Injectable Fillers Overview

Over the years, gravity, sun exposure, and repeated facial movements can add up and age your face. This can take the shape of laugh lines, smile lines, crow’s-feet, and facial creases. If you’re looking for a way to address these signs of aging without resorting to surgery, then injectable fillers may be right for you. At MedStar Plastic & Reconstructive Surgery, we offer soft-tissue fillers that can help fill in lines and creases, temporarily restoring a smoother, more youthful-looking appearance.

Injectable fillers available at MedStar Health include:

  • Hyaluronic acid, under the brand names Belotero®, Juvederm®, Restylane®, and Voluma®, is typically used for plumping lips and filling facial creases between the nose and mouth and the jowl area. Results generally last about six months.
  • Calcium hydroxylapatite, under the brand name Radiesse®, is a compound found in human bones that is generally used to fill deeper creases between the nose and mouth and the jowl area. It’s also used to enhance the fullness of the cheeks. Results generally last from six months to a year.
  • Polylactic acid, under the brand name Sculptra®, can be used to enhance facial volume. Results generally last up to two years.
  • Fat injections, harvested from your own body, can be reinjected into your face to enhance facial fullness, fill deep creases and build up shallow contours. Liposuction is necessary for this technique in order to retrieve the fat from your body. The longevity of fat injection results is difficult to predict. Generally, about half of the injected fat will survive and be permanent.

Injectable fillers may be used alone or in conjunction with other procedures such as a chemical peel or facelift.

Because our plastic surgeons have comprehensive experience in all aspects of facial rejuvenation, they will help you determine when a different procedure may be advantageous to more filler. The continued use of fillers can lead to an overfilled “doughy look” when used to treat aging conditions that would be better improved with surgery.

Planning and Recovery

What to Expect

In your initial consultation, your surgeon will evaluate your face and discuss your goals. He or she will help you select a treatment option based on your goals and concerns, your anatomy and your lifestyle. You will be asked about your medical history, drug allergies, and conditions that could cause problems, such as active skin infections or non-healed sores from injuries.

Injections are usually performed in the surgeon’s office unless you are undergoing a surgical procedure at the same time. Once points of your face are cleaned and numbed with topical or local anesthesia, the surgeon will inject the filler with a fine needle. Each injection generally takes only a few moments. The whole process can vary from 15 minutes to an hour in length, depending on the number of areas to be treated.

 

Recovery After Treatment

Depending on the filler used and areas treated, you will generally notice results immediately after treatment. You will likely be able to resume normal activities right after treatment, but may be asked to avoid strenuous activities for the day. Mild bruising and swelling may be noticeable for a few days after treatment.

You should not expect the same long-lasting results that may be gained from cosmetic surgery. Injectable filler results are not permanent, nor do you want the results to be permanent (the one exception is fat injections). The amount and location of a filler that’s injected today will be different from what you’ll need 10 years in the future. Facial aging is a dynamic process and treatment should take that into consideration.

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Frequently Asked Questions

You may be a good candidate if:

  • You’re physically healthy
  • Your expectations are realistic
  • You understand the risks that come with this procedure
  • You have mild or moderate facial aging

As with most procedures, injectable fillers do pose some risks. These risks vary by the type of filler used, but can include:

  • Acne-like eruptions
  • Asymmetry
  • Bleeding from injection site
  • Blindness
  • Bruising
  • Infection
  • Lumps
  • Rash
  • Redness
  • Scarring
  • Swelling
  • Pain
  • Temporary facial weakness or drooping

Your plastic surgeon will let you know the side effects that may occur with your specific treatment.

The costs for injectable fillers vary based on your specific needs. When you come in for your consultation visit, we’ll be better able to discuss fees in detail with you. Our staff will also review the financing options available and help with any payment questions you may have.

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