Injectable soft tissue fillers can help (with or without BOTOX®) to fill in facial lines and creases, temporarily restoring a smoother, more youthful looking appearance. When injected beneath the skin, these fillers plump up creased and sunken areas of the face. They can also add fullness to the lips and cheeks.
The most common filler used today is hyaluronic acid (eg. JUVÉDERM®, Restylane®, Perlane®), which is a crystal-clear, non-animal, biodegradable gel based on a natural substance found in one's skin. Hyaluronic acid fillers are temporary, lasting six to twelve months. Although unfortunately a temporary filler, it has the lowest side effect profile of any of the synthetic fillers available today. As a general rule, the longer the filler purportedly lasts, the higher the potential complications. As such, Dr. Wanzel uses only hyaluronic acid based fillers.
The Filler Procedure
For wrinkles and folds, using a very fine needle, the filler gel is injected either within or under the skin containing the wrinkle. For volume additions (eg. the lips or cheeks), the filler gel is injected deeper to augment the volume in the area. All of the fillers the Dr. Wanzel utilizes contain a local anesthetic mixed into the gel (and hence makes the actual injections as pain free as possible). Most times, a numbing cream is applied to the area that will be treated to also make the procedure as comfortable as possible. Most anatomic locations require between 3 and 5 injection sites in order to properly treat the area. There is typically mild soreness in the area that day. Lips tend to swell the most, but this most often subsides in 1-2 days.
Risks of Fillers
Injection site side effects of the hyaluronic acid family of fillers are usually mild and temporary (and most commonly consist only of a small bit of redness and/or swelling at the injection site). Bruising is possible. The lips tend to get the most swollen and can take 1-2 days to subside. Other rare complications include, but are not limited to infections, asymmetries, and palpable (or less commonly visible) nodules.