I understand phobias… personally, I have a thing about spiders. As such, I’m sympathetic when patients say they can’t do fillers because of a fear of needles or concerns about discomfort. Many of these patients have had an unpleasant experience at another office or med spa. I recently saw a post by another plastic surgeon mentioning a technique that he learned in training to reduce discomfort in the cheek area and lips – and it turns out that this is one of the techniques that I’m already doing! In my practice, I use four specific strategies to make sure that the filler experience is virtually painless. With this approach, I am able to give patients a comfortable and calm experience.
First, I use local nerve blocks for high-sensitivity areas (especially the lips). In this technique, small amounts of a numbing medicine are injected with a tiny needle through inside of the cheek. After 5 minutes, the upper and lower lips, as well as the nasolabial folds, can be made completely numb. Second, for certain areas of the face, such as the forehead or the upper cheeks, topical numbing cream can be a fantastic addition. These areas don’t have quite as specific a nerve supply, so a broader approach is helpful. Third, I use only fillers that have numbing medicine pre-mixed or that I can mix numbing medicine into directly myself. This means that, with each pass, the area continues to stay numb. Fourth, I have all my patients ice the injected areas for 15 minutes in the office, before they leave and at home as needed.
SO, the moral of the story is: Don’t Fear the Filler! Just find the right doctor to do the injections. For more information about non-surgical rejuvenation, including fillers, Botox, medical grade skin care, laser procedures, and peels, please visit SanFranciscoFacialPlasticSurgery.com or call 415-550-1077 today for a comprehensive consultation!
Evan R. Ransom M.D.
Board Certified Facial Plastic & Reconstructive Surgeon