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Treat lipo early or wait for later?
Feb 15, 2010

Dr. Pierone,

Do you have any patients whose faces have thinned in certain areas but do not have really sunken features yet that get treatment? I can tell that my cheeks have thinned and my temples and underneath my eyes have thinned as well. I notice because I just don't look as full faced or pudgy you might say, but nobody else would really notice.

Is this a better time to get treatment than waiting for it to get worse, both from a clinical perspective but also from a cost standpoint?

How much of a backlog do you have in Florida if I were to make an appt soon? How long would it take to be seen on average?

Thanks,

M.

Response from Dr. Pierone

The decision to seek treatment for facial thinning depends on the individual and there are no hard and fast rules. If your lipoatrophy is mild and not noticeable to others, then you can certainly wait and treatment will still be effective.

From a clinical perspective, waiting for severe lipoatrophy to develop before starting treatment is not a good idea, because the correction will be more difficult. But otherwise, treatment of mild to moderate facial thinning is quite effective. It is hard to estimate what the difference in cumulative costs would be if one chooses to wait or start treatment earlier. Looking forward, we are still hoping for Medicare and insurance companies to cover the costs of treatment. If this does occur, then the treatment costs will be lower in the future.

I don't have a backlog for patient appointments for facial fillers. The bottleneck is typically the time that it takes for the companies to process the paperwork for the patient assistance programs (especially for Sculptra). It can take weeks to get approval for the product to perform the treatments.

You can visit my web site to download the forms and to get additional information on treatment.

Good luck!



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