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Post Botox & Dermal Filler Treatment Results | The Follow-Up Post!

floral maxi dress for winter 2017

It's been just over two weeks since I visited Harley Academy Clinics for Botox and Dermal Filler treatments and I promised you an update. You may want to have a quick look at the first post in this series (click here) where I talk about my past experience and why I decided to go down this route.

This post is in no way intended to influence anyone who has zero interest in these treatments but if you are considering Botox and/or Dermal Fillers, I hope you will find it useful. And for reasons of disclosure, I was invited to review the service provided by Harley Academy Clinics so my treatment was provided for free in return for an honest account.

Just to recap, the clinic is an aesthetic treatment training academy for qualified medical people such as nurses, doctors and dentists.

The Treatment Day

I visited the Manchester clinic (find your local clinic here) which is based in the Pall Mall Medical Centre, a clean, modern and rather swish facility on Kings Street, right in the city centre. This is no back street operation!! I was introduced to Dr Vikram Swaminathan (we'll call him Dr Vik for short) and his trainee for the day, a lovely nurse with over ten years experience under her belt. 

All good practitioners will ask you to complete a medical questionnaire, checking past treatments and any allergies. This is also your record for future visits. We had a chat about my expectations which were pretty simple, I wanted to look fresher and less hagged. Dr Vik explained what could be achieved and suggested that I consider fillers as well as Botox. Now, I'd had a less than satisfactory experience with fillers a good few years ago. The area treated felt lumpy for a long time afterwards and yet it didn't look any different. And wow, it was painful! He explained that this treatment has come along way since then and felt that I would really benefit from it. So that sold it to me. I had a few 'before' photos taken, again this seems to be standard practice as I've always had this done. 

And then the training bit kicked in. Totally fascinating it was. Dr Vik explained to the nurse in medical terms what he had agreed with me. They lost me at the first sentence 🙈  But what it did reaffirm, is the importance of using a medically trained practitioner. They discussed various muscles, tear ducts, bones, cartilage. Nurses, doctors and dentists study anatomy at University so know exactly what is under the skin and which areas to avoid when injecting, how deep to inject etc. If I give you just one piece of advice, it would be to always, always always use a medically trained person.

I had Botox to the forehead to sort out the wrinkles. Dr Vik confirmed my own thoughts that although it would look smoother, I wasn't going to achieve the forehead of a 25 year old. Basically, it's a needle and syringe not a magic wand 😉  I do often wonder, if had I started treatment a little earlier, before the wrinkles had got so bad, whether I could achieve a perfectly smooth forehead! I also had it in between my eyebrows to sort out the ghastly frown and a smidgen to the outer corners of my eyes. I'm happy with the lines under my tear ducts so no treatment was required here.

Dermal filler was injected in to my cheekbones, the lines between my nose and outer mouth (Marionettes) and a small amount in my chin. He correctly identified that I sleep on my right hand side so had less plumpness than the other side so differing amounts of filler would be required. 

As the procedure was taking place, he explained to the nurse what he was doing. It was a great distraction actually! I've never experienced anyone work so fast, it was pretty obvious that this guy knows his stuff. The nurse administered two Dermal Filler injections and other than her working at a slower pace, there really was no difference. She was very closely monitored at all times. 

From a pain point of view, I'd say it was a 3 out of 10. The filler solution I assume is thicker than Botox and is slightly more painful but compared to the first time I had it done, it was a breeze. In fact, it was more painful having my make-up removed by a man! 

A quick photo afterwards and a post-treatment chat (there may be bruising, don't wear make-up for the rest of the day etc) and I was on my way.

And The Results

I'll talk about the after effects first of all. I've always suffered with a moderate headache for a few hours after treatment. This time I didn't get one at all. I don't know if this was due to the expertise of Dr Vik or the type of Botox he used. There was no discomfort other than a slight tenderness on the inside of my cheek that I could feel with my tongue for the rest of the day. And absolutely no bruising whatsoever although this is a common side effect which clears in a couple of days. 

The filler has an immediate effect and I was able to see the return of my cheekbones straight away (god I've missed them). There is also a marked improvement between my nose and mouth. I haven't really noticed any difference in my chin which Dr Vik said had lost plumpness but then I don't really see myself in a sideway profile. 

Botox takes a little longer to work. Certainly within a couple of days, the dreadful lines between my eyebrows looked more relaxed. And then about a week or so later, I woke up one morning and wowza, it had kicked in. Obviously it doesn't happen overnight, there's a gradual softening but this is when I really noticed. I think since then, there's been further softening and it's probably now reached it's optimum.

I won't insult your intelligence by labelling the before and after! And I need to point out that I hadn't had any treatment for 18 months so I was botox and filler free before we started. As you can see, my forehead is so much better and, face fuller (particularly the cheek bones).  Our goal has been achieved...fresher and less hagged looking.

before and after botox and dermal filler treatments

I am absolutely thrilled. It's the best treatment that I've ever had. It's subtle but noticeable (well to me) and this is exactly what I wanted to achieve. You know...people think you look better, but don't know why.

