The use of injectable facial fillers is one of the fastest growing areas in the field of cosmetic surgery. Many advances in have been made in the last 5 years that have led to safer, more predictable and longer lasting fillers.
As one ages, the face loses volume. This creates more prominent wrinkles and skin folds while features become less distinct. Dynamic wrinkles caused by facial movement such as smiling and frowning appear. Injectables were designed to subtly reduce these signs of aging.
Most fillers work by restoring the volume of a part of the face or filling the lip or wrinkle and are gradually digested by the body. Hyaluronic Acid Fillers: These were the first of the new fillers to be FDA approved. Hyaluronic acid is a naturally occurring carbohydrate which occurs in skin. It is a clear gel with a thick consistency. Since skin testing is not required, injections may be done on the same day as the initial consultation. Manufacturers have manipulated particle size (thickness) and crosslinked molecules to offer both normal and longer duration products.
Juviderm and Teosyal are examples of normal duration products that are injected in more superficial lines and have easier flow characteristics. Juvederm Voluma and Teosyal Redensity II are examples of longer duration products are usually injected into deeper lines and folds.
The newest advance has been the addition of local anesthetic, Lidocaine, to the filler to reduce discomfort upon injection.
Who is a Candidate?
- Facial fillers are administered over a wide age range.
- Younger patients seeking fuller, plumper lips or cheeks
- Older patients seeking volume restoration, wrinkle reduction and fuller lips.
- Men who wish reduction of folds and volume restoration to look younger.
- Redefinition of the volumes in the face
- Fuller and plumper lips.
- Softening of superficial and deep wrinkles.
- Softening of wrinkles which appear during facial movement (smiling, frowning, concentrating and looking surprised).
- This procedure is usually performed in the office.
- Most surgeons use a topical anesthetic cream and also administer local anesthetic injections prior to injecting fillers.
- Ice may be applied before and after injection.
- Immediate swelling may create the appearance of over treatment – this swelling generally resolves in several hours.
Recuperation and healing
- For most patients, fillers can be injected in the lips or wrinkles and they can return to work the same day. It is considered a lunch treatment
- Occasionally a patient swells more than expected, especially in the lips. A first time patient may want to schedule the initial injection on a day close to the weekend.
- It is a good idea not to schedule filler injection right before an important social function.
The specific risks and the suitability of this procedure for a given individual can be determined only at the time of consultation with your cosmetic surgeon. Minor complications that do not affect the outcome occur occasionally. Major complications are rare.