If you’re beginning to notice early signs of facial aging – perhaps loss of volume of your cheeks, deepening of your smile or marionette lines – or simply wish to augment your natural facial features, soft tissue fillers may be right for you. Filler injections are a non-invasive cosmetic treatment that may address lines and wrinkles and loss of youthful facial fat. They may also be performed to add volume to natural lip and cheek contours to achieve your desired look. As a non-surgical cosmetic procedure, there is little to no downtime. Treatment plans are tailored for each patient based on your aesthetic goals and clinical presentation.
Soft tissue fillers, also known as dermal fillers or injectable fillers, are a non-surgical option to restore facial volume and to enhance facial rejuvenation. There are different types of fillers. Dr. Power most commonly recommends hyaluronic acid fillers, which are temporary, reversible, and have a reliable safety profile. Hyaluronic acid is a substance that occurs naturally in the body and binds to and retains water. Common sites for application include the cheekbone regions (malar eminences), marionette lines (extending from the corners of the mouth), nasolabial folds (smile lines), and jowl regions. Fillers may also be used for lip and temple augmentation, correction of shallow wrinkles and creases, and for contour improvement of depressed scars.
Dr. Power most commonly recommends fillers from the Juvéderm Vycross line. These fillers utilize the latest technology in crosslinking, which leads to longer-lasting results, less swelling, and better lift effect. Juvéderm Vycross products include:
- Juvéderm Voluma®: For cheek augmentation, lasting up to 2 years.
- Juvéderm Volift®: For smile lines, correction up to 15 months.
- Juvéderm Volbella®: For lips and tear troughs, lasting up to one year.
Dr. Power also performs fat injections, which may provide similar results to injectable fillers. Fat transfer is a surgical procedure that uses your own fat stores. Although the downtime is slightly longer than for non-surgical fillers, results may be more long-lasting.
The best candidates for soft tissue fillers are physically healthy with well-defined aesthetic goals. Pregnant or breastfeeding women should defer treatment with dermal filler injections. Consultation with Dr. Power is the best way to determine candidacy.
The treatment area determines the type and depth of filler injections. A filler that is more fluid-like (low viscosity), for example, is used to correct superficial fine lines around the lips. A more viscous filler is used for cheek augmentation for more structural support, which is injected deeply adjacent to the cheekbone. Prior to treatment, a cold compress or topical numbing cream may be applied to the targeted area to enhance patient comfort. Dr. Power will then skillfully inject the soft tissue filler using a small syringe. The volume of filler required – equating to the number of syringes – depends on the desired outcome and treatment plan. Most fillers contain lidocaine, which reduces discomfort during treatment. Cold compresses are often recommended over 48 hours following injections to reduce swelling and bruising. Treatment typically takes 15-20 minutes on average.
Following injections, patients may experience mild bruising and swelling in the treatment area, which generally resolves within a few days. Because there is little to no downtime required following soft tissue fillers, most patients may return to work on the same or next day and are also able to wear make up. Results may last up to one year or longer, depending on the type of filler used.
What Are the Side Effects Associated with Soft Tissue Fillers?
Following soft tissue filler injection, patients may experience swelling, bruising, redness, and temporary numbness. These side effects are often mild and resolve with time. More serious complications may include nodularity, infection, allergic reaction, compromised blood supply, or emboli to other sites. It is important to discuss risks of soft tissue fillers in depth prior to injections and to seek treatment with a board-certified plastic surgeon with knowledge of surgical anatomy.
Can Soft Tissue Fillers Be Removed?
Yes, hyaluronic acid-based dermal fillers may be dissolved using hyaluronidase. This enzyme disperses the hyaluronic acid, leading to breakdown of the dermal filler.
What is the Difference Between Soft Tissue Fillers and BOTOX®?
BOTOX® is made up of botulinum toxin type A, which relaxes muscles that cause dynamic wrinkles. Soft tissue fillers add volume through a plumping effect and may be used to correct static wrinkles. These two treatments may be used in combination in certain cases, for example, when treating deep wrinkles of the glabellar region. If you would like to learn more about the difference between these injectable treatments, contact our office today.
Do Soft Tissue Filler Injections Hurt?
You may experience mild discomfort during soft tissue filler injections. Many patients describe the experience as feeling a small pinch at the treatment site. Cold compresses or topical numbing cream may be applied beforehand to make you more comfortable. Most fillers contain lidocaine as an additive, which also reduces discomfort as treatment progresses.
How Many Syringes of Filler Will I Need?
The number of syringes you will need depends on your age (particularly when fillers are performed to address signs of facial aging), site of injections, and desired outcome. On average, patients usually require about one to two syringes of Juvéderm per treatment area. The number of syringes will be discussed during your consultation in formulating your individualized treatment plan.
How Long Do Soft Tissue Fillers Last?
On average, soft tissue fillers may last up to one year or longer depending on the particular product used and depth of injection. The duration of treatment effect may also vary from patient to patient depending on your metabolism.