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Old 11-06-2004, 01:13 PM   #1
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Question Restylane or Mini Facelift?

I am trying to make a decision. I am some facial sagging which plastic surgeons I consulted with say can be taken care of by a mini-facelift. What bothers me the most right now are deep smile lines, and by this I mean lines that are a short distance from the sides of my mouth -- not lines that come down from the mouth or from the nose. One doctor said that while Restylane works beautifully on the nasolabial folds, nothing works on smile lines. Another PS said no to Restylane for me, but facial fat injections could improve my look. A third PS said he could fill my smile lines with Restylane. I know Restylane results are short-lived (6-9 months at best) but has anyone had slightly deep smile lines in the area I described filled with Restylane?

Also, has anyone had a mini-facelift and what was the post-surgery experience like? Hope someone is out there to answer these questions. I have one more consult on Monday and hopefully, will then have enough info to arrive at a decision.

 
Old 11-20-2004, 06:45 AM   #2
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lifechange HB User
Re: Restylane or Mini Facelift?

Restalayne is temporary. I have just had Artecoll and I am more than pleased. It lasts up to 10 years. I had my noe/mouth lines done, lines above my upper lip and a few around the smile area. The results are immediate. Basically, it is a long term type of Restalayne. Also, bear in mind that you may wish to have a few consultations with a few surgeons to see the options. I live in Canada where Artecoll is legal. Log on to web sites to see the before after pics of Artecoll. Good luck in your choices

 
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Old 11-27-2004, 07:17 AM   #3
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Re: Restylane or Mini Facelift?

Yanet -

Hello! Funny you should ask about wrinkle lines!! I just had a Restylane treatment 5 days ago on the nasolabial (what a depressing sounding word!) folds (between nose and mouth.)

(I know you are looking for more info. about mini surgery--but I haven't had that done--yet! Nevertheless, thought I'd write about my Restylane procedure. At the bottom of this post, in the "PS"--I mention how our plastic surgeon is still undecided with my twin sister--who does have some smile lines--and therefore might require a slightly different "filler." This is still "up in the air"--but she'll be having one or the other this coming Monday.)

But, back to Restylane:

On the good side (great side, actually)--I look in the mirror now...and see myself ten to fifteen years ago. That's a miracle for me! :-) I am 58, but, thanks to lucky genetics, always looked so much younger than my age. (I know, I know..all women say that! LOL!) But, honestly, I was taken for about 15-20 years younger. But, then --about a year ago--Mother Nature saw fit to paint in a few lines. Not many...but enough for me to see a "sag" setting in.

It didn't really bother me at first, but some months ago, when I was seeing a plastic surgeon every week for a very deep foot wound, I just couldn't help asking about what could be done about those new additions to my face! And he talked up the Restylane, explaining it all, showing me photos, etc.

Now we get to the "bad" side of the treatment. Just in time for Thanksgiving...3 days after the treatment--the right side of my face suddenly looked like I'd gone ten rounds with Mike Tyson. LOL! So--I'm currently sporting, only on the right side, a major "black eye"....and a deathlike yellow/orange discoloration on the cheek....and two small black and blue marks near my nose (where injections when in), and (the expected) redness along the ex-folds. It's such one-sided bruising that it looks as if the doctor were leaning, on his elbows, on that part of my face, as he worked!!

The left side of my face, although red along the fold, is fine. Obviously, something went "wrong" on the other side!! But...this "battered-wife" look came on so quickly (Thanksgiving)...and my doctor is away until Monday (when I have the earliest morning appt!!). So....although when I last spoke with him, my face was first becoming discolored...he has no idea what a spectacular technicolor background suddenly erupted! The black eye, for instance, appeared from one day to the next. Strange!

This excessive bruising, unfortunately, means that I cannot give you a full report on Restylane, as yet...or whether my experience is more common than I was told. I'm really sorry about that, as I would have liked to have been able to give you more information--since you have your last consult on Monday. I tend to believe that my situation is unusual...or this treatment would not be discussed as "so simple, you can do it during your lunch hour!" LOL!! (Well...maybe you can....if your job manager finds 8 days a reasonable lunch break!! :-)

But I CAN tell you the following things about the procedure:

--the initial numbing injections before the procedure were very painful for me--but I've got a terrible pain threshold, plus I always need at least twice the novacaine that most people do. So--the doctor had to do double the usual injecting. And THAT hurt! Once the area was numb, though....there was no pain.

