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
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