Whenever the topic of dermal fillers is mentioned, I get enthusiastic. I’m excited to educate and share the possibilities of nonsurgical treatments. Every day, I witness the positive impact dermal fillers have on my patients’ lives and I love spreading the word. Nonsurgical dermal fillers are the best-kept secret in cosmetic surgery to help you look rejuvenated, refreshed, and revitalized. Dermal fillers like Restylane® and JUVÉDERM® VOLUMA are my essential tools to sculpt the perfect face to provide patients natural and beautiful results at my practice in San Francisco.
The funny thing is… I wasn’t even sure I wanted to use dermal fillers when I began my career.
You see, I’m a surgeon: a trained, board-certified, facial plastic and reconstructive Surgeon. All of my focus was on being the best surgeon possible. That means I studied, trained, and performed a LOT of surgeries to get here. It was my life’s pursuit.
In most medical practices dermal fillers are an adjunct to surgery practices (if they are offered at all). There is a nurse or an assistant who performs the injections, usually not the surgeon. So, I had years of education, training, and OR-time that dictated that a patient needed surgery to rejuvenate and/or improve their appearance. Now, I know that’s simply not the case; but 10-years ago the idea that fillers could replace or produce better outcomes than traditional surgery was radical. (Audible scoff).
My paradigm shift came in 2006 with a patient consultation with a very specific aesthetic goal in mind. A vibrant woman in her 40s visited my office requesting dermal filler to make her cheeks “more full”. Candidly, I thought her cheeks looked good. Her bone structure was great. Her skin was wrinkle-free. She wasn’t a candidate for a facelift, browlift, or even BOTOX® Cosmetic. I didn’t think I could help her; however, we decided to meet again and she would bring some photos to aid our discussion.
As soon as I laid eyes on the photos of her younger self, I had the breakthrough, “ah ha” moment. Her cheeks were rounder and higher on her face in her youth. I knew her concerns. That was the first time I became aware of one of beauty’s greatest challenges and the telltale sign of aging: volume deficit. Losing facial volume in her midface made her cheeks appear sunken. When the light shined across her face, especially under her eyes (tear trough), it caused shadowing which made her look tired and aged.
Until that moment, using dermal fillers to restore missing volume in that anatomical area had never crossed my mind. The only surgical solution for that was a fat transplant procedure, but it got my mind working: Could dermal filler work in the tear trough and mid-face?
With all life changes, I struggled with it – I pushed it back. I remember having a conversation with my long-time friend and practice manager, Susan Cole (pictured to the right), about this new direction I was considering. Should we or could we steer our business to incorporating more filler treatments?
“Susie, I’m not sure about these fillers. I’m a surgeon.”
“Are you sure, Dr. Mabrie? I think dermal fillers can add something important to your practice,” she replied. “Can’t you do both?”
And I did. And, yes, Susan is still with the practice today!
Gradually, we began to offer patients an alternative to invasive surgery. Patients were excited about the opportunity of results without downtime, results without general anesthesia, results that are instantaneous. Along the way, I discovered that all my years of education, training, and surgical experiences provided a unique insight to treating patients with dermal fillers. I know precisely what nonsurgical alternatives can do in comparison to traditional surgical methods. I have in-depth knowledge of facial anatomy that allows me to treat technically challenging areas of the face. Combining the best of both worlds helps me to help patients realize their perfect face.
Here’s what I know:
1. Dermal fillers can give results that are more natural with less downtime compared to surgery.
2. I really, really, really enjoy working with fillers. (Big smile).
Yet and still I find that there are many concepts, advances, and results I want to share with you. My office team will give me practice insights: “Dr. Mabrie, we’ve had so many men getting fillers lately”; “Wow! JLo’s face looks incredible”; “…strong chins are so key for everyone…”. Sometimes, those bits and pieces inspire me. That’s why, with help from my wonderful team, I’ve started this blog. In this forum, we can dive deep into many of these topics.
Here I hope to educate people about dermal fillers, facial beauty, and overall facial attractiveness. You’ll find tips, advice, inspiration, and other cosmetic epiphanies that will help you along your pathway to your perfect face.
I’m a strong believer that a picture is worth a thousand words (or more), so we’ll do our best to give you as many images and videos as possible. I want you to see what I’m talking about, rather than read a wall of text. Think of these words as a reading guide to compliment what you are seeing.
Also, we’ll include topic categories so you can easily find your areas of interest:
- Art & Science of Dermal Fillers
- Faces We Love
- Inspiration & Ideas
- From Surgery to Filler
- Things That Make Me Smile
Some last thoughts on my first blog entry…
Dermal fillers can improve our faces and self-esteem. They can have a large impact on our lives and our relationship with the world. I’ve spent the past 15 years focusing and refining that process. I am still pleasantly surprised by what can be accomplished nonsurgically.
I look forward to sharing these results and more with you here and having a little fun along the way.