--the results were immediate. The doctor handed me a mirror..and I was truly amazed (and exhilerated)! It was as if, the night before, I'd been ruminating about aging...and thinking "oh....I wish I could turn back the clock ten years..." and then--the next morning, waking up--and realizing that I HAVE! :-)

--With my fingers, I can feel the Restylane substance as a firm gel raised along those two folds, sort of as if two tubes of something very solid were inserted under those lines (folds). That raised feel is very strange when you touch it...but I believe it goes down after a bit. And you can't actually "see" two raised lines. The substance definitely does its job of filling out the folds--and making you look "like you used to look." :-)

--I have no idea how long it will take for the redness (on the UNdiscolored only slightly swollen side of my face) to go back to normal. But it is already getting lighter and looking better.

As for the discolored, black and blue side....I am anxiously awaiting my Monday morning appointment to find out what in the world happened that one side was so battered!! (I suggested to my twin sister that I blackmail the doctor--arrive extra-early for the appt. and just sit there, calmly, in the waiting room, amongst all his prospective Restylane patients--with my delightful face testimoney to the "success" of the procedure! (Free advertising! :-) And then I'd suggest to Dr. S. that a reduction in my fee (how about no charge! Ho ho!) might just convince me to wait outside in the street--behind his office!!) LOL!!

This doctor, by the way, is both highly recommended and written-up--and is vastly popular with a clientele that can afford to "indulge" itself more than I normally would--or could! (But--I felt it was worth every penny, since it's my FACE he's working on!) He's been written up as one of the best plastic surgeons in the city. He LOVES his work...I think he sees it as re-painting and updating old portraits (LOL!)...and he is so "happy" about making others happy....that I trust him entirely.

Okay, that's about it. I hope I've given you at least a "feel" for the procedure. Kinda painful, kinda brusing--but more than worth it for the joy (call it egotism?!) of looking at my face...and seeing it as I never thought I would ever see it again!! :-)

Good luck...and PLEASE let me know how things go. :-)

best, Lynn

PS Re. My twin sister's smile lines: She is thinner than I am, with a thinner, longer, more angular face. So she has a few emerging "smile" lines, and what the doctor describes as a "loss of flesh" in that area around those lines to the side of the lower mouth area. He is debating whether to use a very new filler called....."Sculptura" ??? or something. It fills in pockets around smile lines, where the face has sagged in a bit. The doctor is not certain yet....he may decide she can go with just the Restylane. She is having her procedure done Monday (she has the appt. after mine. In fact...her appt. is right after I have my bruises checked!) :-)

 
Old 11-27-2004, 02:54 PM   #4
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Re: Restylane or Mini Facelift?

I had restylane last Saturday I LOVE IT I agree you see the difference right away, my right side does look better then my left for some reason maybe the doctor needs to put a little more in the left side you do feel that stuff it is weird to feel it, but looks great, I had no pain medication or numbing cream I just took the needles and it did hurt but I kept thinking I will do anything to get rid of those lines, I also got a little botox in my forehead I did not have to many lines there but now I have none. I wish restylane could last forever I better start saving my money because in a few months I will not be able to live without it. lol

Hope all your bruising is better my left side had a small bruise for five days and it is all gone. Good luck I know you must feel wonderful.

 
Old 11-27-2004, 02:58 PM   #5
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Re: Restylane or Mini Facelift?

Thanks Twinlynn for sharing the details of your recent Restylane experience. I hope you check in again to let us know how you like the results after the bruising goes away. I, too, am blessed with good genes and have always been able to pass for 10+ years younger than I actually am. I just turned 57. I have had a younger look for so long that this year has been a real shock for me as facial sagging has begun. I feel I can see more sagging on a daily basis. Three plastic surgeons have recommended the mini-lift for me so that must be what I need. I have set up a surgery date with the PS who recommended the mini-lift plus fat injections for the lines around the nose and mouth. Before I did this, I had set myself up with another PS for a Restylane injection next Saturday (his price was good), but I'm going to cancel. He had told me in advance that he didn't think I was going to be happy with the results.

