Seek out a doctor with experience in facial filling. Find a medical doctor, not a nurse or someone who works in a spa.
' Scour the Net for someone who has published peer-reviewed literature or given lectures about facial fillers.
' Ask other HIVers for their experiences. Join the Yahoo! group devoted to facial wasting by e-mailing pozhealth-subscribe@ yahoogroups.com.
' Resist the temptation to believe that doctors who advertise filler procedures in the classified-ad sections of magazines are reputable physicians just because they look sexy in their photos. In fact, their need to do such advertising should give pause about their credibility.
Then, after finding some candidates, be sure to select a good doctor!
' 'There is no substitute for interviewing,' says Edward B. Lack, MD, director of the Center for Liposculpture and Cosmetic Laser Surgery in Chicago. 'If you do not have a good relationship, it is going to be a disaster.'
' Keep in mind that'perhaps more than most other doctors'plastic surgeons are motivated by profit margins. So have a skeptical mind-set when selecting one.
' Ask about board certification. Seek out someone else if the physician was not initially trained and board-certified as a plastic surgeon, dermatologist, otolaryngologist, ophthalmologist, or ear, nose, and throat specialist. Only those who trained as plastic surgeons can be board-certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery. Be aware that any other board certifications that specify a doctor as a cosmetic surgeon are essentially meaningless. This means patients need to be especially vigilant in asking the right questions to make sure the doctor has been well-trained in performing cosmetic procedures.
' Find out where the physician was educated and if he or she was trained in the face-filling procedure.
' Ask if the doc could, just in theory, perform the procedure in a hospital. Because of intense fears of liability, hospitals will not allow surgeons they do not trust to inject in their facilities.
' Weigh the pros and cons of the various fillers, such as whether a permanent or temporary filler is better for you.
' How many procedures has the physician performed and for how long? Have there been any complications?
' Request 'before' and 'after' photos of multiple past successes, preferably of people of your race and gender. The pictures should have been taken after a significant period of time had lapsed following the procedure.
Also, do background research.
' Check with the state medical board to see if there are any complaints or grievances filed against a doctor.
' Ask to see the package insert of the product to be injected.