13 Mar 2017
2 weeks post op
5 Things I wish I'd known about undereye/tear trough filler
This was my first time having any kind of filler or treatment; I've never had botox or anything like it, but my undereye bags were driving me crazy. I spent months researching because I was anxious and I tend to be a perfectionist about haircuts, etc. I knew this was a tough area to treat so I settled on a very reputable oculoplastic surgeon; I wanted someone who was familiar with the anatomy of the face and eye. Here's what I wish I had known beforehand:
1. A surgeon is not necessarily the best injector; this is a numbers game and I think it's most important to find someone who has done hundreds of tear trough injections, even if they're a dermatologist or maybe even a PA. The surgeon injected me and I ended up overfilled and lumpy in one eye and pretty badly bruised on the other eye. The overfilled eye is actually casting a new shadow underneath the place where my original circle was -- it looks weird. I have no doubt that my doctor is an excellent surgeon, but I think he spends more time with a scalpel than a needle.
2. I wish I had asked for a specific amount of filler. The doctor I went to has a reputation for being conservative, and photos of his eye surgeries are very subtle. My last words before he injected were "I would rather have to come back for more than have too much." He split one syringe of Restalyne between my two eyes, but my left eye (the first eye he did) clearly got way more, and that is where I now have lumps and weirdness. The right eye, I'm guessing, got about 1/3 of a syringe and it looks fine. And my bags were fairly pronounced.
3. Microcannula would have been better. I initially was only looking at doctors who used the microcannula technique, but I changed my mind after talking to the receptionist at this surgeon's office. The injection was gentle and painless, but I got a bad bruise that lingered and was a bigger deal than I initially thought -- there was really no good way to cover it with makeup, and I looked like I'd been punched. Plus, my thinking now is that any highly experienced injector will probably be comfortable using the microcannula or will give you a specific reason why they aren't.
4. I would have done my cheeks first. Because of my budget, I had to choose one area to treat, so I chose my eyes. In retrospect, I think I would have gotten more bang for my buck by doing my cheeks. I'm now planning to fill my cheeks anyway in hopes that it will soften/diminish the shadows and lumpiness caused by my undereye treatment.
5. Since my treatment, I've found doctors on Real Self who don't have photos of this treatment on their own profiles, but who have answered a lot of questions about it; I think that's a good way to feel out how experienced someone is -- look at their answers to questions on this site.
I am not planning on dissolving my filler because I don't want to make things worse. I don't feel like I was disfigured -- the eye looks fine in certain light; but overall I think I look slightly worse than before. When I was researching, I mostly read positive reviews because I sort of assumed that anyone who had a bad outcome just hadn't researched properly. I was wrong. This is an incredibly complicated area to treat, especially if you are older and have wrinkles and sagging and other things going on with your face. That said, I do think there is a slight improvement in my right eye, which received less filler. Good luck!