Fillers (Dermal Fillers or Soft Tissue Fillers)
Fillers are a type of minimally invasive aesthetic substance used to add volume, restore the contours of the face, and fill in fine lines. Common areas to inject fillers are in the face, neck, and hands, resulting in a fuller, youthful and more natural appearance. Dermal fillers are among the most popular aesthetic procedures because they carry immediate results, very few risks and short recovery time.
When to Consider Fillers
- If you have lines around the eyes, brow or mouth
- If you would like to add volume or change the contours of your cheeks, jaw or lips
- If you are interested in a minimally invasive procedure with a short recovery
Many people who consider filler injections also consider fat injections, Botox, facelifts, or laser skin resurfacing.
- Filler injections are quick and only require a local anesthetic at most
- Results are immediate and there is little to no downtime
- Fillers provide a subtle look that can be adjusted or even reversed to meet your aesthetic needs
- Fillers are temporary and require repeat injections to maintain the results
- Some people may experience bruising and swelling
- Results are dependent on the experience and qualifications of your injector
These are the top three pros and cons to consider when thinking about fillers. If you want to focus on those specifically unique to you, please consult with Amy Jensen, NP.
Am I a good candidate for fillers?
The following are some common reason why patients want to consider fillers:
- You have lines or wrinkles around your mouth, eyes or forehead.
- You’d like to enhance the volume in areas such as the cheeks, chin, jaw line or lips.
- If you have scars and depressions in the skin resulting from acne, surgery or injury
How is a fillers procedure performed?
Fillers are typically administered to various areas on the face and head, including the eyes, along the jaw, around the lips and in the forehead. The amount, location and depth of the injections depend largely on the type of dermal fillers used and the desired results.
Some fillers contain a local anesthetic such as lidocaine to enhance comfort during injection. Local anesthetic or numbing cream may also be used.
What are my options?
There are three types of fillers commonly used: temporary, semi-permanent, and permanent. Hyaluronic acid-based fillers are the most commonly used fillers and are temporary, while other types of fillers offer longer-lasting results.
- Collagen-Based Fillers: Collagen is a naturally occurring protein that adds strength and structure to the skin. Collagen was the original filler, but the arrival of hyaluronic acid-based fillers has made it obsolete.
- Hyaluronic Acid-Based Fillers: (Juvederm) Hyaluronic acid is also a naturally occurring substance and primarily used to provide fullness and volume.
- Calcium Hydroxyapatite: (Radiesse) Heavier and denser than hyaluronic acid, this filler is injected deeper, underneath the skin, and tends to give a less natural feel.
Longer-lasting dermal fillers typically contain thicker substances, such as the biodegradable synthetic filler known as poly-L-lactic acid (Sculptra). These types of soft tissue fillers are used to treat deeper facial lines, and areas of significant volume loss. Though they offer semi-permanent results, it’s most likely that you’ll need an occasional “touch up” several weeks after your initial injections.
Permanent fillers are made of polymethylmethacrylate (PMMA), which are microspheres that are not absorbed by the body. The filler also contains collagen and is only recommended for thick-skin individuals and areas such as the nasolabial folds. Dr. Jensen does not recommended it for any areas around the eyes or for the lips.
Patient Safety Warning Silicone injections are an unsafe and unacceptable option to use as a filler. These injections are not FDA approved and often offered by unlicensed individuals and should be avoided. Always consult with Dr. Jensen or another board-certified plastic surgeon, preferably an ASAPS member, if you have questions about a particular type or brand.
What are the brand names for fillers?
There are a number of soft tissue filler brand names, but some of the most common are:
- Hyaluronic Acid-Based Fillers: Restylane, Juvederm, Perlane, PREVELLE Silk, Hydrelle, Belotero
- Collagen-Based Fillers: Cosmoplast, Cosmoderm, Evolence
- Semi-Permanent Fillers: Sculptra, Radiesse
- Permanent Fillers: ArteFill
Amy Jensen, NP will provide thorough pre-treatment instructions and answer any questions you may have. In the weeks before your injections, you’ll be asked to refrain from taking aspirin, ibuprofen, vitamin E, St. John’s Wort, and any other medications that could cause bruising. Be sure to inform Amy of any medicines you are taking. If you have a history of cold sores, Amy may recommend taking Valtrex as a precaution. Hydration is very important before and after treatment for safe recovery.
Immediately after injection
You will likely see the results of your injections immediately following the procedure, you will most likely experience swelling or minimal bruising in the area of the injection site. Amy will give you an ice pack or cold compress to help stem swelling. The period of swelling will depend largely on the type and amount of soft tissue filler you received, though most swelling, bruising, and redness should dissipate within one week to ten days.
One of the best benefits of soft tissue fillers is their minimal recovery time. In the approximate week it takes for swelling and bruising to disappear, Amy may advise you to avoid wearing hats or other headgear and only use small amounts of makeup.
As with any cosmetic procedure, patients must be in contact with our office during their recovery period. You should get in touch with Amy or our office staff at the first sign of an abnormality or unexpected side effect.
There are very few risks associated with fillers, but you should contact Amy if:
- Swelling, bruising, or redness does not dissipate after one week or continues to increase
- You experience unusual pain near the injection site coupled with asymmetry, lasting more than seven to ten days after the procedure
- You develop any nodules or bumps in or around injected areas
You can help minimize certain risks by following the advice and instructions of Amy Jensen, both before and after your filler injection procedure.