My First Time: Fillers
by Michele Lingbeck, our new Patient Happiness Coordinator
In my twenties while student teaching at a local high school, I was mortified when a colleague stopped me in the hall and demanded a pass as I hurried to my classroom. I was carded… always… everywhere. I had a baby face. My skin was best feature… porcelain doll, they called me. A rosy glow over plump cheeks… a touch of makeup to accentuate my delicate youthful features. The years sped by: twenties, thirties… work, kids, marriage…. Forty-five years of sunshine, laughter, late nights and living life to the fullest had gradually taken a toll. One day I looked in the mirror and a middle age woman was staring back at me! Gravity had done a job on my delicate features; hollows and shadows where rosy and plump used to live. On the inside, I still felt energetic and happy, but the dark circles under my eyes and down-turned mouth portrayed the opposite. Botox® and Dysport® had done wonders for my laugh lines and mean mommy glare, but it was time for me to take the next step. I was ready for dermal fillers!
In my initial aesthetic consultation, Dr. Janowski explained how as we age, the shape of our faces change. Collagen productions slows and creates sagging, hollowing and dark shadows. Gravity works in tandem, pulling our collagen-depleted skin down and leaving deep folds and wrinkles in its wake. He pointed out the areas of my face that could benefit from a short-term filler. He recommended two syringes of Restylane Lyft, a hyaluronic acid filler. It was extremely important for me to have not only a physician, but one with extensive experience and training in injecting fillers. This is my face, after all!
The procedure was so much easier than I had expected! The Doctor cleaned and prepped my face while explaining the process. While most people experience no side effects, bruising and swelling were possible. He prepared the syringes with the Restylane Lyft, pinned my hair back and began! He started with my tear troughs, the dark hollows under my eyes that concealer could no longer hide. He uses micro-cannulas (a blunt syringe) to inject the dermal filler into this sensitive area to lessen the likelihood of bruising. I felt a little pinch, then nothing at all! The Restylane is mixed with lidocaine, a powerful pain killer, so I felt little pinches, but no pain! Six little pinches and some massage to move the dermal filler to a precise spot. Next, he went to work on my nasal labial folds. These are the lines that go from your nose to your mouth. Mine were deep… and I was self conscious of them. This was the first thing I noticed when I looked at myself in photographs. Four injections on each side, again with no pain, took care of that! Finally, he injected the remaining Restylane into my chin and around my smile to get rid of my “sad mouth”. My chin was my most sensitive area… I wouldn’t say it was painful, but I felt the needle and was ready to get out of that chair! Thankfully, Dr. Janowski is an expert injector. It was so quick… under 15 minutes from start to finish. He massaged arnica into my face to prevent bruises and swelling and handed me a mirror. Unlike Botox® which takes a few days to take effect, the results were instant! The dark hollows under my eyes and the deep folds around my mouth were gone. There was a little redness and some blood which he wiped away. I went back to work immediately and forgot the whole thing had happened as I finished my day.
By that night, the lidocaine had worn off and I felt some dull achy-ness in my chin and around my mouth. I went to sleep and woke up without any residual pain. However, I had developed some tiny red bruises on my chin over the night. They looked like a bad breakout of acne. Fortunately, I did not experience any swelling. I covered the bruises with makeup for a few days as they gradually faded. No one noticed anything different about my appearance as I healed up from my first time getting fillers.
I am thrilled with the final results! When I look in the mirror, I still see me… just a rested, happier looking version of me. My mouth doesn’t sag into a sad expression, those dreaded dark circles are gone and the creases above my mouth are lighter. Welcome back rosy and plump! The changes are subtle and natural. I am receiving extra compliments on my hair color, lipstick, and makeup; people say that I look great, but they can’t put their finger on exactly what has changed. I feel so young and full of life on the inside, and now my face reflects that as well! Forty-five looks and feels fabulous!