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Hydrogel Ifs and Butts So that the Public May be Informed

The Philippine Star – LifeStyle

Friday – August 14, 2009 Page: O-3

Recent news headlines have made hydrogel fillers a household name, but more than just a derriere plumper, hydrogel can be used for filling out sunken cheeks, thin lips, and repairing damaged, hollowed-out areas. If you’ve had a hydrogel procedure, or are thinking about getting one, before basing your decision on one botched job that’s been sensationalized in media, listen to the view of two experts.

Fill na fill, or not?

“Hydrogel is a polymer substance whose base is up to 99 percent water. It’s used for no-surgical augmentation,” shares Dr.Marlon Lajo of Aesthetic Science Clinic (www.aestheticscienceclinic.com ; Alabang, tel. 809-8021; Makati, tel. 899-3643). “It is not yet approved by the US FDA. That’s why I haven’t used it yet,” adds Dr.Lajo.” With the recent controversy on a botched hydrogel job, we also have to remember that whenever there is a procedure done, surgical or not, there is always a risk for infection or other reactions. What’s important is finding a reputable doctor who you can trust. Educate yourself, also. Do research and make informed choices,” Dr.Lajo’s stand is more about seeking a well-trained and certified doctor. “First, check the doctor’s background. Not all doctors are certified to do cosmetic surgery. Second, check what kind of materials they will be using for your procedure then do research on it. Third, be a good patient and be honest with your doctor about your medical history .” Dr.Lajo stresses that we should not demonize a product purely based on just one account. “Hydrogel, just like any product or procedure, has pros and cons. The risk factor with it is that it is unpredictable and migratory, meaning it might move around your body since it is not encapsulated. Second, there is the risk of necrosis, or tissues dying because blood cannot circulate well, leading to infection due to the pressure from the hydrogel. On the positive side, change is instant with very little downtime, and there is no surgery involved.”

“I’ve been using hydrogel for six years now and I haven’t had any bad experiences with it,” shares Dr.John Cenica of Jancen Skin and Surgical Center.” The changes are dramatic and instant, especially for filling out lips, lines around the mouth and also hollowed-out cheeks. I cannot say anything bad about it as I have had good results with it so far. You have to remember that there is always a risk factor with any procedure you undergo, what is important is you make intelligent choices.” Dr.Cenica stresses the importance of doing your part as a patient.” Ask other patients who’ve undergone the same procedure with a specific doctor. Inform yourself and then be religious with post-procedure check-ups. Trouble might come up not necessarily from the procedure but from activities the patient does after.”

Since hydrogel is not yet yet FDA-approved, there are still no regulations as to how it is manufactured and no standards set for its quality control. Make sure to ask how and where the hydrogel you are about to use is manufactured. This way, you can do research on it. Make sure that you choose a qualified person to do your procedure and play an active role as a patient. It is your body, after all, so you will be the one to reap the rewards, or the problems, afterwards.