I am middle 40's. I have always taken care of my skin by taking lots of B complex vitamins, and all other vitamins for skin, especially vitamin C which promotes collagen. I never go in the Sun, and always wear powerful sun screen for the most minimal exposure. So I never needed collagen or botox. In the last year I just felt that my eyes were looking tired. The first thing I did 6 months ago was CO2 laser resurfacing (my story and pics are on Real Self) and I loved the results, except that it did not tighten the sunken in area of my lower lids from the nose to the center of my lower eye. This area greatly bothered me. I felt I would look much more awake and youthful if I could only fix that sunken in area. The rest of my eyes were acceptable to me. So I logged onto Real Self and asked some doctors how to correct this and they all said that filler was the way to do this.
I know some doctors cautioned about getting fillers that are too thick for the thin skin area under the eyes, but I had heard Artefill, though thick, lasted 5 yrs or permanent and that greatly appealed to me rather than going back every year for other fillers.
I was willing to take the chance that it might be too thick. I also researched on Real Self the fact that if Artefill is injected and overfilled that it can be massaged immediately after to disperse the overfill.
I had never had a single filler or botox around my eyes so I did not know what to expect at all. I imagined slight bruises and that I'd look okay to go to work the same day.
Holy crap, not so! I went to a houston clinic that I was giving a second chance before I judged whether I'd return there again. My appt was at 11:30 am. I drove from Galveston, Texas to SW Houston. When I got there the staff seemed unprepared. I am not exaggerating that they took me into a room and told me to get comfortable and then came in 3 more times and asked me to move to another room so they could do other pts. The problem was that that clinic location did not have Artefill in stock and had to drive to the Galleria location to pick it up. Finally in the last room they put lidocaine around my eyes and let it soak in.
The doctor finally knocked on the door and came in telling outright that Artefill is permanent, and if I do not like it he can not take it out. I will be stuck with my decision. Otherwise it's a good filler, but he'd have to go deep into the tissue because the lower lid skin is very thin and Artefill is very thick. Then he started telling me about the fact that 80% of the filler will eventually be absorbed by my body, then the 20% of microbeads in Artefill is what continues to build collagen. So I might see swelling then actual decreased volume, but in 3 months I will see the greatest results... So then I started feeling greatly confused. I started wondering if he was saying the filler might decrease in volume enough that it wouldn't look like I got anything done ... was he saying Artefill disappears and my $600 injection per eye = $1,200 was going to decrease a lot or a little? I know regular fillers are immediate and last for 6 months to a year pretty much keeping their volume. I had read that Artefill is great and last 5 yrs so I had to shake off what he was saying as me just misinterpreting what he was explaining and tell him to go ahead and do it. He explained that this is a different filler and so on. I was there and ready and told him to just go for it.
On the first eye he hit a blood vessel and that eye swelled greatly. Then the other eye seemed to go smoothly. When he handed me the mirror I was greatly horrified. I had assumed filler injections around the eyes would be so mild that I could just dab on a little cover over minimal bruises and leave better looking than before. Oh, crap was I wrong. My eyes were so violently swollen and asymmetrical that I didn't even trust that he injected the eyes evenly.
(I had gone to the same doctor 3 years ago and bought 3 syringes of Perlane for the commas around my mouth and one side was flat and one side didn't look adequately filled. I left with an uneven face. I didn't know if this was because of his skill or because everyone's face is slighly asymmetrical and perhaps I needed more filler on that other side. I kind of expect that a skilled doctor can analyze that and fill accordingly. I didn't blame the doctor then. I didn't feel happy with the result. I'm not a complainer, and maybe it was just my face. So I came back to the same clinic 3 yrs later for Artefill because most other clinics do not sell Artefill anymore. I would give the clinic the benefit of doubt, and try them again.)
After I saw the swollen uneven distorted condition of my eyes, I told the doctor that this happened last time I came, and I felt unhappy leaving uneven, and now I was scared that this might be the result of the physician and I asked him to come back in the room, but he seemed unconcerned. He said sometimes this happens, and lots of pts think that the injection was not done right because of swelling...and sometimes hitting a blood vessel is just something that happens. He said to let him know how I am doing in 3 months and walked out.
The filler looked so uneven I started to massage the overfilled swollen one immediately. I applied pressure to disperse any overfill and kept massaging it for 72 hours and now it's starting to even out. I've been putting warm compresses on it for 20 minutes 3 times per day and doing light circular massage to help the bruising.
Maybe the physician is correct. Maybe this is normal or one of the hazards. I am glad to see that since my massaging and warm compresses it is turning out just fine, like the physician said it would. So maybe I should not blame this on the physician's skill. I just want readers to know exactly what can happen, and what to do if they feel their is overfill. You must massage it immediately. If you wait weeks, a month or two it will already be set.