermatologist next time? Thank you

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Our expert says:
Expert ImageAnti-ageing expert

Hi Ann, thank you for the question and my apologies for the delay with my response.

I would like to start off by apologizing for the terrible experience you went through; ultimately these procedures should not only as an end result give a physical improvement but also an emotional and psychological improvement and it is quite obvious that the exact opposite was achieved.

Firstly, it is unethical and medically illegal for doctors to perform these procedures in a spa or salon unless the doctor owns the spa and they have registered the address with the medical council. Secondly, doctors do need to complete additional training to perform these procedures. Thirdly, just because the doctor is a specialist, does not automatically qualify them or give them the ability to treat a patient with Botox and fillers effectively.

My concern is that the treatment was performed (and charged for) in an area according to the doctor that ‘nothing can be done to correct it’ – why was the filler treatment recommended in the first place?
Generally speaking the nasolabial fold (NLF) should respond very well to filler treatments and there may be a number of reasons for a ‘failed’ treatment response. The most obvious one is that the wrong area was injected, and secondly the wrong type of Juvederm filler may have been used (not volumising enough). A third reason and most probably the most important one is that typically the NLF is associated with mid cheek fat pad thinning and ‘drop’ (and if this is the case) the approach should be to treat the mid cheek first (volumising the area with filler). By providing support to the skin in the mid cheek area a natural ‘lift’ (although it is mild) is produced and in most cases softens the NLF enough not to warrant a NLF treatment.

My advice would be to see a doctor with a direct word of mouth referral and ask for before and after photographs that the doctor has treated – not the standard filler company provided photographs. Some of the best injectors I have met are GP’s and specialists (dermatologists and plastic surgeons) but unfortunately the opposite can also be said. I firmly believe that consumers should be aware that the use of Botox and dermal fillers (in fact any medical cosmetic procedure) requires more than a medical qualification and specific training to achieve a brilliant end result. For the first time in medicine doctors require an artistic eye which fortunately or unfortunately is a ‘gift’ and cannot be taught.

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