I know you're going through an unexpected problem now which may cost you some time out of work, but it sounds like the Restylane is going to work for you and that's great. You are lucky that you can buy yourself more time with just the Restylane.

 
Old 11-27-2004, 03:07 PM   #6
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Re: Restylane or Mini Facelift?

Girlygal -- Where was the Restylane injected? Was it in the nasolabial folds or was it around your mouth? I've been told it works great for the nl folds but not for smile lines.

 
Old 11-28-2004, 06:58 AM   #7
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Cool Re: Restylane or Mini Facelift?

Yanet - Thanks for your note. You have definitely done your homework, by getting three consultations (I've just had one)--and if three plastic surgeons suggest mini face lifts--then this may well be the best answer. I, too, was told a mini face lift would give me the best result...but if I wanted to "start small" (I was still inwardly debating the whole issue), I might be happy with the Restylane on the nasolabial folds. And...I am. Or, rather WILL be, when the swelling and bruising go down. (Right now, the swelling around the folds brings into view even those tiny, infintesimal facial lines that are normally never visible!)

You know, you have really piqued my interest in the mini face lift! What exactly does it involve? I didn't ask my doctor at the time (but will tomorrow), so I have no idea what it entails. It occurs to me that it might possibly make more sense than having all these smaller procedures (botox on forehead, etc.) one at a time--particularly if my face is going to bruise so badly when it even looks at a needle! Why have to endure this "Bride of Frankenstein" face, more than once!?!

After I finish this note, I think I'll have a look at Mini Lifts on the internet...and then try to find some personal "before and after" stories" that aren't part of the doctor's or the clinic's web site!!

Your "smile lines" do sound like what my twin has, in terms of how your doctors weighed the effectiveness of the Restylane. When Alice sees him tomorrow, after my own appt, they're going to discuss the Restylane vs. the Scuptra filler.. plus the mini face lift.

That's exciting that you've scheduled yours! When are you having it? Is the price sky-high? I live in NYC--so, although I've got lots of good choices re. facial surgery specialists.....the charges in this city are not cheap! But I've been very fortunate, because my doctor is giving me such a great discount. Dr. S. has been treating me for months now for a foot wound that refused to heal (circulation problems, etc.....I even had one operation, but the skin over the injury just kept dying...and it's been an utter mess! So, I've been home for months. But--it is finally much better...and I'm returning to work in January.) Anyway, I've had appointments with him once a week for check-ups, procedures, etc, and we've chatted a lot and become quite good friends--so he suprised me a couple of weeks ago by offering to do the Restylane at half price. He's a very busy plastic surgeon...gets mentioned a lot and is highly recommended..so...his half-price offer was sooooo welcome on my part! (I work in the publishing/news mag. industry...and the "financial rewards" are...let's say.... non-existant! :-)

Like you, this entire "age" thing hit me almost unexpectedly!! The physical change in my face seemed to come on so quickly (and is STILL coming)! I'd say it all happened within a year. Aaarrrgggghhh!! And, as I was explaining to a friend, it's not the "beauty" and heavy-duty vanity issue that suddenly hit me. (I look fine...but you won't see me gracing the cover of "Vogue" (LOL!) But, it is more like....when you look younger than your age all your life...it almost becomes a part of your "identity." All your life, you hear people registering "shock" at your real age (hmmm....I guess this IS vanity!!) And, when you hear it over and over...you can't help thinking of it as a "positive" attribute about yourself...even though it shouldn't be such!! And, suddenly...to be hurled forward in time...to see your physical appearance start to alter so quickly...IS hard to handle. I guess, mainly, I just felt "bad"...as if I was no longer "me." I hope you understand what I'm very awkwardly explaining here, without your thinking that I'm a total egomanic!!!

I went through life, never really thinking about how I looked....my own twin is always telling me to look in a mirror and at least get my lipstick on straight! LOL! But...to just wake up one day...and feel almost "shocked" at the changes in that mirror....well....it takes some psychological adjusting! Whether it's "ego" or not!

