Restylane Helped Improve the Hollows Under my Eyes

Like many approaching 40, I've noticed with some...

Like many approaching 40, I've noticed with some disappointment that I've grown increasingly tired-looking- regardless of whether I'm well-rested or hydrated or not. The culprit- the growing dark circles beneath my eyes. Yet for me, the idea of lower-eyelid surgery to correct the issue seemed a little too extreme. I was put off both by the invasive nature of the procedure and the prolonged downtime. So I remained in a holding pattern- reading accounts here of user experiences with lower bleph (and other treatments).

I began seeing more and more positive reviews of Restylane injections in the tear-trough area to correct the problem- which prompted me to further reading on that specific procedure. Before and after photos here and elsewhere seemed to suggest that- on the whole- the procedure worked pretty well. Occasionally, I'd seethe nightmare account of an injection made by an inexperienced or overzealous dermatologist or nurse or quack- which gave me pause. Even though those seem to be the exception, and rare, they were still pretty intimidating. So I remained on the fence for several months.

I eventually mustered up the courage to go talk to an Oculoplastic Surgeon about the procedure- after reading through the very enthusiastic accounts of an LA-based Oculoplastics specialist who- (here and elsewhere)- described Restylane for tear-trough hollowing as the greatest thing since sliced bread... If a guy who specializes in cosmetic eyelid SURGERY is pitching a cheaper, less-invasive procedure (regardless of where his bread has historically been buttered)- that should mean something. That his before/after photos seemed pretty amazing further put me at ease.

So I went about seeking a local Oculoplastic Surgeon- figuring that if I was going to have a needle go under the skin near my eyeballs, I'd prefer the person putting it there know exactly what is going on BENEATH my skin.

I received injections last week. The procedure itself was more uncomfortable than I expected. I had received numbing cream and felt little pain- but the physical pressure, and the periodic sounds of skin being punctured (particularly when it was done from within my mouth), took a little time to get used to. Immediately following the procedure, I got a look in the mirror and felt, frankly, apprehensive. That my face had changed was pretty obvious to me- but I looked far more swollen than I had expected I would (even though I only had one syringe split between two eyes). The doctor felt the procedure had been successful- which was encouraging- but I couldn't help but feel apprehensive. My cheeks looked puffy and red.

Within 24 hours- some of the puffiness had gone away. And- to my delight- it became clearer to me that the procedure had had a positive benefit. The darker rings below my eyes were largely gone- the color of the skin there looked healthy and plumper (without looking like I was bloated).

It's now been a few days. My bruise remains- but is fading. The swelling has largely dissipated- though my face is still not back to its former shape. I expect within a week or two, the bruise will be gone- and perhaps my face will look as it did last week- except without dark rings below my eyes.

Overall, my experience was extremely positive- and I would rate my results, on a 1 to 10 scale, as an 8. I do not know how long these results will last, but if the last a year, I will definitely consider the procedure to have been more than worth the money. I can only speak for myself, but I will say that I am extremely happy that I went to the effort to seek out an Oculoplastic Surgeon for the job. His lucidity on the subject of under-skin anatomy of the face/eye/tear-trough region really made me feel in good hands. It felt- in the event something DID go wrong- I'd be in the hands of the best possible person to diagnose and address the problem. That knowledge- and his candor- made me worry less than I might otherwise have. I hope this account is helpful to the next person out there who is considering this procedure.

Austin Oculoplastic Surgeon

As I noted in my review, "My Dr's lucidity on the subject of under-skin anatomy of the face/eye/tear-trough region really made me feel in good hands". He was extremely patient with my questions. When I had run out of them and I asked what else I should be asking- he did not hesitate to suggest that many patients asked about "worst case scenario complications"- and then he listed them. He mentioned having read a medical account of blindness resulting from a direct injection into a blood vessel- though he had never seen this happen and didn't know a physician who had. He also mentioned a case of skin necrosis- I think from an artery injection- but again noted it was extremely rare. That he was so quick to speak of the worst-case scenarios- however statistically unlikely they are- greatly impressed me. He could have easily ended the conversation without a mention of the rare but nevertheless serious risks- and I wouldn't have noticed the difference. I appreciated very much this kind of honesty. Though I was pleased with the results of the procedure- it was because of his *candor* that I opted to write this review.

4 out of 5 stars Overall rating
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Thanks so much for your post and your comments. We are always trying to help make aesthetic treatments personalized, easy, and perhaps even fun! Of note, there have been some major changes in modern filler injection techniques. We have been injecting fillers with blunt canulas rather than needles for the past year, and the results are night and day better in terms of post injection swelling and bruising. This newer technique has about 90% less swelling and bruising. Please let me know if there is anything else we can do to help. Best wishes to you!
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Sounds promising!!!
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Still sounds scary! Looking for someone in Houston to go to if anybody can suggest someone :o)
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In houston, I would suggest Dr. Charlie Soparkar or Dr. Mike Yen Good luck!
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Thank you very much, I really appreciate
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how long did your results last for?
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Who was your doctor? I am in Austin and I am considering Restylane for my dark circles and hollow eyes. Do you like your results now after several months? Thanks
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Hi Carlota,

The doctor's name is shown at the top of the review. Click the link for full contact details.


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If you are in California, I would have to believe your best bet is Kenneth Steinsapir ( He is in Los Angeles - and is very active here at Realself. ( He is an Oculoplastic Surgeon- as was my local doctor in Texas. Dr. Steinsapir's enthusiasm for Restylane as a non-surgical option for improving eye-hollows instead of surgery- and his many helpful posts about his successes with the procedure- gave me the necessary encouragement to seek out a local Oculoplastic Surgeon (at a practice Dr. Steinsapir recommended). Looks like Steinsapir is in your backyard- so it should make it easy for you, should you be interested!
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Interesting.. who did your work? I am in California. Thanks!!
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Why did they give undereye injections within the mouth?? Like inside your mouth? That seems weird..
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Some- not all- of the injections were made through the mouth. The surgeon explained that this reduced the risk of serious bruising and allowed him to reach certain parts of the trough more easily than via a surface injection. From further reading, I've come to believe that this technique is one more often used by more experienced injectors and cosmetic surgeons- who have a deeper knowledge of facial anatomy. (I may be stereotyping but I suspect the intraoral approach is not one you'd likely get from a dermatologist, nurse or esthetician.) Since their goal is to provide a deep injection- so as to minimize risks of side effects like lumpiness or the tyndall effect- I can understand why the oral route might make sense... It just took a little getting used to! This has been discussed elsewhere: Though it was uncomfortable, it wasn't painful- as a dental block had been used prior to the procedure, along with a topical numbing agent. In the end, my bruising was quite minor and I was very pleased with the results. So I have no complaints about the process at all.
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