What do you think of LiveFill (tm), CheekFill (tm), and other trademarked procedures. How different are they from other doctors' use of fillers or implants? And how do I judge these procedures against other doctors' procedures?
LiveFill, CheekFill and Other Trademarked Procedures - Worth It?
Doctor Answers 8
Consider carefully what you should be looking for in a doctor....
With all of the advent of the 24 hour a day news cycle and our collective hunger for all things new and exciting, less scrupulous providers of medical services often resort to aggressive marketing of procedures having questionable benefits....
Ask yourself a few good questions....
Is it really possible that one doctor has "invented" or devised a better way of doing things? Yes, I do think this happens from time to time...
But is it possible that he or she would have made this amazing leap forward without reporting his/her discovery to the scientific community? Doubtful... I guarantee you that if I discovered a new way to do something, and could PROVE it was safer, less expensive, or just all around BETTER for my patients, the very first thing I would do would be to report my discovery to the scientific community in a peer reviewed journal. This would garner me LEGITIMATE publicity, and have colleagues storming my doors to (pay me to) learn the new technique.
Now let's reconsider these doctors you refer to- those who have not, in fact, reported some great discovery or new technique to a peer reviewed journal, but rather have pursued a copyright on a cute name... in almost all cases for a procedure most of us already do, but simply call it a more descriptive, generic name.
WHY do you think, if their discovery is really so groundbreaking, they would not report it to their colleagues, but rather pursue copyrights and cute names?
I would submit to you that it is because they cannot, in fact, prove benefit or originality or real discovery to their peers (other professionals better equipped to judge whether their "discovery" merits attention or not). I would further submit to you that these physicians don't care about real progress... What they want is your $$....
If I could convince you I "invented" something... Something you could not get ANYWHERE but in my office... and if it was something a lot of people want and insurance won't pay for.... Well, I think you get where I'm going.
The REAL question is this....What does this behavior say about a doctor?
Choose your physicians and surgeons based on all of the things that make sense... their education, their training, their reputation, their outcomes, and their personality. Do not make the mistake of allowing yourself to be fooled by clever marketing into choosing a doctor based on silly names and copyrights.
Unfortunate as it is, the days when Americans could take it for granted that all physicians are basically honest people who do the right thing are over.
Wouldn't you rather have a doctor with some basic integrity than one lacking this virtue but who is a really good marketer?
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Trademark procedures for facial augmentation
I don't ascribe to trademarking surgical procedures, but some doctors do. So how to compare and contrast the results? I think the best way would be to review surgical results and talk to patients. The LiveFill procedure is basically dermal-fat graft done as small strips, with the expectation of improved survival of the graft. Dermal-fat grafting is a well know procedure that had superior results when compared to free large fat grafts. Fat micrografting has not been compared to dermal-fat grafts in any research that I am aware of.
Obviously, the advantage of the fat or dermal fat grafting is that the tissue comes from your own body, and results are longer lasting. The advantage of commercial fillers ease of use, and ability to return to work right after the procedure.
Trademarked cosmetic procedures
Whatever the trademark procedures that are being performed are still using the same FDA approved materials such as Juvaderm and Restylane. Steer clear of any trademark procedures since they tend to be self-promotion type procedures. You should go to a surgeon who has an excellent reputation in your community.
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Beware of trademarked procedures
Buyer beware! Your best chance of getting the most improvement and bang for your buck is to not pay attention to the hype (remember that those that advertise extensively need to make their money to do this from you) and go see a reputable plastic surgeon.
You can also go online and search the term and in most cases find comments about those. Remember that if the procedure is not extensive but very limited, is done totally under local anesthetic, the recovery is a few days and no bruising is present, it is not because the doctor was so unbelievable, but because he did not do much!!! This holds true for not only facial procedures, but liposuction as well.
All trademarked procedure are modifications of other procedures. You need to understand the basis of the procedure and the modifications that have been introduced. You also need to know whether the modifications are real improvements or just a marketing tool. Look at photos and many galleries.
In virtually all of the trademarked procedures, the doctor or a company have trademarked a name, but the basic concepts are common to all the procedures. There is no magic wand in plastic surgery and in the majority of cases, the traditional and time-tested procedure is usually best.
Trademarked procedures in plastic surgery
Trademarked procedures are meaningless. They only mean that a doctor has obtained the right to use the name. Patients should scratch below the surface and see what the substance behind the procedure is. Usually if a procedure is meaningful, the method will be intuitively simple. Ideally, there should be science behind the idea, i.e. publications and presentations on the subject in peer review publications. This gives other doctors a chance to criticize the technique.
Techniques that are meaningful will stand out beyond the usual glitzy name, doctored before-after pictures and false promises for amazing results.
Publications, while they are helpful, are not definitive either. Just go back 20 years and read the now wildly outdated concepts that were state of the art for the day.
Sadly there is no one stop shopping for knowing what procedure is valid and which is not. Patients must be intelligent, and critical in their decision making.
These answers are for educational purposes and should not be relied upon as a substitute for medical advice you may receive from your physician. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911. These answers do not constitute or initiate a patient/doctor relationship.