Unique non-surgical procedure comes to US air hostess` rescue
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Last Updated: Friday, July 09, 2010, 00:28
Mumbai: An American air hostess who was asked to undergo surgery for correcting her facial asymmetry and laughter lines in the US had a non-surgical procedure done in India, the first of its kind.

Melinda Carey, a 46, working with American Airlines and lives in Denver, Colorado, in the US. Melinda was aging gracefully until her facial asymmetry and the resultant laughter lines on her face started impacting her life.

Melinda's face (cheek bone area) was asymmetrical from birth such that the right side of her face was not in line with the left part of her face.

As she aged, the asymmetry became even more marked and this resulted in her smile becoming more crooked and the laugh line on the right side of her face becoming a very deep furrow, said Dr Debraj Shome, consultant Facial Plastic Surgeon and Head of the Institute of Aesthetic Surgery at Apollo Hospitals, Hyderabad.

"This is the first of its kind exclusive non-surgical about half-an-hour procedure using the latest injectable filler, and Carey's face was corrected. She flew back to the US two days after the procedure and immediately resumed work," Shome told agency here today.

"This would have been unthinkable, if we had performed surgery. Imagine having the same or better results than surgery, just with an injection. We plan to report Carey's case as first case of its kind, in the world's top facial plastic journal," Shome said.

The doctors in top US hospitals had suggested Orthognatic surgery in which the bones of the face are cut and then re-united with screws and plates for Carey.

Carey said she was not ready for this type of surgery as the cost was prohibitive (around 20000 USD in the US) because of its healing time and cost. "Whereas this procedure was done for just Rs 30,000 (around USD 700)," Shome said.

"This was a very tough case. Carey did not want surgery for a problem which was essentially a birth problem. I decided to try a new procedure on her, with her approval, which was non-surgical and could give good results", Shome said.

So, Carey flew down to India. Shome used the newly released filler material Juvederm Voluma and injected it in between two cheek muscle layers in her right cheek and filled up the volume to give the retruded maxillary bone on the right side enough volume, so that her face looked almost symmetrical.

The moment this was done, Carey's laugh line on the right side completely disappeared.

This procedure is also very delicate, since the concerned facial plane is full of nerves which control facial animation and movement. "In such a scenario, slightest of slip can lead to the death of a crucial structure in the face, since the needle is much thicker than normal needles used on the face. Expertise is important in these procedures," he said.


First Published: Friday, July 09, 2010, 00:28

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