Non-surgical facial rejuvenation procedures are becoming increasingly popular among facial cosmetic patients in San Francisco Bay Area. This is not surprising – the chance to reverse some signs of aging with a short procedure, involving almost no down time and a very easy recovery, is very appealing. Filler injections fit this description, and are among the most popular procedures performed at the Aesthetic Facial Plastic Surgery Our Clinic. Below, you will find a complete introduction to the facial fillers we use.
How Fillers Work
As we age, there are two general processes that contribute to changes in appearance. First, soft tissue is lost, so the youthful character of skin gradually disappears. Second, skin becomes looser and less elastic, leading to sagging and wrinkle formation. Injectable fillers work by reducing both of these trends. Like the name implies, fillers simply “fill” areas of soft tissue to stretch the overlying skin, flatten wrinkles, and create a full, youthful contour.
Types of Fillers
At our clinic, we use a full range of products to give our patients the best results. These fillers differ in their components, texture, and duration of effect. A summary of our available fillers is below.
- Restylane : made of hyaluronic acid; has a very soft, granular texture so is very effective in the lips and below the lower eyelids; lasts up to eight months.
- Juvederm : made of hyaluronic acid; has a soft and smooth texture which is effective in the lips, and can be used as an all-purpose filler; lasts up to one year.
- Radiesse : made of hydroxylapatite; has a relatively firm texture so is effective when injected into nasolabial folds, along the jawline, by the corners of the mouth, and in the chin; lasts up to two years but often needs a touch-up injection at one month.
- Artefill : made of polymethylmethacrolite and collagen from cows, so a skin test is required to test for allergic sensitivity; has a relatively firm texture so is effective when injected into nasolabial folds, along the jawline, by the corners of the mouth, and in the chin; is permanent.
Suitable Patients for Fillers
In general, any prominent wrinkle and skin crease can be improved with filler injection. The most common facial regions for treatment are the smile lines from the nose to the corners of the mouth (“nasolabial folds”), fine lip lines and lip augmentation, the circles under the lower eyelids, the cheeks, and the jawline in front of jowls. Fillers can also be used to reduce scars from acne or trauma. If you have any of these complaints, fillers may help. Ideal patients should also be using no blood thinning medications around the time of the injection, to reduce the chance of bruising
Non-surgical Rhinoplasty. In certain cases, fillers can be injected in the nose to improve its contour. It is therefore possible for some patients to avoid surgical nasal correction (rhinoplasty).
The Injection Process
Filler injections at the Aesthetic Facial Plastic Surgery Clinic are performed by our nurse aesthetician, Roseann Gallagher. After a thorough discussion of your goals, and a complete exam of your facial features, you will be give an ice pack to hold against the areas to be injected. Rubbing alcohol will then clean these areas, and a local anesthetic will be used to numb the injection sites. The appropriate amount of filler will then be injected carefully, and molded to achieve the desired result. You will be able to follow the progress, so you are happy with the final amount of product used. Further application of ice will reduce any minimal soreness from the injections.
Injecting in certain areas, such as the lips, nasolabial folds, and nose, can be very painful without anesthesia. Therefore, local anesthetic will be used whenever possible. Patients at our clinic are very surprised at the comfort they experience during the filler injection.
Injectable Filler Recovery
Patients should avoid manipulating the injected substance. Other than this, there are no specific precautions or recommendations.