Here are the basics of Dermal Fillers, we use mostly Juvederm brand products.
Dermal fillers are substances used to fill up and soften wrinkles and crease lines in the skin of face.
If you have never tried any fillers before, you can get a good idea of the results by getting a simple injection of Lidocaine (numbing stuff) in the skin. It will last you a few hours at the most. Be prepared for possibilty of skin bleeding causing black and blue - that will last several days and will be visible unless you hide it with make up or hide yourself in a closet!!!
The fillers are basically substances that your body can accept with a minimal or no reaction. Most are good quality products and are well tolerated for several weeks to months. Most can be injected with skin numbing by creams. Some require actual injection numbing before the real stuff can be - well, strong armed in.
We use the Hyaluronic Acid (HA) products. Restylene, Hylaform, Captique and a few other brand names. Hyaluronic acid is present in the human body - in the joint cartilages. It holds water for a long time. (Remember that a Plum is actually a Prune with water!!! Or may be you want to think the other way around. We are only trying to Reverse the passage of time. God help us.) Anyway, the Hyaluronic acid is also found in Rooster combs. The red, soft squiggly crown on a rooster's head. The Hyalaform is made from the rooster comb. The Captique is actually made by bacteria in a lab - the bacteria were genetically modified to incorporate the rooster or the human gene for the HA. If you are not familiar with this concept, the Human Insulin is made by bacteria carrying the human gene for making insulin in the pancreas. (It is not cost effective to buy and process the human pancreases!!!) The HA products are longer lasting: 3 to 4 months or even more.
The most popular Hylauronic products are Juvederm brand. They last from 6 to 12 months depending upon the variety used. They are comparable to Retylane group of products.
But, remember, the Homo Sapiens (that is people like us), are never satisfied with what they have. They got to have more!
The next longer lasting product is called Radiesse. Made out of Calcium Hydroxyapatite. Once again, this material is present in human bones and also in Coral from the ocean. You will need a numbing by injection before the real stuff. More bruising and days of hiding are very possible. Better have some days off. It does last 12 to 24 months.
Also, there is the Sculptra. It is made of Poly-Lactic Acid. Another name to confuse you. It is basically a kind of sugar that is not eaten by the body for a long time. I suspect it is not so sweet tasting after all. It is actually similar to the dissolving suture materials that we use to piece togather separated body parts. It is being used for cosmetic procedures to fill up hollows and folds. It is almost a thick gluey paste and takes a lot of hard work to inject it. Generally placed at a deeper level than the products I mentioned before. The FDA actually approved the poly-lactic acid fillers for the patients with AIDS who typically have very sunken faces from loss of fat. The cosmetic use is a great money maker for the doctors.
Finally, there are PERMANENT fillers - such as Artecol (microscopic plastic balls suspended in a carrying medium). I have not used this type of products. Simply speaking, if you don't like them or if there is an infection or other reaction problem, the debridement can be very involved and leave significant scars. That is not to say that you should not look into these products. Just check out other plastic surgeon web sites or call their office directly. I am just chicken.
AND - after all of this - the absorbable products tend to absorb (dissolve) faster in some patients. They can also absorb faster if the level of injection is slightly on the deep side. This may account for the fact that the same product can have different results in different hands.
The thickness of your skin also is important. Very thin skin people look very pretty. They also bruise easily, break the skin down easily and show the filling materials (Radiesse is milk white) easily.
Generally speaking, the materials are injected in small drops, beads, threads, mesh design etc. Some will need a lot of deep massage for several days afterwards to make the area more even.
Other risks and complications are mostly related to the anatomy of the area being injected, the blood supply to the tissues and the pharmacological side effects of each item being used. We will be happy to send out the company supplied information on any product you wish to know about.
As to the anatomy, one word of caution. If the filler material travels into an artery (down stream or even upstream), the tissue or even organ being supplied by the artery can be damaged. Such as the Eyes, tip of nose, facial muscles, nerves or just a patch of skin. This is fortunately extremely rare, but not impossible. When the filler stuff goes in to the vein in the area immediately surrounding the nose, there is a very rare possibility of spread along the internal vein connections between the face and inside of the skull - right between the eyes.
So, we will be checking with each injection to see if there is any blood coming back in the syringe before applying pressure on the plunger. And the injection is also done with a continuous pulling out movement of the needle. Safety is good for all of us.
Please call us (386-756-9009) for more details of the fillers.