Anyway, I can't say that I've had any gut-wrenching compunctions over whether facelifts are "right" or "wrong" --I just see them as a way to feel a bit better...as I fight the inevitable! LOL! As far as most material things...jewelry, cars, expensive clothing, top living accommodations, etc....that never felt that important to me. But--my face--the image that looks back at me--that is a lot harder to "detach" from!!

Anyway, I'm rambling here...and trying to justify my good old egotism. But it's wonderful to hear from others who understand the whole tough issue of "change." It was much easier at age 40 for me to say "oh, who cares about wrinkles when I'm older"--than it now is to actually HAVE them...and LIVE with them!

Girlygal - (With your "username" you MUST be from California?!?) Just kidding! Anyway, I am so pleased that you are so happy with the Restylane! Isn't it just amazing--and so much fun--to see your "original" face come back?!?! :-) Too bad the stuff doesn't last longer. I've heard of a filler that DOES last longer--called, something like, "artecoll"?? As is typical, it's legal and very popular in Canada, Europe, etc.--but still outlawed in the U.S. (I'm a firm believer that our lawsuits and malpractice threats keep many decent drugs from being released here.)

Well, it was good to hear from both of you...and, of course, I'd love to get your follow-up...and, if you feel like discussing it, how you tackle your day-to-day feelings about the whole process. Have you told people you know about the surgery? At work? Just wondering...... I don't think I mind anyone knowing...if they ASK!! Ho ho!!

my best to you, Lynn

 
Old 11-28-2004, 03:59 PM   #8
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Re: Restylane or Mini Facelift?

Lynn, As you will find from your internet research, the mini lifts the jowls and that's about it. Separate procedures would be needed for the upper face. The lower face might also need fat injections or maybe Restylane to eliminate lines or sunken areas. Anyone with excess flesh in the neck would also need another procedure. The mini-lift incisions would be made in the front of the ears and nowhere else. The doctor's office also referred to this as a Short-Scar procedure. The price quoted by the PS was quite reasonable and less than the 10K quoted by other PS's for just the lift. By talking to these guys, I am now convinced that injections alone won't be enough for me.

You are lucky you are out of work at the moment so that you can deal with the Restylane bruising. Please let me us know how everything turns out and also what procedures your twin sister will opt for. I have a Restylane injection set up with a different PS (good price) for next Saturday which I will probably cancel tomorrow.

Like you, I have been spoiled, in a sense, by looking young for so long. If I can buy myself five more years with a procedure, that would mean a great deal to me.

 
Old 11-30-2004, 05:11 AM   #9
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Re: Restylane or Mini Facelift?

I had restylane injections in marionette lines (lip to jaw) and upper lip in late August. First time and asked for "conservative" treatment. Had some ugly bruises and a doozy on my lower lip where the doctor went through the lip to reach a fold beside it...she admitted she "hit" something with the needle. The results were acceptable, but I won't do it again. They dissipated quickly and I developed acne-like pustules at the injection sites...not quickly, as the literature states "rarely" occurs, but rather last week, three months after the injections. I'd say the results are almost completely gone now and there may be some scars from the eruptions at the sites. Basically, I was disappointed.

I do plan to get a consult for a mini-lift soon, however. The restylane was an effort to address the lower-face sag and lip wrinkles in a minimally invasive fashion. I can see it will take more than that. This long, "swan" neck I prided myself on for my whole life suddenly looks like one of those old theater curtains with the austrian fabric loops. And the marionette lines create a permanently dissatisfied look.

 
Old 11-30-2004, 05:58 AM   #10
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Re: Restylane or Mini Facelift?

Sowomom - your reflections on your Restylane treatments gives me food for thought. One week after my nasolabial fold treatment, I am happy with the result. But I had such awful bruising, because the right side of my face refused to get numb, in spite of twice the normal numbing injections!! The fact that the other side is barely bruised, other than normal swelling, suggests that all those needles caused the problem.

I was told, yesterday, by my doctor to start massaging the folds (the Restylane is still solidly in there!)--but, all in all, I like the results. The folds are filled...and I see cheekbones again. :-) Of course, now, having read your post, I will avidly look forward to those possible pustules arriving! LOLOL!!! Ah, the fun of aging.

