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With time, we all lose facial volume and contours that define youth. These volume changes can result in hollowing around the eyes and temples, deflation of the eyebrows, flattening of the cheeks, and thinning of the lips. Injectable facial filler treatments are performed to restore these volume losses, often providing a “lift” of tissues that recreates a youthful shape to the face. They are done in the office with minimal downtime, helping individuals to look good quickly and make a great first impression.
There are a variety of facial fillers each with unique properties that can be used to optimize outcomes and create a natural look. Examples include hyaluronic acid derived fillers such as Belotero, Juvederm, Restylane, Volbella and Voluma. Radiesse (calcium hydroxyapatite) and Sculptra (poly-L-lactic acid) are additional commonly used facial fillers that potentially have more permanence to results. Our providers are experienced filler injectors and create a plan that meets your goals of facial rejuvenation.
Almost anyone is a candidate and can benefit from facial filler treatment. Patients who have signs of aging more related to volume of loss and increased wrinkling may have greater impact as opposed to aging defined by increased skin laxity which may be better addressed with a surgical procedure. During your visit, we perform a global facial assessment to ensure you receive the treatment that meets your needs. Based on your goals, facial fillers may be one component of a comprehensive treatment plan that may include other non-surgical treatments such as botulinum toxin (for decreasing dynamic wrinkles), laser therapy (to recreate vibrant, smooth skin) or even cosmetic surgical procedures such as eyelid or facelift.
Results are immediate upon injection and usually last between 6 months to 2 years, depending on the type of filler placed and location of injection. For more permanent results, fat can be used as a filler for facial volume replacement with more permanent results. Fat transfer procedures have more downtime and are performed in the operating room as opposed to facial fillers that are injected in the office with minimal downtime.
The setup and protocols are similar for all filler products. For the procedure, you will be seated upright in a comfortable exam chair. Before any filler product is administered, makeup and dirt will be removed, usually with an alcohol pad or chlorhexidine soap. Ice or a topical anesthetic cream may be used to blunt the discomfort associated with an injection. But many facial fillers are mixed with a local anesthetic to minimize discomfort which often obviates the need for any topical anesthetic cream. Injections usually take just minutes. Some redness, bruising and swelling may occur at the injection sites but usually subsides within a few days. Taking arnica prior to and after treatment may reduce the risk and length of bruising. We like to have our patients return within a few weeks to ensure treatment goals were met and there is no need for any small touch up.
Facial fillers are very well tolerated and rarely are there significant complications. But as with any treatment, there are always risks such as bleeding, infection, adverse reaction to the filler or a suboptimal outcome. These risks are rare but can occur. Even more rare, but reported risks, are damage or breakdown to the skin surrounding injection.