A Philly Physician Breaks Down the Most Popular Cosmetic Trends—and the Treatments You Should Actually Get
Cosmetic enhancements have become more commonplace in recent years, with new technologies from fillers to CoolSculpting® giving people more options to create the look they want. And while we all want the perfect filter-free look, when tools and treatments involving your health and body become easily available, it becomes even more important to make sure you’re receiving guidance from someone who truly understands the field of cosmetic services and surgery. Although it may be tempting to jump on the latest TikTok and Instagram looks, you may be better off with some expert advice on which treatment is best for you.
That’s why we spoke to Ivona Percec, MD, PhD cosmetic surgeon, and John Fischer, MD, MPH, cosmetic and reconstructive surgeon, at Penn Medicine Plastic Surgery. We asked them about the most common procedures patients are coming into their offices for, what they’re seeing in the culture, and how they advise patients on choosing the best, research-driven option that brings out their best look. Here’s some expert insight on common procedures to help you determine what’s best for you.
As neurotoxins like Botox® have become more common in more age groups, people should make sure that their physician preserves the expressiveness of the face– and that takes more technique than a simple injection. If you’ve seen certain celebrities who’ve managed to maintain both their youth and expressiveness, Percec says, it very well might be more about having the right injector with the right know-how, rather than some miracle product.
“Not all injectors know how to achieve motion and expression while still softening wrinkles,” Percec continues. “If you inject certain muscles at the right depths, amounts, and types of neurotoxin, you can achieve different effects–but that amounts to a very sophisticated technique.”
It’s also important to find an injector or physician who can see your concerns for what they are, rather than what you think they are. For example, Percec gets many patients excessively worrying over their smile lines (also known as nasolabial folds). In reality, some amount of these lines are natural–and there are actually structural qualities of the face that may be the cause of the facial descent and deflation.
“If you just treat the folds, you could end up actually worsening the problem,” Percec says. “You need to treat the areas of the face responsible for generating those lines, as well as adjusting the overall look of the face as needed.”
Social media and video-calls have led individuals to get very particular about all aspects of their face, and Percec now has the technology to create a wide range of looks–particularly through new fillers.
“Fillers have become popular and accepted. It’s a great thing for people because there are a lot of tools available to craft the desired look,” she says.
Percec says this gives her the ability to create temporary changes or avoid surgery, for those who want to test a look before committing to it forever. That even includes plastic surgery mainstays like rhinoplasty, some of whose effects Percec notes can now be achieved through fillers, in a “liquid rhinoplasty.”
However, the person providing the fillers needs to know exactly what they’re trying to accomplish and have a strong understanding of the anatomy of the face–as too much filler can weigh the face down, and even cause eye damage if incorrectly used around the eye when attempting to fill in dark circles.
The Kylie Lip
Another area where Percec suggests going easy on the fillers?
“Everyone asks now for the Kylie [Jenner] lip,” Percec says. “In certain individuals, that may work well.” Percec notes that all facial combinations are different and need to follow the correct ratio altogether to achieve their best look.
“If you have someone with very, very fine petite features, and you try to create the Kylie lip on that face, it may not achieve the look they desired,” Percec says. So, unless you have very full features, you may want to avoid the oversized upper lip and stick to the more classic 40 to 60 ratio, top to bottom. If you’re unsure, talk to your doctor. They know how to bring your whole look into balance.
“If you work within those confines, it’s your best bet to enhance the beauty of the individual,” Percec says.
Planning Together: Liposuction and Breast Enhancement
Achieving the look you want through abdominoplasty and breast enhancement are mainstays of plastic surgery. But Fischer points out that the two can be coordinated to achieve the best effect–because a change to one often affects the other.
“If I enhance and change your abdomen, your breasts are going to noticeably look different in the context of your improved abdomen,” Fischer says, recommending that people always find out from the physician beforehand how the overall effect will look, rather than just one part of the torso.
There’s another significant benefit to planning the two approaches together. Fischer points out that he can often repurpose the fat obtained from liposuction from the abdomen to add volume to the breasts.
“That is a very interesting and emerging trend in the field as a kind of natural alternative to breast augmentation,” Fischer says.
Considering this more comprehensive approach to contouring can also be important as an alternative to minimally invasive options, such as CoolSculpting®.
“CoolSculpting® is a very effective noninvasive approach to remove low-volume fat tissue, but there are limitations,” Fischer says. For more significant changes, such as a substantial amount of loose skin, the transformation provided by surgery treatment with skin removal and/or liposuction planned with a physician can make a real difference and limit repeat visits.
High-Quality Techniques and Expertise
Whatever procedure you go with, Fischer cautions against what he calls “outbound medical tourism,” which often involves patients heading to what is billed as a spa, in another country for a cheap treatment, and coming back to the States with subpar results or even permanent damage.
“You need to make sure you’re having a real conversation with your physician–not just for the procedure to be successful, but for your health,” Fischer says. “I have a whole network of physicians I can rely on at Penn Medicine, so I can address any prior health issues the patient may come in with that could impact surgery. At Penn Plastic Surgery, we take the time to get the right overall result doing it safely and achieving beautiful, cohesive results for the long-term.”
Penn Plastic Surgery offers a full range of cosmetic procedures, including surgical and injectable options, and skin care services. Their focus on quality, safety and the most up to date techniques is combined with individualized care to give you exceptional results. Schedule a consultation online or call them at 610-902-1828.
This is a paid partnership between Penn Plastic Surgery and Philadelphia Magazine's City/Studio