But, like you, I have pretty much decided in favor of the mini lift. In addition to Restylane being temporary...I am looking at my face and realizing that if I just had those beginning sags to the side of my chin pulled up with the "mini"--I think that would not only last longer...but might be all I will need. I don't really have the "marionette" lines, yet...or any really deep folds, and for 58, I lucked out with good genetics...but, the lines and folds are just around the corner....and I've been told that if I catch them early, it will be easier to fend them off.

I was supposed to see my doctor yesterday, to see if I needed the remaining Restylane injected...but we postponed the appt until next Monday, when all the swelling and bruising is gone. At that point, he is going to sit down and take a good, long look at the faces of me and my twin sister (she also wants this stuff done)--and try to propose the best program for us....with the least amount of surgery. I like and trust the guy very much...which is half the battle! He's been taking care of a foot wound I had for four months.

Anyway.....like you, I am very eager to hear people's experiences with the mini lift. I've scoured lots of website to read what I can. But listening to the actual stories is the most helpful. (Like your own experience with the Restylane!)

Let's hope people get onto this Board, here....and give us some answers! :-)

best, Lynn

 
Old 11-30-2004, 06:41 AM   #11
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Re: Restylane or Mini Facelift?

I live in Toronto and went for the Artecoll. The first day I was swollen and a little red but the 2nd and 3rd day brought me awful bruising. The upper lip was the worst, it looked like I had been punched in the mouth. It took exactly 7 days for these awful bruises to heal. The brochures and ads say '' a little redness''. and '' rarely bruising''...ha! thats an understatement.

Artecoll apparentely does not take full effect for up to 1-3 months after it is done. I was over the moon when it was first done, as my smile lines and lip lines seemed to disappear...then it looked as if they returned and the Artecoll only worked about 60%. My doctor told me this is normal and I must wait for the 1-3 month period to see the full result. I immediately got on the internet and did research about this fact and yes it is true the results will increase over months as the Artecoll attaches itself to your own collagen.

Good news was that twice last week I was told I looked amazing. Once by a guy who said '' you look really good'' and once by a woman who said '' you have no lines on your face at all''....So as only a 2 week Artecoll veteran I don't know what the 1-3 month mark will bring me.

I am also thinking of getting a few shots of the Restalayne while I wait for the 1-3 month mark to pass. My doc told me some people mix it up and have Artecoll and Restalayne. She also told me that a lot of New Yorkers drive to Toronto to get Artecoll ( wink )

 
Old 11-30-2004, 09:01 AM   #12
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Re: Restylane or Mini Facelift?

Lifechange!

Yes, by the time the US approves Artecoll, the Canadians will consider it a dinosaur in plastic surgery. You guys will have something completely improved by then! LOL!! Hmmm....a drive up to Toronto. Verrry tempting! As a New Yorker...a lot of us were talking about heading up to Toronto for other reasons than plastic surgery. LOL! :-)

Anyway, I've read about Artecoll and liked what people had to say about it. It's very frustrating to wait for drugs to be approved here. I know they are just being safe...but...there are other reasons for the delays as well. Sigh. A new plastic surgery injectable just approved here (but available much earlier elsewhere) is Sculptra. That's a longer lasting procedure than Restylane, but it is used more to fill in hollows in the face, I've read. (One month ago, I had no medical knowledge of how to remove the wrinkling....but, honestly, these nasolabial folds snuck up on me so fast in the past year that I decided I'd better start cracking the books and getting started! And I already had a plastic surgeon, who I knew would be happy to commence the "restorations:!) :-)

You know, when I was in my 40's, looking "young for my age" was almost taken for granted, since I was lucky enough to come from a genetically blessed family. But....having gotten to 58...I wasn't hearing it quite so often! LOLOL!! ("That's not a wrinkle...you just look...tired..." was the phrase I heard, when I moaned to my friends at work!)

You must feel soooo good hearing those lovely comments! You don't mention your age in your post....but if you're an "Artecoll Girl" (as I am a "Restylane Girl"....)you must be at least old enough for a remark like "you have no lines on your face at all" to give your day a lift! Ho ho. I know just how that can make my day. :-)

You know, as we grow older....and look back on all the responsibilities we've had...and any hardships we've been through....we just have to say to ourselves that a little bit of narcisism never hurt anyone!" LOL! Anyway, my same-age buddies agree that we baby boomers are not going to "go gracefully into that good night!!!"

