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Dermal Fillers - A New Look

A Personal Message from Dr. Khelemsky

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“Nothing good comes from looking in the mirror,” I would often hear… Twenty years later, I’ve decided to dedicate my entire professional career to the art of looking in the mirror. I decided that the mirror, contrary to popular belief, could and should bring good to everyone. We all, from time to time, see the effects of stress and lack of sleep on our faces. Thankfully we have creams for every occasion to hydrate and efface these delicate signs. Some of us get lucky and inherit the perfect velvety skin. Others may need to rely upon makeup tricks to feel ready to face the day. Whatever your routine - it becomes the invisible script we rehearse every morning in the bathroom mirror. How many of us stop and wonder - what’s next? What direction will our faces take in the future, and will we keep liking what we see in the mirror?

Many patients in my practice have contemplated cosmetic treatments even before coming in, usually in those quiet moments before a mirror. Advertisements for dermal fillers appear in magazines, sky lounges, and TV commercials. At the very least, we have a friend, or a friend of a friend, who’s tried dermal fillers and has a vivid story to go along with it. We know it’s a cosmetic treatment, and to some, a cosmetic indulgence. The bottom line is that dermal fillers are here to stay, and they have claimed their role in the beauty industry as being safe and effective, with an exceedingly high patient satisfaction rate.

A New Look for Fillers

While dermal fillers have a strong footing in the world of anti-aging, many of my patients are young, with hardly any signs of aging, and are simply requesting a subtle change. In fact, fewer patients today frame their needs in terms of “fixing wrinkles” and instead speak in terms of individuality and confidence. The appeal of fillers has truly grown to capture those patients who like to refresh their style much like they can with makeup - little changes, subtle shadows, even barely-there filler. While I had been positioning fillers as tools for noticeably profound effects - which I still firmly believe in - this desire for more natural and delicate changes has awakened me more than any other in my clinical practice. I have become an observer of how the slightest facial contours can make an impact. And patients are becoming more knowledgeable and specific than ever before. Imagine the possibilities.

Personally, I agree with this shift. I cannot resist saying that I am too a consumer of the same services that I provide. When I counsel my patients on fillers - I tend to lean on the side of fillers being used as art, rather than treatment. My consultations have slowly replaced the monotony of chasing lines and wrinkles, “prescribing” filler like a medicine, and saying goodbye until the “problem” is back. Instead, I am having more positive and honest discussions about maintaining the overall facial appearance. I like to lead with, “Tell me what you like about your face.” The answer enlightens me far more than a long list of dislikes. If I know what they like, I know what to preserve, even highlight. We still cover the elements of facial rejuvenation, but patients remain open to my recommendations and imaginative approaches, and many of them desire regular follow ups to keep the dialogue going.

Making It Personal

Truthfully, I am flattered to be a part of a changing discussion that does not feel medical per se, but rather personal. My patients and I are planning with purpose. What shall we do now? Later? How shall we prepare for a big event? Do we have incremental options? My goal was to build a practice that patients would feel happy, even thrilled, to visit. I like to think of my practice as an oasis in the middle of a bustling city that serves serenity and self-care. I approach fillers “with vision”, and my vision is running a practice that promotes confidence, not syringes.

My consultations feel much like a blank canvas. Let’s create something special together. If you need one visit or five, have had filler before or not, are cautious about making changes or prefer something bold, there is an array of personal solutions. As a surgeon, I enjoy dermal fillers as much as surgery, and in fact, I don’t see how the facial assessment changes. The tool is less important than the mission. Everytime I do a syringe of filler, I use my knowledge of facial anatomy and facial aesthetics. Patients are getting every bit of my skill, education, training, and passion. My advice to anyone thinking about having fillers is - find a facial specialist you trust and enjoy the process. Make it positive and personal. Be open to suggestions. And, for the love of yourself, spend some quality time before the mirror! I know for a fact, it will be worth it.

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