What is a filler?
A filler is a soft substance that can be injected into the skin to improve the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, plump lips, fill out hollow cheeks, improve scars, elevate deep folds, and repair various facial imperfections. The result is a smoother more youthful appearance.
What can fillers do?
The aging process generally causes a loss of volume in fatty tissue as the underlying collagen and elastin fibers begin to deteriorate. This most commonly occurs around the eyes, mouth, cheeks, jawline, brow, and bridge of the nose. These age-related changes produce lines, depressions, and furrows. Fillers have the ability to plump and contour the aging face by restoring a more youthful appearance. Fillers can also be used safely with Botox® and lasers.
What skin conditions can fillers treat?
What should be expected during and after treatment?
The procedure is a simple in office treatment. After the filler to be used is determined, the face is cleaned and a topical anesthetic or numbing shot is performed. A needle is used to inject the filler directly into the wrinkle or depressed area. A stinging or burning sensation may be felt as the filler is being inserted. Immediately after the procedure there may be some temporary swelling, redness, or minor bruising at the injection sites. Persistent lumpiness, allergic reactions, and skin necrosis are rare and should be reported immediately. Makeup can be applied immediately after the treatment.
How long does the improvement last?
The length of time the improvement lasts depends on the type of filler used, the areas treated, and the ability of the patient’s skin to use the materials. The fillers we use last anywhere from 6 months to 2 years.
What are the different fillers offered?
Juvederm® is made of hyaluronic acid, which is a natural substance that already exists in the human body. Most areas on the face can be treated. Juvederm® now comes pre-mixed with local anesthetic (lidocaine), making the treatment a lot less uncomfortable by eliminating most of the pain of injection. Depending on the version of Juvederm® used, the results last from 6 to 12 months.
Sculptra® is made of microparticles of poly- L- lactic acid which is a biocompatible and biodegradable synthetic polymer from the alpha-hydroxy-acid family. Sculptra® is used mostly for larger volume filling like sunken cheeks or deep nasolabial folds. Several treatments spaced apart are needed for optimal results and the collagen build-up is gradual over several months. Results have been shown to last up to two years.
Radiesse® is composed of synthetic calcium hydroxylapatite microspheres suspended in a carrier gel. The microspheres form a scaffold through which your body’s own collagen grows. Most areas of the face can be treated except the lip. Radiesse® now can be mixed with local anesthetic (lidocaine), making the treatment a lot less uncomfortable by eliminating most of the pain of injection. Occasionally a second treatment is required for full filling. Results can last 1-2 years.
- Do not use aspirin or aspirin containing medications for at least 2 weeks before treatment. Do not take Advil® or ibuprofen-containing medications for 3 days before treatment. Supplements such as vitamin E, gingko biloba, garlic, ginseng and St. John’s wort should be stopped one week prior to the procedure. Tylenol® is an acceptable alternative if pain medication is needed.
- Topical anesthetic or other anesthetic will be administered in the office.
- Return to normal activities right away.
- Ice can be applied to injected areas. Redness, swelling, and bruising are normal.
- Sculptra must be massaged at home post treatment. Do this for up to 72 hour after treatment.
For emergencies at night or during the weekend, call (314) 878-3839, leave a message and the doctor will contact you shortly thereafter.