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    Aesthetics: More than just blepharoplasty


    Entering the Aesthetic Space

    Entering the aesthetic market is no small endeavor for the ophthalmologist. According to Dr. Woodward, there is a huge commitment of time and money. 

    “Training courses are available both through industry and through a variety of [continuing medical education] courses. Courses such as the Cosmetic Surgery Forum at end of November and Vegas Cosmetic Surgery are excellent places to begin,” she says.

    There are many considerations before launching a cosmetic practice. Among those: One must consider expense of staff and space. An insurance policy may be needed to cover products. A tracking system for the products may be necessary to prevent theft. And ophthalmologists who plan to hire physician extenders to do procedures, need to consider their training in managing complications and liability, according to Dr. Woodward.

    There also are relatively seamless aspects of working cosmetics into ophthalmology practice. For one: Ophthalmologists who sell glasses are set up for retail sales, so introducing skin care products should be easy, according to Dr. Woodward.

    Ophthalmologists also have a good foundation for many of today’s most popular cosmetic options. They’re uniquely trained and positioned to understand the anatomy and complications of many of the cosmetic procedures around the eye, according to Dr. Carrasco. 

    “Ophthalmologists have been using botulinum toxins for many medical uses around the eye and they can easily transition to use for cosmetic purposes,” Dr. Carrasco says. “Ophthalmologists also have a vast experience of using hyaluronic acid with intraocular surgery. Hyaluronic acid fillers are the most popular types of fillers, as they have a soft, natural feeling and are completely reversible, if needed, with hyaluronidase.”

    Periocular injectables can be a good entry point for ophthalmologists who want to get into cosmetic procedures, according to Dr. Woodward.

    Still, there are safety considerations, according to Dr. Carrasco. While hyaluronic acid fillers have been used widely off label to fill in the tear trough, it’s a difficult area to fill because eyelid skin is very thin and unforgiving. 

    “There are many other places on the face such as nasolabial folds and mesolabial folds that have a higher success rate and are more conducive to starting a filler practice,” Dr. Carrasco says. 



    Dr. Woodward has ties to Allergan, EltaMD, Galderma, Merz and SkinCeuticals. Dr. Carrasco has no relevant disclosures.

    Lisette Hilton
    Lisette Hilton, president of Words Come Alive, has written about health care, the science and business of medicine, fitness and wellness ...


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