Why Injectable Fillers?
Enhancing your appearance with soft tissue augmentation
The visible signs of facial aging occur over time as a result of sun exposure, heredity and life style.
One of the earliest signs of aging is a loss of facial fullness and the development of wrinkles. Softening of these facial lines and the restoration of volume and fullness in the face often can be achieved non-surgically with injectable fillers.
If you would like to restore facial contours, or reduce the appearance of lines and creases, injection therapy with soft tissue fillers may be right for you.
Injectable fillers can:
- Plump thin lips
- Enhance shallow contours
- Soften facial creases and wrinkles
- Improve the appearance of recessed scars
What it won’t do:
Soft tissue augmentation does not stop the aging process. If you wish to change the elements of your face, surgery such as a facelift, brow lift or eye lift may be the answer.
Non-surgical rejuvenation treatments such as injectable fillers cannot achieve the same results, but may help delay the time at which a facelift becomes appropriate.
Is it right for me?
While not as involved as surgical cosmetic procedures, soft tissue augmentation is a medical procedure. You should do it for yourself, not to fulfill someone else’s desires or to try to fit any sort of ideal image. Tissue fillers are a good option for you if:
- You are physically healthy
- You don’t smoke
- You have a positive outlook and specific, but realistic goals in mind for the improvement of your appearance
What Are the Different Types of Fillers?
Collagen is a natural protein that supports the skin. Injectable collagen formulas derived from human dermis include Cosmoderm® or Cosmoplast®. Zyderm® and Zyplast® are forms of bovine collagen that, unlike human derived collagen, require prior allergy testing. The results may last 2 to 4 months.
Hyaluronic Acid is a natural substance found in our bodies. It is well suited to plump thin lips and fills facial creases such as nasolabial folds. It may also be appropriate for some surface wrinkles and concave scars. The results may last 6 months or longer.
Hydroxylapatite is 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, as well as to enhance fullness of the cheeks and other facial contours.
Human fat, harvested from your own body, can be reinjected to enhance facial fullness, fill deep creases and to build up shallow contours. Fat injection requires a more extensive procedure than other injectable fillers because it uses liposuction techniques to extract the fat prior to injection.
Treatment results last up to a year or more in some cases and are highly variable. (Fat can be stored for your own future treatment. The duration of results from preserved fat is not as favorable as fat used at the same time it is harvested.)
What happens during soft tissue augmentation?
Step 1. Your plastic surgeon will carefully evaluate your facial appearance and skin tone, and examine the areas of your face to be augmented with injectable fillers.
Step 2. Strategic points on your face may be marked as guides to the appropriate injection sites for the filler.
Step 3. The injection sites will be cleansed with an antibacterial agent and icing or a topical numbing agent may be offered to make more sensitive patients comfortable.
In some cases, the filler itself will contain an anesthetic agent. In other cases local anesthetic may be administered to the treatment site.
Step 4. Injection takes only a few moments per site and a few minutes for a course of treatment.
Step 5. Following injection, any markings will be cleansed and icing may be offered to alleviate any temporary, minor discomfort. Makeup may be carefully re-applied so long as care is taken not to apply pressure to the treatment area.
Filling wrinkles or recessed scars involves multiple injections. In some cases where deeper injection of fillers is required, a local anesthetic may be used prior to treatment.
Common sites for deeper tissue fillers are the nasolabial folds and marionette lines, or to enhance fullness in the cheeks.
Soft tissue augmentation of the lips requires multiple injections to distribute the filler for enhanced lip fullness and to raise or define a cupid’s bow or vermillion border.
An improved appearance is visible almost immediately, although minor swelling or bruising may appear at the injection sites.
With some fillers, a slightly “over-filled” appearance may be initially present. These conditions will resolve within a few hours, or at most a few days. The duration may be as long as a few weeks with injection of one’s own harvested fat.