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The use of cosmetic injectable fillers, also known as soft tissue augmentation, can plump thin lips, enhance shallow facial contours, soften facial creases and wrinkles, or improve the appearance of recessed scars.

Cosmetic injectable fillers are often used to:

  • Address nasolabial folds (facial creases between the nose and mouth)
  • Improve marionette lines (lines or wrinkles that extend from the outer corners of the mouth down toward the chin)
  • Correct “lipstick lines” around the mouth
  • Restore fuller cheeks
  • Improve fullness in the lips
  • Improve forehead frown lines when used in conjunction with Botox®

How are cosmetic injectable fillers administered?

During your appointment, the dermal filler will be injected with a fine needle into strategic points on your face in combination with topical or local anesthesia. First, the injection sites will be cleansed with an antibacterial agent, followed by icing or a topical numbing agent to make more sensitive patients comfortable. 

The filler itself may also contain an anesthetic agent, or you may receive a local anesthetic or combination of local anesthesia and conscious sedation (also known as “twilight sleep”). Multiple injections are often needed to fill wrinkles or recessed scars. Enhancing your lips with fillers also requires multiple injections to distribute the filler for enhanced lip fullness and to raise or define a Cupid’s bow or vermillion border.

Your consultation

Your cosmetic injectable filler consultation with us may include:

  • Discussing why you want the treatment
  • Your expectations and desired outcome
  • A review of your medical conditions and drug allergies
  • A review of your use of current medications, vitamins, herbal supplements, alcohol, tobacco, and/or drugs
  • An evaluation of your general health status and any pre-existing health conditions or risk factors
  • An examination and measuring of your face
  • Photographs for your medical record
  • A discussion of likely outcomes from injectable fillers and any risks or potential complications
  • A discussion of any past treatment with injectable fillers, facial shaping, Botox®, or other facial procedures
  • A discussion of options available to you for facial rejuvenation and a recommended course of treatment

Recovery

Injectable filler treatments are performed on an outpatient basis. Your initial appearance after treatment with any filler may include mild swelling or bruising, temporary numbness or redness, and/or temporary irregularity to touch in the soft tissue or skin. These side effects are easily managed with ice packs, and will improve within hours or just a few days.

Different types of injectable fillers

There are many different cosmetic injectable dermal filler options. The first step is to determine which dermal filler is best for your needs during a consultation with us. We offer a wide variety of cosmetic injectable fillers to suit different patients’ needs, including:

Hyaluronic Acid

Hyaluronic acid is a natural substance found in your body. It is effective for plumping thin lips and filling facial creases between the nose and mouth (nasolabial folds) and the jowl area (marionette lines). Hyaluronic acid may also be effective for some surface wrinkles and concave scars, under the eyes (nasojugal grooves), and in the forehead region and elsewhere. Common hyaluronic acid products include Juvederm®, Restylane®, and Perlane®. Results from these injectables lasting six months or longer, depending on both the individual patient and location of injection. Hyaluronic acids are currently the most popular of the cosmetic injectable fillers.

Hydroxylapatite (Radiesse)

Hydroxylapatite (brand name: Radiesse®) is a mineral-like compound found naturally in human bones, which is suspended within a gel-like formation. It is the heaviest of facial fillers. It is recommended to fill deeper creases such as nasolabial folds and marionette lines, as well as to enhance fullness of the cheeks and other facial contours. Results from Radiesse last from six months to one year.

Human fat

Fat from your own body can be used as filler to enhance facial fullness, fill deep creases, and to build up shallow contours. Fat will be removed from an area of your body where you have extra to spare, and will be transferred to the area where you need more volume. Filler from natural fat requires a more extensive procedure than other injectable fillers because it involves the use of liposuction. Using your own fat as filler is also somewhat unpredictable regarding how long the results will last. Length of action varies from patient to patient and location of injection.

Poly-L-lactic Acid (Sculptra)

Poly-L-lactic acid (brand name: Sculptra®) was developed to treat facial wasting, a condition commonly resulting from HIV. FDA approved for this purpose, Sculptra also has recently been approved for facial aging. It functions similarly to human fat injections by enhancing facial volume in patients who appear to have lost facial fat. Studies have shown results from Sculptra lasting up to two years.

Note: The FDA reviews and approves pharmaceutical fillers; however, some fillers may be used on an off-label basis. This means that they have been approved for wrinkle correction in a given area only or for some other medical indication, but not directly reviewed for a specific application. For a more detailed discussion of off-label uses of fillers, please ask us about this during your consultation. 

What results can I expect?

Injectable fillers offer immediate results, but these results will vary depending on which filler is used. A filler’s effectiveness can range from six months (such as hyaluronic acids) to over one year (with the use of PMMAs).

In some cases, the length of your results or effectiveness of correction depends on the filler used, the area treated, and the individual patient. Because injectable fillers are not permanent, the best way to ensure results is through repeated treatments with your provider. In general, less filler is required on subsequent injections.

Are cosmetic injectable fillers safe?

All surgical procedures carry some risk, but complications from filler procedures are uncommon. Possible risks and considerations regarding injectable fillers include:

  • Asymmetry
  • Skin redness
  • Skin sensitivity
  • Acne-like skin eruptions
  • Bleeding, bruising, and swelling
  • Infection at the injection site
  • Skin death (aka skin necrosis; this is extremely rare)
  • Skin rash, itching, and swelling
  • Under or over correction of wrinkles

In addition:

  • Fillers derived from non-human sources may require a pre-treatment allergy test.
  • Antibodies to filler material may reduce the effectiveness of future injections.
  • Fillers that contain microscopic granular substances (PMMAs) carry a risk of “clumping” and may require surgical treatment over time.

Am I a candidate for cosmetic injectable fillers?

One of the earliest signs of aging is a loss of facial fullness and the development of wrinkles. While cosmetic injectable fillers do not stop the aging process, they may help delay the need for more invasive procedures such as a facelift, brow lift, etc. The best way to determine if you are a candidate for an injectable filler is through a consultation with Regency Specialties, but in general, dermal fillers are a good option if you:

  • Are physically healthy
  • Have mild or moderate degree of facial aging
  • Have specific but realistic goals in mind for the improvement of your appearance

Is this procedure covered by health insurance?

Like all cosmetic procedures, injectable filler treatments are not covered by health insurance. However, our staff at Regency Specialties will help find a financial solution that will work well to fit your needs.

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