Please keep posting to let me know how the Artecoll is working. What exactly is Artecoll basically for? (folds? To fill in a sagging area? Or general lines?) Restylane, my doctor says, is best for moderate folds around the nose and mouth. How does Artecoll differ? If you get the Restylane now, would you be repeating what the Artecoll will do in a few months? I'd be like you and would be "champing at the bit", having seen the great results, when you first had the Artecoll. I'd hate to lose the effects so fast and would be considering doing what you are--adding the Restylane. (Which is why I've decided to go for a mini lift.)

Does your doctor think this is a good idea to combine both procedures? I do feel that I must tell you that my face looked just like yours did, afterwards. Until EXACTLY 7 days after the injections....I looked like a prize fighter at the end of my career. LOL! And, like you, the first few days it was just kind of red and swollen. But on the third day......yikes! I had no IDEA what was in store for me when I awoke...and made the mistake of checking out my face in the bathroom mirror!! I was all over the color chart! You name the color...it was on my face! LOL! So....after a rousing rendition of the song 'I Feel Pretty"..to the scary-looking thing in my mirror...I phoned the doctor. And learned, for the first time, that "yes, that kind of swelling is POSSIBLE." Hmmm....how about PROBABLE! And I had work only on those two nasolabial lines from nose to mouth--no lip work, or lines below the mouth, etc. Actually, my doctor is certain that the bruising was as bad as it was because I needed at least double the injections of the novacain-type stuff he used before he could even get STARTED injecting the Restylane. So...he thinks my face just considered it an "assault!" LOL!

So....just felt obliged to share that little bit about the bruising....and that you may have a likewise reaction to the Restylane. Of course, I was so pleased about the end results that I cheerfully stayed at home for that one whole week, healing! :-)

best, Lynn

 
Old 11-30-2004, 11:57 AM   #13
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Re: Restylane or Mini Facelift?

Hi Lynn,

Artecoll is designed to fill the nose/marionette lines and pump up the volume in the lip dept. Also it can be used to fill the squint lines between eyes and nose.

Same as you....prior to being injected with the Artecoll, I had my face frozen from the nose to the chin...felt like I was at the dentist. she put 2 injections inside my mouth and one on each side of the nasolabial lines. My lips have always been on the full to pouty side, but over the years, I found the upper lip seemed to get smaller ( and I am a social...smoker). Now with the Artecoll, I have this wonderful cupids bow...I can't stop looking at it! So it was great because I told my surgeon '' no Lara-Flynn Boyle or Melanie Griffith lips ''....she laughed and agreed that it is so awful to look like that. She injected above the entire upper lip, and into the tiny groove above the upper lip and bingo...cupids bows to die for.

Apparently Artecoll last for 10 years. It give the exact same results as Restalayne, but it is a longer lasting substance as it does not dissolve back into your body. I am unsure of how I will look in 10 years....long term effects etc. My doctor told me that Liz Hurley had her upper lip augmented with Artecoll. Actually Artecoll is viewed as an implant...but if you are getting into this like I am then girl...go into search engines and type in Artecoll before and after. and look at the pictures. I definately feel '' hot'' again.

I am 47, so you must be a miracle. I am an ex model, and honestly, although everyone says I look 35 max...I noticed that in reality I did not look '' fresh'' I was holding good, but wanted more ( I think they wrote a tv show about us...Desperate Housewives - lol!!) Anyway, yes an ex LA girl, the lifestyle etc, I had to adjust to the fact that I am no longer a hot commodity...rather someone who looks hot for her age. Well, if that is the case, I want to scorch for my age - ha! ha!.

The only reason my doc suggested the Restalayne was because it is temp and will dissolve in time, she said if I can't wait for the time the Artecoll takes then the Restalayne will give me the results of the Artecoll immediately. She told me it is very important not to '' overfill or re-fill'' with Artecoll for at least 3 months until it has fully connected to my own collagen. But...even today, I was walking downtown and I kept looking at those lips and just can't wait to be kissed! Take care and you are right, lets keep this going, feedback etc.

