My cheeks hurt. Not the cheeks you’re thinking of. This time it’s the cheeks on my face. But it’s a good hurt. Let me explain.
I went to my friendly neighborhood plastic surgeon this morning. Mainly to get my regular Botox injections to freeze the frown lines between my eyebrows. I looked in the mirror after the doc was done.
It looked great between the eyebrows, but something was off. S–t, I thought. I’m finally starting to look my age. My face was falling a little. My cheekbones were disappearing.
Too much sugar? Not enough sleep? Need more sunscreen? My friendly neighborhood plastic surgeon patted me softly on the back and assured me that gravity was just doing its job.
To hell with gravity! I declared. Doc, what can you do to help? He looked at my face. First, the left side. Then, the right side. What was he looking at? It must be more serious that I thought.
He told me that he would like to use a “Dermal Filler” that would plump up my cheekbones, and lift my face a bit in the process. It was instant, would take about 15 minutes, and I could go right back to work. I asked him to show me a few before and after photos just to make sure I knew what I was getting into. He also explained to me what fillers did and how they worked.
He explained that dermal fillers help to diminish facial lines and restore volume and fullness in the face (restore volume – that would be for me). As we age, our faces naturally lose subcutaneous fat. The facial skin also stretches a bit, adding to this loss of facial volume. Other factors that affect the facial skin include sun exposure, heredity, and lifestyle (I knew it was the sugar!).
I was ready. His nurse gave me a squeeze-y thing to hold. I wondered why. Then the procedure started. He worked his way into my right cheekbone with a needle, filling it with the dermal substance. His nurse applied an ice pack on the opposite cheek to quell the pain. I was squeezing the squeeze-y thing really hard. Now I know what it’s for.
He moved on to the next cheek, repeating the same procedure. When he was done, he gave me a mirror to check out the result. All I could say was WOW. I looked five years younger! I left the office, looking and feeling refreshed.
Now, seven hours later, my cheeks are slightly swollen and hurt a little. No biggie – it was so worth it!
Barbara Bishop is President of Santa Monica-based BBPR, Inc. For comments or suggestions, email firstname.lastname@example.org.