Not the most flattering of pictures are they but needs must? I look as if I have a peanut head in that turban. So, promise me that once you've read this post, you won't go back for another laugh!!!

It's always been standard practice in my experience to be offered a follow-up appointment, just in case you have a lopsided eyebrow(!) or need a bit of a top up. It's no different at Harley Academy Clinics, I was invited back for a review. I've chosen not to bother this time as I'm really pleased with the results. In an ideal world, I probably need a tiny bit more Botox in-between the eyebrows and possibly a little more filler in my chin. In fact, Dr Vik did mention that I might need the top up as he didn't want to 'overfill' on my first visit.

Now for the downside. This wasn't wholly unexpected by the way. At the appointment, I mentioned that previously I had developed creases above my eyebrows. This is due to the Botox lifting the brow. I was really conscious about them and also the fact that my eyebrows looked a little Mr Spock-like. So we decided not to inject above the eyebrow. However, the fact that I didn't want to go down this road again, has meant that the Botox that has smoothed out my forehead has pushed my eyebrows down a little, resulting in slightly hooded eyes. It's a Catch 22 situation and one that cannot be resolved with Botox alone. Given the fact that I have a reasonably good shape to my eyebrow, I think I can just about get away with it. And now you're going to scroll back to have a look aren't you????

The Final Word

So given that I was invited by the clinic to review their service, the question is, how can I assure you that my words are honest? Well, I think the only way that I can, is by telling you that I will be going back to them as a paying customer next time which will probably be December/January. I've joined their register of model patients (here) - they email clinic dates which you can book on to.

Yes I'd recommend Harley Academy Clinics. Don't be put off by the fact that it's a training facility. The practitioners such as Dr Vik are very experienced and specialists in the aesthetic industry. As I said in my last post, when you're fast asleep in an operating theatre, you have no idea who is cutting out your appendix. It could well be a student doctor because hey, they've all got to start somewhere.

Hope you found this useful and do give me a shout if you have any more questions at all.

Now I need to concentrate on getting my patchy skin back to normal - suntans are great but they don't half play havoc when they start to fade unevenly. Wonder if there's a needle for this too....? Probably best to get back on the lactic acid.

It's hard work being a woman.

10 comments on "Post Botox & Dermal Filler Treatment Results | The Follow-Up Post!"
  1. Hi Donna, thank you for this informative post. I commented on your first post and I have been really interested to read your follow up. The results you have experienced has really made me consider a visit to a clinic and I think I may plan this in for the new year. Would you consider a further follow up post perhaps in three months to understand how long the benefits last and whether you would do anything differently in the future. Thanks Donna, this is definitely food for thought. Anna x

    1. Hi Anna thanks for dropping by. Yes of course I'll do a follow up. My problem in the past is that I haven't kept on top of it, it's all been a bit ad hoc so I'm going to try to rectify that and go regularly. Whether that will be 3-4 months or 4-5 months, I'm not quite sure. We'll see how it goes x

  2. Thank you for your honest and informative post. I have had fillers and Botox for about 5 years now but still feel the need to deny it if anyone asks (apart from my best friends). I don't understand why it is still so taboo. The good practitioners (and you do need to do a bit of research as to the best ones, mine was trial and error) can make you look fresh without appearing frozen. Your results are excellent. By the way, my fillers lasted about a year and the Botox about 6 months which I thought was very good value!

    1. Hi, thanks for dropping by and sharing your experience. Honestly, I had to really think hard before doing these posts but the opportunity came at just the right time as I hadn't had botox for about 18 months and felt the need to do something. You are absolutely right about a good practitioner, I've only ever used qualified medical people and even then, have had differing results. My friends and I talk openly about these treatments, probably helps because one works for an aesthetic practitioner so she always gets a grilling about new treatments to the market (lol). Very good value, I agree x

  3. I never comment but I want to because you look amazing and I been in contact with them! Great blog series Donna xxx

    1. It was very much needed Fiona, I feel much better! x

  4. Hi, thanks for your thorough and open review, with all the specifics. Your results are amazing!
    What I'd like to know is how much the clinic would have charged for the botox (3 areas?) and fillers that you had?
    What puts me off botox is the unknown price; I fear going in ready to spend £150 and being talked into parting with £500!

    1. There's a price bit on their website (if you click on About Us, Become A Botox Model). It's £100 for any number of areas for Botox and (I think) the same for fillers. I don't think you'll find the experience pushy at all. They are more focussed on the teaching than pushing treatments. Don't forget, you only pay for the product used, not the practitioner's time. Give them a call, I'm sure they'll reassure you. And let me know how you get on if you decide to give it a go x

    2. That sounds almost too good to be true! Very tempted, and will let you know if I take the plunge!

    3. It's just a different way of getting it done. I really thought long and hard about it and did lots of research and fired so many questions to the clinic until finally I felt comfortable. And the research paid off because as you know, I'm thrilled with the results. Yes let me know if you take the plunge x