About 10 days ago I did something utterly selfish and vain: I got Botox and Radiesse injected into my face.
I’ve done the Botox before and this was probably about the sixth treatment for my brow. I remember my boss from Hospital Hell telling me that I always look like I’m angry because of the persistent frown lines. The first time I had it done was almost seven years ago and have a happy repeat customer.
It’s true what they say: while the effects do wear off, I can go longer between appointments before I really start to notice. Three treatments ago I had a not-so-good result and both my eyelids drooped. When I returned about six months after treatment and I explained this, the doctor said he would adjust for that in where he injected and since then there’s been no problem. The number 11 is no longer furrowed into my brow, but I can still give That Look to the kids or my husband when deserved.
Last winter when I had Botox I asked about skin peels. I think the skin on my face looks mottled from sun damage, hormones and scars. He suggested the Radiesse, which is a filler, as he really didn’t think I had that uneven of skin tone. I declined at the time, but it put a bug up my butt. Many times I would be at home looking in the mirror and pull the skin over my cheeks back to lift those “marionette” lines around my nose and mouth and think maybe it could be better. My mouth seemed to be permanently turned down and as I looked at pictures on the net and surfed for stories, I started talking myself into it.
Shortly before my appointment last week, I found a thread where a woman said she had it done and was VERY upset with the results, comparing herself to Marge Simpson’s upper lip area and I had second thoughts. If there was one celebrity I didn’t want to look like, that would be her. I went to my appointment anyway.
So what should you expect with either Botox or Radiesse injections? For me, the Botox treatments are a breeze. A half dozen or so pokes in my brow with a teeny-tiny needle while sitting on the exam table, a gauze to wipe out what oozes and away I go with instructions to occasionally exercise those muscles to help distribute the Botox and to not to lay down within the next few hours, which can cause it to gravitate into areas you don’t want it to gravitate. It takes about three days for me to notice it has taken affect.
As for the Radiesse…I had no idea what to expect. Well, except that it was injected. The nurse brought me a frozen pack to put over my mouth to numb up the area and that thing nearly frostbit my fingers trying to hold it. Eventually I reclined on the exam table to let gravity help while I was waiting, which was about 10 minutes. When we proceeded, he had me sit back up and before the first poke, he counted down, “3, 2, 1, here we go,” and the first injection took my breath away. It hurt like a mo-fo. So did the second, third, and fourth through the sixth injection, all into the lines that runs from the outside of my nose down past the lips on both sides.
“Before” (I look like hell on wheels!) March 2012
Not only was it more painful than the Botox, it feels incredible uncomfortable because it’s viscous, not at all like Botox which has the consistency of water. If you’ve ever done PIO, then yeah, it’s like that. In your face. (BOOyah!) I wondered what the hell I was doing and if I had to go a year before the stuff wore off feeling like lumps of ulcerated tissue under my skin. I thought I was screwed. He told me that in 24 hours, if it still felt lumpy, I could “massage” it out and work it into the areas I wanted. I left his office feeling like I looked like the aforementioned Marge Simpson. The lumping was bad enough; I was even worried I would accidently bite the inside of my cheeks because it physically invaded my oral cavity!
My doc said that it’s not uncommon to have bruising within a few hours and lasting for a few days. I was grateful I had the week off. By the time I got home (I did this in the city, a two hour drive, plus a little shopping), I was puffy around the mouth, but not bruised. I hadn’t told my husband I was doing this and he didn’t notice.
The next day felt much better. Not as lumpy, but sore. I noticed a very, very small bruise at the corner of my mouth. I thought it was some smutz on my face until I looked closely in the mirror. It never did hurt. The days after that, the filler evened out, the bruising and aching went completely away and now I think it looks pretty good.
The change in appearance is subtle but positive. Sparring Partner wouldn’t notice if I grew a horn out of my head, so this is definitely not something he’ll ever notice. No one has noticed in fact, or if they have, it hasn’t warranted a conversation. I have not told a soul, until now. *I* notice the difference and I like the results but I seriously disliked the actual procedure. The picture below is just from yesterday (LOVE the gray at the temples) (and I’m not wearing make-up). One of the reasons I wanted to document it is so I can remind myself of how much that part sucked.
“After” (Natural lighting is a godsend!) May 2012
As for the charge for the procedures, the Botox was $200 (up $25 from the last time I had had it done, but $100 cheaper then what it was 5 years ago). The Radiesse was $500. I did not have to pay that. I am lucky I work for a group of surgeons who have specialties in maxillofacial surgery, if you catch my drift. If I had to pay out of my pocket for it, I don’t know that I would have. The Botox, yes. The Radiesse? Meh. I don’t look 20 years younger, and not that I thought I would, but THAT would be worth $500!
Since I cannot recall any of you having had work done or finding a detailed description for Radiesse, I figured this might help someone else make a more informed decision.