Thursday, September 25, 2008

Guest Post by Dr Val--Lip Plumping With Restylane: What Your Doctor Might Not Tell You

I have a great plastic surgeon friend who offered to fill a facial scar for me. I was bitten in the face by a dog when I was very young, and the small (1/2 inch) divot of flesh from my cheek still bothers me slightly. I’ve generally ignored it but thought it might be fun to see if it could be corrected in any way – so I happily agreed to try a Restylane (hyaluronic acid) injection.
My surgeon and I decided not to use any numbing medication because it distorts the contours of the face, making correction more challenging. So I tried my best not to squirm as he inserted a fairly long needle parallel to my nose and began pumping in several cc’s of thick, acidic goo into the tough old scar.
He had to insert the needle a couple of times to add more product, and then he had to squish it around by pinching my cheek with his thumb and forefinger. Without massaging the filler, it might settle into a lump. Again I tried not to budge, but he had to wipe one tear from my left eye as it disobediently escaped. I could see that he felt badly that he had caused me pain. I reassured him that it wasn’t that bad (I fibbed.)
Anyway, I left the office with an ice pack on my cheek and later ran my finger over the area to see how it felt. To my surprise, it was pretty firm - like a tiny Tootsie Roll under my skin. My surgeon said it would soften up in a week or so.
It’s been about 4 weeks now since the injection and the lump is indeed smaller, but not that much softer. The contour of the scar is indeed improved, though the result is not miraculous. But this experience got me thinking: what about those people who use Restylane in their lips?
You’ve seen those Hollywood actresses who have plumped their lips with fillers, right? Well – I guess there’s something that their doctors might not have mentioned – the plumpness probably has a somewhat lumpy, firm texture. I imagine it might feel like kissing someone who has small tumors in their lips. Ewwww!
So ladies, before you get a plumping treatment for your lips, think about the potential consequences – they may look good, but will they feel good? Fortunately, Restylane only lasts 6 months… but that might be a long time to be less kissable!


Margaret Polaneczky, MD (aka TBTAM) said...

Those lips looked so much prettier before! Glad it only lasts 6 months. Like a bad haircut, buit longer...

Anonymous said...

"They may look good, but will they feel good?".

This is exactly my biggest fear about breast implants (the second is scar tissue and endless revision surgery).

Chrysalis said...

I keep wondering what the actresses are thinking having that done. I think they make them look like they have duck lips. If you have them naturally well then great, if you don't I would leave them alone.

Dreaming again said...

She looks like she's been stung by a bee or something!
I'd be more interested in getting that wrinkle smoothed out!

When you first started your post, My thought was of the divet in my nose from the melanoma ... that could be filled in????

the more I read ...the more I decided it's a good place to show people just how serious they need to keep using sun screen and stay away from those tanning beds ....