Facing Fillers: The jury’s still out

So, quick back story here.

I went in to see a plastic surgeon a couple of weeks ago with a laundry list of questions. I came seeking answers on three procedures: liposuction, laser resurfacing and facial fillers.

The doc took one look at me and said I don’t need lipo. In fact, he grabbed some skin on my lower back and said, “This is what women want to see in their after photos.”

That’s probably the best compliment I’m going to get all year.

Suffice to say, I’m not going to be getting lipo. If a plastic surgeon, who’s seen all manner of imperfections says you don’t need something, you probably don’t.

But he did say I was a good candidate for another procedure I wanted: tear trough fillers.

What the heck is that?

Here’s an article for some basics.


One of the unpleasant side effects of getting older is that collagen – that awesome

substance that makes your skin look radiant and smooth in your youth – starts vanishing. And that makes the shadows under your eyes look worse and worse the older you get. No amount of sleep can fix this in certain people.

If you’re like me, you’ve tried a billion creams that claim to fix or reduce this. Let me save you some time and money. None of that stuff works. None of it.

So I took the plunge and came back to the office a few weeks later. Yes, I was nervous.

Was this going to make me look worse? Better? Was I going to look fake? Was it going to hurt?

Turns out the pain I experienced the most was in my wallet.

I came in intending to spend about $800 on some under-eye fillers. I left spending three times that amount.

Because I had lost 20 pounds this year, it pretty much caused my cheeks to sink in. Injecting anything under your eyes in this situation is going to make you look like you have bags under your eyes, or at least that was the sales pitch I got from the nurse practitioner who was about to poke the shit out of my face. OK. Fair enough.

So she injected my cheeks with Voluma first, which went a long way toward reducing those circles. Even with a bit of lidocaine to dull the pain, it was still pretty uncomfortable. But it was bearable.

After two syringes of this, she pulled out a syringe of Restylane for the eyes. This part kinda scared the crap out of me. Word of advice: don’t watch too many Youtube videos of this procedure before going in. It looks worse than it feels. Really.

Some stats:

  • Duration of Restylane: approximately one year
  • Duration of Voluma: approximately 1 1/2-2 years

After she was done, the nurse – smiling and excited – handed me a mirror.

I was horrified. I looked like I’d been in a fight. Everything was red and swollen. All I could do was pay the bill – OUCH – and go home, hoping this wasn’t the “after” photo I’d be posting.

The next morning, the redness was gone, but I was pretty swollen. And a nice little

First Day After Procedure

shiner was forming under my right eye. That made going out in public a little weird for a few days.

The results are pretty cool. I don’t know if they’re worth the amount of money I spent, but it’s nice to look more rested for once. And to “appear” to have high cheekbones.

But just like everything else in my life, I didn’t get to appreciate it very long. My good ol’ pal cystic acne decided to appear in full force, hence, the delay in a timely “after” photo. This is another issue I’ll get into later because I have a lot planned for this. Accutane, here I come!

Bottom line: would I do this again? The Restylane, yes. The Voluma, maybe. My husband, who has a chin implant, suggested cheek implants as a long-term solution and alternative to Voluma. The only downside to this is it’s invasive and there’s two weeks downtime. But it would be a helluva lot cheaper in the long run. We’ll see.












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