One concern I had was that in a small percentage of Artecoll.....lumping can occur....I was afraid of it, but my surgeon told me that it has never happened to any of her patients but if it did there is an injection to dissolve the lumping. Hopefully I won't get that!

 
Old 11-30-2004, 04:36 PM   #14
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Re: Restylane or Mini Facelift?

Hi Yanet
I had the restylane in the nl folds, I love it I only had a small bruise for four days what a difference I just hope it lasts a while. I am alittle concerened about what some people are saying about the acne bruising hope all of you are better.

 
Old 12-22-2004, 09:59 PM   #15
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Re: Restylane or Mini Facelift?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Twinlynn
Yanet -

Hello! Funny you should ask about wrinkle lines!! I just had a Restylane treatment 5 days ago on the nasolabial (what a depressing sounding word!) folds (between nose and mouth.)

(I know you are looking for more info. about mini surgery--but I haven't had that done--yet! Nevertheless, thought I'd write about my Restylane procedure. At the bottom of this post, in the "PS"--I mention how our plastic surgeon is still undecided with my twin sister--who does have some smile lines--and therefore might require a slightly different "filler." This is still "up in the air"--but she'll be having one or the other this coming Monday.)

But, back to Restylane:

On the good side (great side, actually)--I look in the mirror now...and see myself ten to fifteen years ago. That's a miracle for me! :-) I am 58, but, thanks to lucky genetics, always looked so much younger than my age. (I know, I know..all women say that! LOL!) But, honestly, I was taken for about 15-20 years younger. But, then --about a year ago--Mother Nature saw fit to paint in a few lines. Not many...but enough for me to see a "sag" setting in.

It didn't really bother me at first, but some months ago, when I was seeing a plastic surgeon every week for a very deep foot wound, I just couldn't help asking about what could be done about those new additions to my face! And he talked up the Restylane, explaining it all, showing me photos, etc.

Now we get to the "bad" side of the treatment. Just in time for Thanksgiving...3 days after the treatment--the right side of my face suddenly looked like I'd gone ten rounds with Mike Tyson. LOL! So--I'm currently sporting, only on the right side, a major "black eye"....and a deathlike yellow/orange discoloration on the cheek....and two small black and blue marks near my nose (where injections when in), and (the expected) redness along the ex-folds. It's such one-sided bruising that it looks as if the doctor were leaning, on his elbows, on that part of my face, as he worked!!

The left side of my face, although red along the fold, is fine. Obviously, something went "wrong" on the other side!! But...this "battered-wife" look came on so quickly (Thanksgiving)...and my doctor is away until Monday (when I have the earliest morning appt!!). So....although when I last spoke with him, my face was first becoming discolored...he has no idea what a spectacular technicolor background suddenly erupted! The black eye, for instance, appeared from one day to the next. Strange!

This excessive bruising, unfortunately, means that I cannot give you a full report on Restylane, as yet...or whether my experience is more common than I was told. I'm really sorry about that, as I would have liked to have been able to give you more information--since you have your last consult on Monday. I tend to believe that my situation is unusual...or this treatment would not be discussed as "so simple, you can do it during your lunch hour!" LOL!! (Well...maybe you can....if your job manager finds 8 days a reasonable lunch break!! :-)

But I CAN tell you the following things about the procedure:

--the initial numbing injections before the procedure were very painful for me--but I've got a terrible pain threshold, plus I always need at least twice the novacaine that most people do. So--the doctor had to do double the usual injecting. And THAT hurt! Once the area was numb, though....there was no pain.

--the results were immediate. The doctor handed me a mirror..and I was truly amazed (and exhilerated)! It was as if, the night before, I'd been ruminating about aging...and thinking "oh....I wish I could turn back the clock ten years..." and then--the next morning, waking up--and realizing that I HAVE! :-)

--With my fingers, I can feel the Restylane substance as a firm gel raised along those two folds, sort of as if two tubes of something very solid were inserted under those lines (folds). That raised feel is very strange when you touch it...but I believe it goes down after a bit. And you can't actually "see" two raised lines. The substance definitely does its job of filling out the folds--and making you look "like you used to look." :-)

--I have no idea how long it will take for the redness (on the UNdiscolored only slightly swollen side of my face) to go back to normal. But it is already getting lighter and looking better.

