Injectable Fillers: Restylane®, Juvederm®, Perlane®, Radiesse®, Belotero®, Sculptra®…
“Natural filler for a smoother look, that’s not just ‘lip service.’”
As we age, our faces begin to show the effects of gravity, sun exposure and years of facial muscle movement, such as smiling, chewing and squinting. The underlying tissues that keep our skin looking youthful and plumped up begin to break down, often leaving laugh lines, smile lines, crow’s feet or facial creases over the areas where this muscle movement occurs.
Injectable soft-tissue fillers can help fill in these lines and creases, temporarily restoring a smoother, more youthful-looking appearance. When injected beneath the skin, these fillers plump up creased and sunken areas of the face. They can also add fullness to the lips and cheeks. They may be used alone or in conjunction with Botox® or Botox-like muscle relaxers, another filler, or a resurfacing procedure such as a laser treatment, or a recontouring procedure such as a facelift.
Injectable fillers are primarily used to improve the appearance of the skin’s texture. They can help fill out deep facial wrinkles, some more superficial creases and furrows, “sunken” cheeks, skin depressions and some types of scars. They can also be used to add a fuller, more sensuous look to the lips.
There are several different types of fillers and they have different thicknesses and different indications for use. Some are better for the finer, more superficial lines, while some are better for deep injection to create volume in the underlying tissue. Some are more active in stimulating your own tissue collagen. Dr. Guy will discuss the options with you and advise you as to which fillers or combination of fillers are best for you. The four basic groups of fillers are hyaluronic acid fillers (or H.A. fillers, such as Resytlane® , Juvederm® , Perlane® , Belotero® and others), calcium hydroxyapatite fillers (Radiesse® ) and collagen stimulators (Sculptra® ). Your own fat may also be used as a filler, although the commercial fillers are easier and faster to use.
The most important fact to remember about injectable fillers is that the results are not permanent. Injected material is eventually metabolized by the body. You should not expect the same long-lasting results that may be gained from cosmetic surgery. In some individuals, the results may last only a few weeks; in others, the results may be maintained indefinitely. Researchers believe that age, genetic background, skin quality and lifestyle as well as the injected body site may all play a role in the injected material’s “staying power.” However, the precise reason for the variation of results among patients has yet to be identified.
Injectable Filler Basics
Plump up creased, furrowed, or sunken facial skin; add fullness to lips and backs of hands.
15 minutes to 1 hour per session.
Usually none; local may be included with the injection, or a topical anesthetic applied. Occasionally a dental nerve block is performed.
Outpatient, office procedure.
Temporary stinging, throbbing, or burning sensation. Redness, swelling, bruising excess fullness.
Allergic reaction including rash, hives, swelling, or flu-like symptoms. Contour irregularities, infection, nodules under the skin, skin ulcerations.
Duration of Results:
Variable; a few months to 1 year
Consultation & Preparation
Facial rejuvenation is very individualized. That’s why it’s important to discuss your hopes and expectations with a board-certified plastic surgeon like Dr. Guy who has experience with many different types of surgical and non-surgical facial procedures.
In your initial consultation, your plastic surgeon will evaluate your face–the skin, the muscles and the underlying bone–and discuss your goals for the surgery.
Dr. Guy will ask you about your medical history, drug allergies, and check for conditions that could cause problems, such as active skin infections open or unhealed sores from injuries or acne. Injections are generally off limits for pregnant women and individuals who are allergic to these products.
The Skin Treatment
These fillers are injected using a fine needle inserted at several points along the edge of the treatment site. If a local anesthesia has not been used, you may feel some minor stinging or burning as the injections are administered. Topical numbing cream may be applied for several minutes prior to the injections and/or ice may be used. Sometimes a combination of all of these comfort aids are used. Dr. Guy does all of these injections herself.
You may be asked to hold a hand mirror during the procedure to help Dr. Guy decide when you’ve had enough or where you wish the injections to be placed.
Recovery & Results
Immediately following treatment, you may notice some minor discomfort, stinging or throbbing in the injected area. Occasionally some bruising or swelling will occur, but it is usually minor. Any redness that appears in the injected site usually disappears within 24 hours. However, in some individuals, particularly fair-skinned patients, this redness or some bruising may persist for a week or more. Tiny scabs may also form over the needle-stick areas; these generally heal quickly.
No bandaging is needed and you are free to eat, drink, and wear makeup with sunblock protection shortly thereafter. There may be some temporary swelling, bruising and redness in the treated area which should dissipate within a few days. Do not plan to exercise or exert yourself greatly immediately after the injections, as this could lead to more bruising and swelling.
You may see examples of filler results by looking at our website photo gallery.