The natural volume and elasticity in our tissues diminish slowly with age. Collagen production decreases, subcutaneous fat stores disperse, and our skin loses the bounce it once had. Cosmetic injectable fillers are designed to restore lost volume, provide natural lift, and support our tissues while avoiding invasive procedures. The process of injection is relatively quick and easy, with almost immediate visible results.
There are many fillers available on the market today. Most of them are made of hyaluronic acid, a natural sugar in the body that holds 100 times its weight in water. This ingredient is manufactured in a gel form of different thicknesses for different purposes. We use thinner products for areas like the lips or under-eye area and we use thick products for the jawline or cheekbones. Fillers can be used in many areas including cheeks, chin, jawline, under eyes, lips, jowls, nose, forehead, neck, ears, hands, and more!
The treatment itself takes 30 to 60 minutes depending on the specific area being treated. During this time, we discuss your goals and options for achieving those goals. After finalizing a plan together, we will apply a numbing cream for comfort. We may use further numbing techniques for sensitive areas like the lips. The filler is injected through tiny needles or cannulas and is slow and precise, which further limits the discomfort and prevents adverse effects. Take a look at our PREPARE(link to page) page for what to expect and avoid before your treatment.
Tip 1: Filler is a journey, not a destination. It is better to build an area slowly over time than to overfill an area in a single treatment.
Tip 2: It’s the injector, not the syringe. Filler administration is an art, not a science. The key is finding an artistic, experienced injector that matches your desired style.
The results develop immediately in most cases. In most areas, when you first look in the mirror, you’re looking at something slightly fuller than your final result. After injection, the treated areas will swell, but this swelling varies greatly from person to person. It will settle within about 7 days in most people. The filler will integrate with the tissues over the first 2 to 3 weeks and we will take a look together at your 2-week follow-up visit. Each of these products has specific longevity, but generally, the last 6 months to 2 years.
Side Effects & Recovery
The most common side effects include bruising and swelling. These products can cause noticeable swelling in areas like the lips or under eyes. Generally, the swelling is mild and resolves in about 1 week. As these products are injected with needles or cannulas, there is always a risk for bruising. It is important to plan your appointment accordingly. The bruising varies from none or mild to concealer necessary, but generally resolve in about 1 week. There are a few other rare side effects that we will discuss in-depth during your consultation. We ask that our patients return after about 2 weeks for a follow-up evaluation. At this visit, we may make minor tweaks to achieve the ideal result.
Juvéderm is a hyaluronic acid filler line manufactured by Allergan, the makers of Botox. This comprehensive line of filler includes the products Ultra, Ultra Plus, Ultra Plus XC, Volbella XC, Vollure XC, and Voluma XC. Stay tuned in 2021 for 2 new products! Each of these products is FDA approved for a specific purpose. For example, Volbella XC is specifically designed for the lips, while Voluma XC is designed for cheek contouring. Allergan has a helpful rewards program and an iPhone app called Brilliant Distinctions. Sign up before your appointment and earn discounts off your treatment!
Versa is another hyaluronic acid filler developed by Prollenium Medical Technologies and was approved in the US in 2019. It has a unique manufacturing process that creates spherical particles, unlike the other lines. It was specifically FDA approved for nasolabial folds but is used off label in many areas of the face.
The Teoxane RHA line of fillers was just launched in the US by Revance in 2020. The products RHA 2, RHA 3, and RHA 4 are manufactured with proprietary cross-linking technology that preserves the natural structure of hyaluronic acid (HA), much like the natural HA in our bodies. They are FDA approved for injection into dynamic facial wrinkles and folds like the nasolabial folds but are used off label in many areas of the face. Since the launch, there has been overwhelming positive feedback with these products across the US.
Belotero Balance is a hyaluronic acid developed by Merz Aesthetics and released in the US in 2011. The product is part of a larger line available in the UK. It was specifically approved for correction of moderate to severe facial wrinkles like the nasolabial folds. This product has a lower density than some of its competitors making is ideal for finer tuning.
The Restylane hyaluronic acid line of fillers is manufactured by Galderma, the makers of Dysport. This line includes Restylane-L, Refyne, Defyne, Silk, and Lyft. Restylane Kysse is a brand-new product just launched in 2020, designed for perfectly defined lips. These products make up a comprehensive portfolio, FDA approved for many areas of the face! Galderma also has a great rewards program for users called Aspire Rewards. Sign up before your appointment and earn discounts off your treatment!