AUSTIN -- Technology may be about to make a common cosmetic procedure even more patient-friendly. Something you can find on your smartphone or tablet is changing how the patients see themselves.
One local plastic surgeon says there were nearly 2 million facial filler procedures done in the United States last year. While it's a fairly simple procedure there are many potential patients out there who still need convincing that it's right for them. Now there's an app for that too.
Jenna Donatiello of Dripping Springs had resisted undergoing any hyaluronic acid facial fillers or other anti-aging procedures, but she says she's been tempted.
"I'm 41 and just looking in the mirror I'll occasionally take a second glance," said Donatiello. "I'm looking more like my aunt or my mother in their 60's and 70's."
Despite her desire to look younger, Donatiello says looking at before and after pictures of other patients simply wasn't enough to convince her facial fillers were the way to go.
But now there's an app, the Juvederm XC Visualizer app, that allows plastic surgeons and dermatologists to show patients before and after photos of themselves and their projected look after the treatment. It can show the patient what they'd look like with one, two or three syringes of filler.
"I think this is important because a lot of patients won't undergo a treatment because they are afraid of the procedure," said Rocco Piazza, M.D., an ABPS Board Certified Plastic Surgeon.
Piazza says the app helps to allay those fears because it allows patients to see that their cheekbones and jaw lines stay the same and that only the smile lines are softened.
"It really does make them feel more comfortable with saying, 'Oh! Okay this isn't that big of a transformation,'" said Piazza.
Donatiello liked what she saw in her own after photos and went ahead with the 20 minute procedure and left with something she didn't have when she arrived.
"Just a little more self confidence and looking like I think I should look like in the mirror," she said. "Looking like I feel on the inside."
Piazza says the app is also available at the Apple app store and does not add any additional expense to the facial filler procedures which run about $525 - $585 per treatment.
Click here to go to the Piazza Center for Plastic Surgery and Advanced Skin Care website.