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How to Choose the Right Cosmetic Procedure

Choosing that beautiful outcome you desire seemed so easy. But deciding which plastic surgery technique to use takes some careful thought. Your body is a priceless package, so approach cosmetic procedures with open eyes and sharp questions.


Fad or Fact. We all want a miracle, but beware. “They come and go, and they keep coming and they keep going,” says Dr. Peter Van Hoy, a leading plastic surgeon in Birmingham for 28 years who practices at Premier Plastic Surgery Center. “Resist the urge to immediately embrace the latest and greatest product, because people find out later that most of them don’t work,” he warns. “And it can take at least a year for that information to surface.” He points to the examples of RF (radio frequency) facelifts, thread facelifts, and drugs that claim to dissolve fat.


Use your common sense. Sometimes it’s not the procedure that’s creating those fabulous results. If a weight loss process says it involves injections and putting you on a 600-calorie diet, “do you think it’s the expensive injection or that strict diet creating those results?” says Dr. Van Hoy.


FDA approval doesn’t mean it works. The FDA’s job is to ensure the piece of equipment used in a cosmetic surgery is safe for its intended use on your body. They do not test for or ensure whether it will really lessen the look of aging or actually reduce fat in your thighs.


Check the Board. Go to the American Board of Plastic Surgery (ABPS) or your plastic surgeon and ask for their position paper on that procedure. “ABPS studies new techniques with unbiased observers, so you can verify whether a procedure worked or not,” says Dr. Van Hoy.


“If it’s new, it doesn’t mean it’s bad. But I would be very reluctant to do anything that was not out a year or two and not reviewed in a medical journal,” sums up Dr. Van Hoy. “Not because something terrible might happen to you, but because you’re going to waste your money.”

by Jane Ehrhardt


Hear Dr. Van Hoy, talk about his philosophy on plastic surgery, click here.

To read more about Dr. Van Hoy, click here.

For more on Premier Plastic Surgery Center, click here.

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