You should look at photos of the doctor's work, speak with other patients, verify credentials and research the doctor's reputation before you commit. (Bearing in mind that photos may be digitally altered and doctors' referrals are usually their best work, ask lots of questions.)
"Convey what your expectations are to the doctor," says Stevens, who advocates bringing in photographs showing the results you're looking for as well as looks you don't want to end up with.
For The Record
Los Angeles Times Wednesday, April 18, 2012 Home Edition Main News Part A Page 4 News Desk 1 inches; 34 words Type of Material: Correction
Plastic surgery tips: In the April 15 Image section, an article about how to get better results from plastic surgery identified Dr. Francis Palmer as an otolaryngologist. Palmer is also a facial plastic surgeon.
For The Record
Los Angeles Times Sunday, April 22, 2012 Home Edition Image Part P Page 2 Features Desk 1 inches; 30 words Type of Material: Correction
Plastic surgery tips: An April 15 article about how to get better results from plastic surgery identified Dr. Francis Palmer as an otolaryngologist. Palmer is also a facial plastic surgeon.
Stevens uses 3-D computer imagery to help predict outcomes. "Photographs help the doctor see what the patient's vision or expectations are," he says.
Mind details, be conservative
Research the techniques the doctor plans to use. Stevens says some can minimize scarring or avoid that pulled-back, drawn look. For eyes and brows, less is more, especially for men. "If you lift their brows too much ... on men, it feminizes them. It makes them look weird," he says.
Other tipping points include putting fillers in the wrong place or adding too much volume. Otolaryngologist Dr. Francis Palmer calls an indiscriminately plumped face "the puffer fish."
"As soon as you cross the line between being adequately done and overdone -- and it's a very fine line -- you go from soft to puffy and swollen," Palmer says. "And as soon as you do that you will look older."
Be mindful that unlike Botox, Juvederm and Restylane -- which are temporary -- certain permanent fillers and surgical procedures are irrevocable. Again, research before you choose.
Have realistic expectations
There are some cosmetic antidotes to the three Ds of aging -- deterioration (fine wrinkles, veins, thinning of the skin, sun damage); descent (sagging); and deflation (losing volume). But "you can't turn the clock back that much. You have to be realistic," Stevens says.