As for the discolored, black and blue side....I am anxiously awaiting my Monday morning appointment to find out what in the world happened that one side was so battered!! (I suggested to my twin sister that I blackmail the doctor--arrive extra-early for the appt. and just sit there, calmly, in the waiting room, amongst all his prospective Restylane patients--with my delightful face testimoney to the "success" of the procedure! (Free advertising! :-) And then I'd suggest to Dr. S. that a reduction in my fee (how about no charge! Ho ho!) might just convince me to wait outside in the street--behind his office!!) LOL!!

This doctor, by the way, is both highly recommended and written-up--and is vastly popular with a clientele that can afford to "indulge" itself more than I normally would--or could! (But--I felt it was worth every penny, since it's my FACE he's working on!) He's been written up as one of the best plastic surgeons in the city. He LOVES his work...I think he sees it as re-painting and updating old portraits (LOL!)...and he is so "happy" about making others happy....that I trust him entirely.

Okay, that's about it. I hope I've given you at least a "feel" for the procedure. Kinda painful, kinda brusing--but more than worth it for the joy (call it egotism?!) of looking at my face...and seeing it as I never thought I would ever see it again!! :-)

Good luck...and PLEASE let me know how things go. :-)

best, Lynn

PS Re. My twin sister's smile lines: She is thinner than I am, with a thinner, longer, more angular face. So she has a few emerging "smile" lines, and what the doctor describes as a "loss of flesh" in that area around those lines to the side of the lower mouth area. He is debating whether to use a very new filler called....."Sculptura" ??? or something. It fills in pockets around smile lines, where the face has sagged in a bit. The doctor is not certain yet....he may decide she can go with just the Restylane. She is having her procedure done Monday (she has the appt. after mine. In fact...her appt. is right after I have my bruises checked!) :-)
I too had Restalyne last February. For me, it lasted a good 8 months (until October). It is still not all the way dissolved, but I know it's time, so I am going tomorrow (Yikes!) to my dermatologist for more injections. When I had it done, my derm put it in the nasolabial folds, around my lips (not in them), at the corners of my lips and even a little bit under each corner of my lips, as well as placed a tad of it in between my eyebrows where there was a wrinkle. I was thrilled with the results! I almost cried I was so happy. This is the greatest thing since sliced bread, in my book - especially for women who are not ready or don't need a full-blown face lift or mini lift. My boss kept asking me if I changed my hair style, had lost weight, etc. I just kept quiet and let him wonder. I felt like that guy "Joe" in the Viagra commercial where everybody is asking him "hey Joe - get a haircut? are you working out?, etc. lol.

Anyway, the only downside to the Restalyne was that I too had terrible bruising. It looked like someone punched me in the mouth. When I went back for followup w/ my derm, he said that I was only the 2nd woman who had that - the other one was a lady who works for him and she told me she had awful bruising too. Prior to the Restalyne, I had the other collagen (forget the name) and the bruising was nothing compared to this. But, it was well worth it. I had to wear some heavy-duty concealer to work the next few days to cover the bruises. I'm glad my appointment is tomorrow, as I am off work until Monday, so hopefully, I'll have time to heal some.

Aside from the bruising, I would highly recommend this. I've heard some people say it's not used on the lips or for vertical lines, but maybe my derm is just really good, because he sure did mine and they look great. Now, don't go thinking my lips look like Melanie Griffith or Cher, because they don't. I just wanted a little fullness around them - not fatter or like those gross duck lips many stars have.

My derm even filled a small scar I had on my right cheekbone (thanks to my ex) with Restalyne and it disappeared. Of course, the downside to Rest is that it is temporary, but I'll plunk my money down every 6-8 months any time for the happiness I get from this. It's worth every penny.

Oh, one more thing - I didn't get any novocaine at all and I can't lie - those dang shots hurt like crap. They brought tears to my eyes for sure. The worst is when he takes that needle and "runs" it through the outer lip folds. OWWWCHH. That's why I'm going to take a friggin' nerve pill before I go tomorrow! But it's still worth it.
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