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Very Kind, Knowledgeable, Informative Doctor...results Alright but Was Expecting More for the Cost. - San Francisco, CA

I went in mainly for cheek augmentation and to...

I went in mainly for cheek augmentation and to address the dark circles that have been forming under my eyes over the last year or so. I've always had small cheeks, so was looking for some fullness in the cheek area and diminished under eye circles. I received a Perlane / Restylane mix using the microcannula technique. First of all, the microcannula was great, and there was very little pain and much less bruising than I expected. Dr. M. made the injection process quite tolerable. We started with 1cc, during which time Dr M. expressed "a little filler was going a long way" on my face. After the first one, we talked about stopping there for now, although Dr M. did mention the option of using a second cc. to fill in my nasolabial folds. I quickly agreed and we went ahead and did the second one. I am happy with the nasolabial area, although I was really expecting a more noticeable improvement in my cheeks and under eyes (especially since we went ahead with 2cc's instead of 1.) It's been about 10 days since my procedure, and as soon as the swelling from the procedure went down, I see less change in my cheek and eye area than I had hoped. My cheeks appear a bit "lumpy", (which is fine...I guess that is normal for some time after perlane?) but under eye improvement is less dramatic than my expectations. Nonetheless, I do have my follow up coming up in about 10 days, so I look forward to Dr M's skilled input. I know a picture says a thousand words...I took some before pictures of my own, so I will take some after pictures and post them both.

I wanted to post my before and after photos...I...

I wanted to post my before and after photos...I took the after photos today, 12 days after treatment. Looking at these photos I have to say this feels disappointing considering I spent so long saving my money, and traveled so far.. I am definitely not very happy with these initial results.

UPDATE:

I just spoke with someone at the office addressing my concerns, with both the results, and the consultation fee. She was incredibly kind and sounded genuinely concerned. She apologized about the fee mix up and immediately credited my bank account directly. She also asked me to send her my "after" photos and said she would show them to Dr M. and speak with him about my thoughts.
I feel confident after our conversation that their primary goal is to give me a result that I feel happy with...they sound very willing to figure out the best way to go about making this happen.

I will continue to update this review, and thank you very much for commenting. As a newbie, it's really nice to hear some more experienced points of view!

So I went back for my follow-up appointment 3...

So I went back for my follow-up appointment 3 weeks ago. I spoke with Dr. M. and we decided to use 1 more cc. of filler, but that he would use Juvaderm Ultra Plus...stating that the Juvaderm would give me more of the cheek "fullness" I was looking for. We also used a small amount of this syringe in my upper lip for some fullness there as well. Although I was never planning on spending as much money as this has turned into, I was pleased that I was at least given this 3rd cc. at cost ($250).
I do have more fullness in the cheeks, but now, over the last few weeks, I have developed VISIBLE and painful LUMPS...one in each cheek, and a large one on the inside of my upper lip. I called the office and was told to massage the area, and that with some time and massage, the lumps should gradually go away.
Unfortunately, they have not gone away, or gotten any better (it seems, especially the ones in my cheeks have actually become more pronounced.) My second follow up was supposed to be yesterday, but I was not able to make my appointment because I wasn't able to make the 8 hr, 400 mile round-trip for personal reasons. (Yes, it’s a long way to go, but I live up in the mountains and I thought that traveling to the city to see a board certified physician with a good track record would be worth the trip!)
When it comes down to it, at this point I am very disappointed and wish I did not spend my hard earned money for this. I was told that if the massage didn’t work to dissolve the lumps, I would need to come back in to see Dr. M. again, and go from there. I’m torn, as I would prefer to just start over with another physician, but I can’t afford to pay someone else to fix this problem.
How disappointing!

My bumps have gone away for the most part. I...

My bumps have gone away for the most part. I decided to do my follow-up via phone and email since I didn't need to have the bumps "fixed". Unfortunately, along with the lumpiness, I've lost quite a bit of the fullness I enjoyed for a month or so...and would say it's very difficult to tell I had anything done at all.
The office and staff has been very attentive though, I just don't feel in my experience that I want to make the drive considering the results. I will be sending my "after" photos via email, but as Megan mentioned, will look for someone closer if I decide to try this again.
Bay Area Facial Plastic Surgeon

This was my very first time having any sort of fillers or any cosmetic procedure done, so I don't have any other doctor to "compare" to...but I would say that overall Dr M. has one of the best bedside manners I've ever seen. I was VERY anxious and excited to have the fillers done in my cheeks and under eye area. My results were just not quite as noticeable as I expected for the cost. My issue with the payment process is that there is a $150 consultation fee which is suppose to go towards the first treatment if you have it done the same day as your consultation. The staff forgot to credit me this fee with my total, and instead of crediting by bank account the money I overpaid, I was given a credit at the office to use at a later date.

