If You Are Considering Juverderm, READ THIS!

I am almost 40 and have very deep, dark circles...

I am almost 40 and have very deep, dark circles under my eyes (an unfortunate hereditary trait) and fair, vascular skin. I had Restylin injected under my eyes in the crease nine months ago. The procedure began with a topical numbing agent, followed by the injections. The doctor used a series of injections along the crease line, running from the tear trough down to above the cheek bones. There were lots of pokes. Quite painful, and I am a long-time Botox veteran. The result was severe bruising, swelling and, after three weeks recovery time, okay (although somewhat lumpy and uneven) results. The filler didn't last long, however. Yesterday, I went to another physician that suggested Juvederm for under the eyes vs. Restylin. In her experience, Juvederm does not last much longer than Restylin, but has a smoother consistency, making it easier to control the injections.

She and a RN were both present for the procedure, assisting each other. (And this is a “procedure,” no matter how casually it may be marketed.) They began by numbing my eyes with a shot of Novocain beneath each eye. Ouch. But after fifteen minutes I was completely numb and felt nothing during the procedure. They used fewer injections and went "deeper" and "longer" with the needle. I have only minor swelling and bruising today. A HUGE difference from the last procedure. It also appears that the results are more even. I am using arnica cream under the eyes, per the doctor's recommendation. She actually applied the cream following every injection during the procedure. I cannot help wondering if this has contributed to the reduction in swelling and bruising. I'll keep you all posted on my progress.

I also had Juvederm injected around the nasal labial folds, smile lines and upper lip for mild lip lines. Even with a topical numbing solution, the pain was awful. I'm wondering if they can use Novocain in this area, as well, for the next application because it was truly a miserable experience and a test of endurance. But again, I have smooth, even results and almost no swelling and bruising today. Interestingly, this team did "cross-hatched injections" (horizontal) into my lower cheek area immediately outside the smile line area. Again, these injections were very deep. They added slight volume to the cheek area, which gives me subtle, more youthful look, and also reduced the other smaller laugh lines that appear outside the two deeper laugh lines around my mouth.

My recommendation is to do your research on doctors and solicit the opinions of other patients. Don't choose a doctor based on price. And don't be intimidated to ask lots of questions about each doctor's process. So much of the success of this type of procedure relies upon the steady hand and skill of the practitioner. Juvederm is not the issue...it's the application.

I also recommend asking for a second set of eyes to be present during the procedure. This team approach worked well, with each woman guiding the other and offering feedback and suggestions.

And finally, the doctor and RN were female. Both had had these procedures performed on THEM. Does this make a difference? I think it might. After all, a woman is bound to have a better understanding of the female face, social ideas of beauty and techniques women apply every day with makeup to achieve the right affect. And they each had direct experience with what worked or didn't work for them.

Seacoast Rejuvenation Center, Portsmouth, NH

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