As one grows older, the effects of gravity, sun exposure, and the general everyday stresses of life begin to affect the overall appearance of one’s face. This can result in laugh lines and smile lines around the mouth, crow’s feet around the eyes, and facial creases over the areas where facial muscle movement occurs.
Injectable fillers such as collagen can help fill in lines and creases and temporarily restore a smoother, more youthful appearance. When injected beneath the skin, collagen can plump up these creased and sunken areas of the face.
Collagen is a naturally occurring protein that provides support to various parts of the human body, including the skin, joints, bones, and ligaments. In a cosmetic setting, collagen is used primarily to fill wrinkles, lines, and scars on the face and sometimes lines on the neck, back, and chest.
It is important to realize that collagen is not permanent. It can, however, slow the aging process down and “set the clock back” for those desiring a temporary, more youthful appearance.
You a Candidate for Collagen?
At your initial consultation, Dr. Javaheri will evaluate the skin, muscles, and underlying bone structure of your face and discuss your goals and desired results. Dr. Javaheri will also ask you about your general medical history, specifically pertaining to any medical conditions that could cause problems during or after the procedure, such as drug allergies, active skin infections, or non-healed sores from injuries.
If you are pregnant,suffering from an autoimmune disease, allergic to beef or bovine products, or allergic to lidocaine (the anesthetic agent contained in the syringe with the collagen material), collagen injections are in most cases not recommended.
Approximately a month prior to your procedure, Dr. Javaheri will administer a test to determine whether you are allergic to collagen.After it has been determined that you are not allergic, the collagen will be injected using a fine needle at specific points along the edge of the treatment site. The procedure usually does not require the use of a local anesthetic,although you may feel some slight stinging or burning as the collagen is injected.
The procedure is usually administered at one of Dr. Javaheri’s office locations. However, if you are being hospitalized for a facelift, neck lift, brow lift, or any other procedure, your injections may be administered in the hospital as well. Dr. Javaheri will determine at the time of your consultation if this will be appropriate for you.
What to Expect After the Procedure
Immediately following the procedure, you may feel some minor discomfort, stinging, or throbbing in the injected area. Occasionally some bruising or swelling may occur, though this is usually minor. If any redness appears in the injected site, it will usually disappear within a day. For some individuals, particularly fair-skinned patients, this redness may persist for over a week. Tiny scabs may also form over the needle-stick areas though they generally heal very quickly.
The duration of the collagen injections varies significantly from patient to patient. Though some patients have reported results lasting almost a year, the majority of patients find that some of the injected fullness disappears within three to six months after their last procedure. Therefore, repeated injections may be necessary. Dr. Javaheri will advise you on how to maintain your results with repeat treatments.
Individuals vary greatly in their anatomy, their physical reactions, and their healing abilities, and the outcome is never completely predictable. As with any surgical procedure, the risk of infection is always a possibility.