Plastic surgery is a great way to take years off your looks. But, of course, there’s a downside: expense, time off to recouperate and a chance it may not turn out the way you expected. Facial sculpting without surgery is the easier route, and well, if it doesn’t turn out the way you expected, in a few months to a year, at most, it’ll wear off, and you’ll be back to square one.
Dr. Gabriel Chiu of Beverly Hills Plastic Surgery, BHPS, does both. His main practice primarily relies on the surgical cut. However many of his clients are opting for the non surgical approach and turning to injectibles like Botox and Radiesse.
I, for one, couldn’t afford to take off several weeks to recouperate from plastic surgery and simply wanted to look better without anyone knowing exactly why. Thus, my trip to Dr. Chiu.
I loved the ambience. The classic-modern, Chanel-inspired suite on Wilshire Blvd. in the heart of Beverly Hills is comprised of a retail skincare lounge, private VIP reception, 4 beautifully decorated consulting rooms with a state of the art audio, visual system to keep you entertained prior to your procedure.
Your “hostess” will offer you coffee, but don’t think it’s just a cup of java. It’s freshly brewed with a choice of flavored creams and a little treat to accompany your beverage. A plate of dried fruit or perhaps a biscotti or two.
Then it’s on to a consultation with Dr. Chiu who is as much an artist as he is a surgeon. You point out your flaws, he’ll present your options. For me, I hated the little tear trough depressions under my eyes and the deep nasolabial folds, or, for the layman, those lines between cheek and nose.
Dr. Chiu recommended Radiesse injections to plump up my cheeks under my eyes and in the folds, and while, he was at it, a little Botox around my eyes to soften the lines.
Radiesse is a next generation cosmetic filler that lasts longer than other older fillers. It’s mostly used to fill and correct smile lines, nasolabial folds and wrinkles around the cheeks and nose. It’s injected into the skin through a simple and minimally invasive procedure.
Sound painful? The way Dr. Chiu does it, it’s not at all. He puts a pain killer into the syringe, so that while it’s going in, it’s numbing the area. You just feel a slight prick.
You pretty much see results immediately, although it takes a few days to get the full results. My cheeks were fuller, higher with those depressions nearly erased. I was amazed and, of course, delighted.
Next Dr. Chiu injected Botox around the eye area where the wrinkles were getting fairly noticeable, especially when I smiled. I told him I didn’t want to look like a statue without any expression, and he agreed, putting just enough to soften the lines, not harden the area, making it look unnatural. Botox, by the way, is a purified protein produced by a bacterium which reduces the activity of the muscles that cause lines around the eyes and brow area to form. Results usually take up to a week to notice, and last, on the average, several months.
A syringe of Radiesse averages six to eight hundred dollars while Botox costs between nine and twenty dollars per unit.
After a few weeks I came in for a microdermabrasion to even out the texture of my face. It’s a procedure that is best performed every month or so for the maximum effects. Dr. Chiu’s office uses a medical grade machine, utilizing a diamond tip instead of the old machines that used crystals. Crystals are very harsh, he says, and if you look under a microscopic light, you can sometimes see the crystals embedded in the skin. Dr. Chiu’s natural diamond chips are plated to a stainless steel surgical wand that helps polish away dead skin to give a healthier glow and promote collagen growth…an element we lose as we age. It feels like an extra special facial, and the results are amazing. I didn’t have to use makeup following the treatment!
A microdermabrasion at Dr. Chiu’s office costs $150.
I’m hooked. Everyone noticed I looked refreshed, but no one suspected I’d had any major procedures. They just wondered how I looked so rested when I didn’t even take a vacation!
Hooray for Dr. Chiu and company!
Beverly Hills Plastic Surgery
9454 Wilshire Blvd.
Beverly Hills, CA 90212