The True Value Of A Maintenance Plan
Posted: 8:02 p.m. Sunday, June 17, 2018
By Anita Mandal, M.D.
Question: I’ve had Botox, fillers and laser treatments for facial rejuvenation. I was happy with the results but to go back to keep up with treatments is time-consuming and costly. Wouldn’t I have been better off spending a large lump sum of money on a facelift to fix it all at once and not have to go back for maintenance treatments every year?
Answer: There is a public misconception about facelifts. In truth, facelift surgery, no matter how aggressive and extensive, does not fix everything! Even after a facelift, wrinkles, aged skin texture and facial volume loss still remain and must be addressed with other treatments, often non-surgical ones. Surgery is rarely a substitute for laser, filler or Botox treatments.
Misconceptions also exist about the true value of maintenance treatments. Many patients don’t want to spend money on maintenance. Yet, we maintain our appearance from the outset with brushing our teeth, taking a shower, working out at the gym and eating right. If we let ourselves go, not only would it lead to health problems but we would be unclean and undesirable to be around.
Once you get to a certain age, the body loses its ability to restore collagen, to keep the DNA healthy and the aging process sets in and continues indefinitely. A permanent cosmetic treatment such as eyelid surgery is not forever since we continue to age, immediately after surgery is over.
To further add to this, let’s say you have a laser or filler which improves your facial appearance. Then you decide you look good enough and don’t need to maintain. Instead of doing the recommended maintenance in a year, you wait several years to return. By then, you have packed on several additional years of aging so that you end up restarting treatments at a more aged starting point than had you kept up with the suggested maintenance plan. At this point, your aged facial tissues need to be shifted to a greater degree in order to turn back the clock. This may require a more aggressive procedure or many more treatments with their associated extra cost.
When your plastic surgeon needs to make greater changes in the tissues to restore a more youthful appearance, there is a higher risk of looking unnatural or “done”. In the end, failure to maintain at the proper interval does not necessarily save you money. You often end up paying more for more aggressive treatments in order set back the clock of facial aging.
Careful consultation with a Board Certified Facial Plastic Surgeon to identify the optimal maintenance plan for your unique facial rejuvenation needs is the first step. A skilled and knowledgeable surgeon can also advise you on the most effective maintenance options such as Bellafill, the 5-year filler, which could help reduce the frequency of maintenance treatments.