3 out of 5 stars Overall rating
4 out of 5 stars Doctor's bedside manner
3 out of 5 stars Answered my questions
3 out of 5 stars After care follow-up
2 out of 5 stars Time spent with me
4 out of 5 stars Phone or email responsiveness
5 out of 5 stars Staff professionalism & courtesy
3 out of 5 stars Payment process
5 out of 5 stars Wait tmes
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Comments (7)

Can we see the before and after pics please?
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My bumps have gone away for the most part. I decided to do my follow-up via phone and email since I didn't need to have the bumps "fixed". Unfortunately, along with the lumpiness, I've lost quite a bit of the fullness I enjoyed for a month or so...and would say it's very difficult to tell I had anything done at all.
The office and staff has been very attentive though, I just don't feel in my experience that I want to make the drive considering the results. I will be sending my "after" photos via email, but as Megan mentioned, will look for someone closer if I decide to try this again.
  • Reply

That is good to hear the bumps are mostly gone!! Would love to hear if you decide to try it again in the future, or if you decide its just not for you.

 

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miyamirain, I'm sorry to hear about the lumps that have developed. :( I don't blame you for feeling frustrated by it. The distance you have described is an awful long way to travel. From what you have said, including them giving you product at cost, it sounds like they do have your best interest in mind. If you feel comfortable, might be best to stay with that office until this is resolved. If you aren't comfortable with that, perhaps you could explain to them the distance is just too much and ask if they have anyone closer to you they refer to.

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I am so happy to hear how helpful they were when you called! That is excellent, and I'm glad you felt listened to!

Thanks for posting the photos. Unfortunately I don't see much change in your cheeks either, but I do have to say that the under eye area looks really good from what I can see. That is an area I've considered trying a filler in, but haven't been brave enough to do it yet, so I have looked at lots of under eye photos. Yours look nice & even, not over done at all, and I don't notice that weird bluish tint that a lot of people seem to get. You just look really well rested. :)

 

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I look forward to seeing your pics as well. I haven't heard of that cannula perlane/restylane mix being used very often, did he say why he chose to do that over just giving you straight filler from the manufacturer's syringe?

If you are pretty disappointed I definitely agree with Megan and say you should speak up, That is an awful lot to pay for 2 syringes and not get the results you expected and on top of that, not stick to the fee arrangements that were understood from the beginning. I would insist that they fix the credit seeing as how it was their mistake. Don't let them take advantage of you just bc this is your first treatment ever (like carsalesmen do to 1st time buyers). They shouldn't be worried about trying to rope you back with "future credit" if they stand behind the work that they do so hopefully they will do the right thing and it won't be too much of a problem for you. Did you go to this dr through a referral? Cosmetic surgery is highly competitive and it's always a good idea to check out multiple drs especially if you are new to the field. You can have such great experiences if you make sure you go to a dr that is not only nice but skilled and truly caring and that you trust indefinitely (after all, your face is in their hands!!) to do the best thing for you physically and for your health.

Perlane is a thicker consistancy so if you are having lumpiness issues, maybe try just Restylane next time although I love Perlane in my lips, nose bridge and nasolabial areas. The under eye skin is so thin, I would start w a smoother consistency filler (Juvederm is known for its gel like smoothness) at first then work your way to the thicker stuff as your body gets used to it. I hope this helps, if you have any doubts or questions, don't hesitate to ask your doctor or sites like this one where you can get information that is strictly meant to be beneficial and not selling you things. Best wishes!
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That is a bit odd how they handled the credit. Did they give you the option of putting it back on your bank card or taking an in office credit? 

Since you aren't thrilled with your result, and you have the credit thing going on maybe you could call the office & explain whats going on. Perhaps there is something they can do(??).

Either way, looking forward to seeing your pictures. :)

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