Soft Tissue Fillers
Injectable fillers consist of a variety of products that can be injected into and under the skin to restore volume in specific areas like the lips, facial creases and wrinkles, and depressed scars.
These products are usually made of the building block of collagen, called hyaluronic acid (HA). Multiple different HA products provide different fillers properties for differing goals. Thicker HA fillers, like Voluma, last 2 years and are used for more areas where static long-term filling is desired like the cheek malar eminences. Thinner products like Velobello, are less cross-linked and more forgiving but do not last as long. These are useful for filling areas of thin skin like the lower eyelids.
Injectable fillers can:
- Plump thin lips
- Soften nasolabial and marionette lines
- Soften deep shadows in tear trough area
- Soften facial creases and wrinkles
- Improve the appearance of recessed scars
- Provide facial volume in depressed areas like submalar and malar regions
What are the different types of fillers?
Hyaluronic Acid (HA)
Hyaluronic acid is a natural substance found in the collagen of our bodies. It is well suited to plump thin lips and fill facial creases such as nasolabial folds, wrinkles, and depressed scars. The results may last 8 months for thinner products to up to 2 years for heavily cross-linked products. Popular brands containing HA include: Velobello, Juvederm, Voluma, Restylane and Perlane, among others.
Hydroxylapatite fillers consist of a mineral-like compound found naturally in human bones, suspended in a gel-like formulation. It is the heaviest of facial fillers and is recommended to fill deeper creases such as nasolabial folds, marionette lines and frown lines. It can also be used safely to enhance the malar eminence of cheeks, chin, and other facial contours. A popular brand containing calcium hydroxylapatite is Radiesse.
Polymethylmethacrylate (PMMA) fillers contain 20% tiny PMMA microspheres suspended in 80% purified collagen gel. This is considered a semi-permanent filler and is most often used to treat medium-to-deep wrinkles.
Poly-l-lactic acid fillers include Sculptra. It is injected in the deep subcutaneous tissue, next to the bone. These fillers help stimulate the body’s collagen production and may result in added volume over the amount originally placed. It is used on the cheeks for malar augmentation and in lipodystrophy patients.
What happens during a Filler Procedure?
Dr. Thomassen will carefully evaluate your facial appearance and skin tone, and examine the areas of your face to be augmented with injectable fillers. Sometimes, markings are used to help guide the injection.
The injection sites will be cleansed with an antibacterial agent. Ice or a a topical numbing agent may be offered to make more sensitive patients comfortable. In most cases, the filler itself will contain an anesthetic agent. In other cases local anesthetic may be administered to the treatment site.
Injection takes only a few moments per site and a few minutes for a course of treatment. In many cases, cannulas are used to inject the filler. These are blunt long needles that cause less pain and trauma than sharp needles and result in quicker recovery with less bruising.
Following injection, any markings will be cleansed and icing may be offered to alleviate any temporary, minor discomfort and treat any swelling.
The results of soft tissue augmentation with injectable fillers are not permanent. The continued aging of your face and variables in the absorption of fillers will affect how long your results last.
Should you choose not to repeat treatment, your appearance will return to its original condition. Plumped lips will lose volume and improved wrinkles, creases and scars will visibly recess and fully reappear in time.
Tear Trough Filler Technique
How does Botox Work?
9 Ways Your Face Changes as You Age