Collagen Injections by Women Surgeons
A protein that occurs naturally in the connective tissues and flesh of many different kinds of mammals, collagen is used by many experts in the plastic surgery industry to help provide a firm yet flexible foundation of support for the different sections of the body that are being adjusted. Collagen may be used in adjustments made to inner elements of the body such as the bones, joints, or ligaments, or to add support in more surface adjustments such as corrections made to the skin. Because collagen is one of the most abundant types of protein found in the mammal’s tissue system, it interacts well with the human body when inserted into problematic areas and performs its task subtly. Collagen is said to make up nearly a third of the protein content in the body of most mammals.
The collagen used in most plastic surgery is an injectable form of the protein copyrighted by the Collagen Corporation. Distributed under the brands Zyplast or Zyderm, this injectable collagen meets all the strict health standards of the industry. The collagen found in Zyplast and Zyderm is derived from a bovine source. It is highly purified and thoroughly processed both to meet safety requirements and to transform it into a substance that bears as close a resemblance to human collagen as possible. Bovine collagen that has been purified and processed into an injectable form has been approved by the FDA for 30 years, having first received official government sanctioning in 1981. It is currently made available in a wide variety of consistencies and thicknesses so that your plastic surgery experience can be tailor-made as close as possible to your specific wants and needs.
Principally employed to help the plastic surgeon tweak the facial features of the patient such as by filling in lines or wrinkles on the face or even to cover up prominent scarring, collagen is also employed, although to a lesser degree, in other areas of the body such as the back, neck, and chest. In these and other areas its primary function is to perform cosmetic adjustments such as smoothing and filling dips and unwanted lines.
The collagen used by plastic surgeons is usually mixed with an anesthetic agent known as lidocaine. This mixture rules out the need for other anesthetics during the operation. If the patient is particularly affected by pain, he or she may request an additional anesthetic such as a Freon spray or a topical cream to completely remove all feeling from the area that is to be adjusted. Sedatives and anesthetic injections are also available.
How It Is Done
First, a skin test must be taken to ensure that you are not allergic to collagen. Once this test is administered and verified, the surgeon will use a thin needle to inject the collagen into several positions around the fringe of the specified location. Unless you have previously requested some form of extra anesthesia, you will probably feel a slight tingling or smarting sensation as the collagen is injected.
The collagen mixture contains small amounts of salt water, which will disperse into your body in less than a week. Because of this, don’t be surprised if the specified treatment location appears at first to be slightly overfilled. You will have access to hand mirror during the entire procedure so that you are able to guide the doctor as to exactly how much collagen you wish to have inserted.
What Comes Next
Sometimes there is a vague appearance of bruising or swelling after the procedure. This usually goes down quickly along with any redness or slight irritation that may have shown up on the skin. In a few patients with very light skin color, redness can stick around for up to or slightly more than a week. An extremely small amount of scabbing may occur at the points where the needle was inserted. These are normal side effects, but feel free to contact your doctor with any concerns.
There are no restrictions on eating, drinking, or wearing sunscreen or makeup after a collagen treatment. No bandages will be necessary for the treated area and all slight side effects should disappear after a couple of days.
How long the effects of the collagen treatment will last depends greatly on the patient’s body as well as his or her day to day life and activities. Where on the patient’s body the treatment was performed also has an effect on its longevity as collagen tends to linger longer in areas that are less prone to muscle movement below the surface.