Plastic Surgeon, Test Thyself: Doctors Try New Methods, Materials on Themselves at the Austin-Weston Center for Cosmetic Surgery

Expression Hyaluronic Acid Filler, Micro-Cannula Injection Latest Product & Technique Evaluated by Washington, DC-Area Plastic Surgeons

RESTON, Va., Oct. 17, 2012 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- The board-certified plastic surgeons of The Austin-Weston Center for Cosmetic Surgery believe in trying new procedures and products on themselves before trying them on patients.

"It's simple: if you want to know if something works, get it done yourself," said board-certified plastic surgeon Dr. Robert K. Sigal as he prepared to receive injections of a new hyaluronic facial filler, Expression.

Sigal's partner, Dr. Byron D. Poindexter, who was doing the injections, agreed. "We like to know something is going to work before we offer it to our patients," said Dr. Poindexter. "We try it on ourselves and on staff volunteers so that we can know the utility of it. And so after a proper amount of time to evaluate something, we know if it's something that we'll have at our office, and offer to our patients."

On this day, Expression, an injectable hyaluronic acid filler similar to Juvederm and Restylane, had arrived at the plastic surgery practice and Sigal was eager to see if it measured up to the standards of The Austin-Weston Center for Cosmetic Surgery, the first free-standing , fully-accredited center established exclusively for cosmetic surgery in the Washington DC-area. Founded in 1978 by now-retired Dr. Harvey Austin, the Center's three board-certified plastic surgeons – Dr. George W. Weston, Dr. Robert K. Sigal, and Dr. Byron D. Poindexter-- perform cosmetic surgery exclusively and have over 55 years of combined experience among them.

"This is the first time we've used this Expression material, a hyaluronic acid filler similar to Juvéderm and Restylane," said Dr. Sigal as Dr. Poindexter numbed the areas of Dr. Sigal's face to be treated with injections of lidocaine. "Numbing makes things a lot more comfortable for the patient," adds Dr. Poindexter. "And we know, because we've been the patient many times."

Continued Dr. Sigal, "And we're injecting Expression with a different technique using a long micro-grafting cannula, so we're going to test a few different things with that today as well."

Holding up the micro-cannula, Dr. Poindexter explained. "This is not a sharp needle at the end – it's actually round. This cannula has a blunt end and the material comes out of a tiny little hole on the side near the tip. And with the longer length of the cannula, we can administer one stick, then administer the material around a bigger area as opposed to having to stick the skin many times."

Continued Dr. Poindexter, "The first thing we do with this technique is use another, small, different needle to make the initial hole in the treatment area. Dr. Sigal is a fast healer, so the one I just made on his skin is almost closed after just two minutes. With that small hole made, we work the blunt cannula in through that spot, and with the needle in, we're not going to have to do a lot more sticks though the skin, and with the longer length of this new micro-cannula I can 'travel' underneath the skin from that one spot. I'm filling smoothly ... as I inject and withdraw the needle I'm making nice little strands of the filler, as opposed to big lumps. Some people complain of feeling lumpy with fillers, but you can make it not feel lumpy even using the smaller needles used for different fillers as long as you use the technique where you are injecting and pulling back along the tube."

"This type of injection technique and this new type of filler may offer advantages over its well-known competition in the hyaluronic acid injectable facial filler market," says Dr. Sigal. "And there's no better way for a plastic surgeon to experience innovation in materials and techniques than to have them administered to himself or herself. Dr. Poindexter, Dr. Weston, our staff and myself have all volunteered to experience many different types of materials, technologies and techniques over the years. It's the right thing to do, and when you do the right thing, good things come back to you. Our practice is living proof of that."

In other examples of this philosophy in action, Dr. Poindexter was one of the first two in the office two months ago to have the miraDry® treatment to permanently reduce underarm sweating; and two years ago, Dr. Poindexter treated half of Dr. Sigal's forehead with Botox® and half with Botox competitor Dysport®.

Finishing his injections to Dr. Sigal, Dr. Poindexter commented, "So that took just about four minutes, and he did great! We've posted a photo to our Facebook page, and we'll be keeping our patients informed on the outcome and if we decide to offer this new technique and filler to our patients."

"Piece of cake," said Dr. Sigal. "Looking forward to testing Expression and the micro-cannula more and seeing if it's a fit for our patients. But just as important is what this experience symbolizes: a profound commitment to our patients that goes beyond the typical plastic surgery doctor-patient relationship. Our surgeons and our staff members are dedicated to excellence on every level. At The Austin-Weston Center, plastic surgery isn't something that's 'done' to the patient. It is an often life-changing experience that touches the patient on every level. As surgeons, we have the privilege and the duty to understand what the patient experiences and to be as familiar with every facet of their procedures as possible. Testing a new injectable filler is a small part of that ethos. Ultimately, being the first to experience what patients will experience is more than just good medicine—it's a commitment to our shared humanity. "

For more information or to arrange an interview with Dr. Robert Sigal, Dr. Byron Poindexter, or Dr. George Weston, please call our Media Relations Department at 703-230-2537 or email .

Less than 10% of board-certified plastic surgeons specialize exclusively in cosmetic surgery. The other 90% perform reconstructive surgery and some cosmetic surgery. Dr. Sigal and his partners, George W. Weston, M.D., and Byron D. Poindexter, M.D., perform cosmetic surgery exclusively and are the largest such group in the metropolitan D.C. area. When compared to the plastic surgeons who specialize in cosmetic surgery, Drs. Sigal, Weston and Poindexter perform four times as many cosmetic surgery procedures as they do.

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Source:The Austin-Weston Center for Cosmetic Surgery