A Full Face Approach

The story of 24-year-old Bridie, who, after experiencing an animal attack, sought to improve her confidence through non-surgical injectables

Before and after side view. Results show a more balanced profile, with improvements in nose shape and contour, lip symmetry, chin projection and the under-eye area.

After an animal attack as a child, 24-year-old Bridie was left with a noticeable bump on her nose, leaving her feeling extremely self-conscious about her appearance. “I just hated it,” she says, “I really hated the way my face and profile looked, and I didn’t like having pictures taken. I had very negative memories associated with my nose and seeing it in pictures was as if I was staring at the incident in the face constantly.” Bridie had always wanted a surgical nose job (known as a rhinoplasty procedure) but when she realised her nose could be improved through non-surgical means she thought she would give it a try.

“At the time I was 21. My mum has had cosmetic injectable procedures and was very open about it, so I knew the basics about the industry. I started to learn a bit more and I saw on Instagram that you could improve the shape of your nose with dermal fillers. As somebody who was always worried about surgery, it struck me that a non-surgical procedure might be a good option – I thought it seemed a lot easier, less scary and less expensive. The other draw factor was, if I didn’t like it, the filler would eventually go away as it isn’t permanent and, if I did like it, I thought it could be a good option to try before considering surgery.”

After looking online and doing a little research, Bridie came across PHI Clinic’s Instagram account and booked an appointment with aesthetic practitioner and medical director Dr Tapan Patel. She now reflects on her experience and how it’s changed her life.

Expressing cosmetic concerns

In Bridie’s consultation, Dr Patel asked her why she had come to see him, what her main concerns were, and her intentions for treatment. “I firstly told him about the shape of my nose, which was my main concern. Then I detailed other areas of my appearance that made me hate being photographed without makeup on. I felt like I looked tired all the time, with dark circles under my eyes. I also told him that I felt my lips were quite wonky and asymmetrical, so I wanted to know if they could be evened out. I didn’t want anything too bold, big or extravagant; I just wanted little tweaks. Dr Patel was really understanding and kind, and I didn’t feel stupid or judged when telling him about my concerns; he was very reassuring.”

After assessing Bridie’s face, Dr Patel determined that she was a good candidate for hyaluronic acid dermal filler treatment. He said that Bridie’s nose could be straightened by injecting dermal filler above and below the dorsal hump, which is the typical bump or lump commonly seen on the nose in between the eyes.

Dr Patel also said he could address her tired eyes by injecting filler into her tear troughs (the area just below the eye where dark circles usually appear). In addition, he explained that filler could help improve the symmetry of the lips, without making them look big and unnatural.

Bridie asked Dr Patel if there were any other areas of her face that might benefit from treatment to add to the overall result. Dr Patel, who always takes a ‘full face’ approach to dermal filler treatment rather than injecting one area, recommended that the treatment plan could include a small injection of dermal filler into the chin, which is a common technique many practitioners use to improve a patient’s profile. “He said that as my chin squared off at the bottom, this approach would make my face appear rounder, and improve the impact of the other injected areas.”

After the consultation, Bridie was advised to go home and think about the treatment plan. “I liked that Dr Patel didn’t recommend a same-day treatment because it was really helpful to properly consider it.”

This also allowed Bridie to think about the potential complications and side effects that can occur following filler treatment. “Dr Patel outlined the possible complications to me and the thought of vascular occlusion – when your blood vessels get blocked – was a bit terrifying. But Dr Patel explained it to me really well and I felt safe and trusted that if anything did go wrong, I was in the right hands. For me, the positives of the treatment completely outweighed the negatives, and I was eager to go ahead.”

Treating the concerns

When Bridie came back to the clinic for her treatment, Dr Patel detailed the plan again, after which Bridie signed a consent form to be treated. “Dr Patel then began and talked about what he was going to do just before he did it, which was really reassuring,” says Bridie, explaining, “He started with my nose, and said he was going to pinch the bridge and that I would feel a sharp scratch as he inserted the needle. Once he injected my nose, he moved on to treat my dark circles, chin and lips.”

Bridie said the treatment ‘flew’ and was over within about 30 minutes. “None of the injections hurt at all and that was one of the things I was quite scared about – I was afraid that I would feel like a pin cushion! But it was completely fine. Dr Patel iced the areas before he injected, which really helped.”

After the treatment, Bridie was given aftercare instructions to prevent complications such as infection. “I was told to not wear makeup for 12 hours and avoid touching the areas for a few days, as well as not to wear heavy sunglasses or drink excessive alcohol.”

Revolutionary results

Almost three years after her treatment, Bridie laughs and says, “When Dr Patel held the mirror up and I saw the result, I actually cried a little bit! What I loved is that you could see the results straight away. It might sound silly to some people, but this was genuinely life changing. You spend your whole life being concerned about one thing on your face, like your nose, and then all of a sudden, the issue isn’t there anymore! For me this improvement was such a big thing. The confidence boost I had was just insane and it was a really positive experience for me.”

Bridie has since been back to maintain her results, as hyaluronic acid dermal fillers are not permanent. “I’ve only needed to go in for one top-up for my lips and tear troughs, as my nose still looks incredible. I have a slight bump that has come back but it’s no way near as noticeable as it was.” Bridie adds that after her experience, she will probably stick with the dermal fillers instead of having surgery on her nose.

An ambassador for treatments

As someone who sought dermal filler treatment at the young age of 21, Bridie says she has no regrets having the procedure, but does acknowledge that some people can be judgemental about it.

“I completely understand that some people might believe I was too young. Some think it’s a bit extreme and a lot of my friends at the time didn’t really get it. My grandmother thought it was really extreme too, and then I showed her my before and after pictures and she said, ‘fair enough’!”

Because Bridie’s mum has never been shy about the cosmetic treatments she has had, it’s allowed her to be open about it too.

“In my opinion, when you have hated something about yourself, like your nose, for so long, me waiting until I was 21 to do something about it was actually stranger than having dermal fillers at 21! When people judge others for getting fillers and say things like ‘fillers look horrible’, I just tell them it’s because you only see the bad work that’s done – not many people are vocal about how great their results are and that they’re so good no one knows they’ve had treatment! After my experience, I’m a massive advocate of injectable aesthetic treatment now!”

Practitioner perspective

Dr Tapan Patel, aesthetic practitioner, London

To get the best results using dermal fillers, a full-face approach needs to be taken. Different parts of the face are not separate – the way the chin presents will directly impact the way the lip appears for example – and it’s all interrelated. This is especially evident when you start looking at people in their profile (side) view. For Bridie, treating the nose is one thing, but you can really enhance the effect and decrease the dominance of the nose by also treating areas such as the lips, chin and cheeks. I was really happy with the results and, most importantly, she was happy.

For younger patients like Bridie, it’s important to acknowledge that she did not feel social pressures to have this treatment. Her treatment was more of a correction, rather than an antiageing treatment, which has really boosted her confidence.

In terms of pricing, this varies depending on the clinic and product used. This particular treatment involved injecting Juvéderm Voluma in the nose and in the chin, and Juvéderm Volbella in the tear trough and in the lip. In my clinic, this treatment would be around £1,800.

A Full Face Approach

The story of 24-year-old Bridie, who, after experiencing an animal attack, sought to improve her confidence through non-surgical injectables

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