Currently, we have a variety of very safe fillers that we can use to fill out some of the depressions in the face that occur with aging. The most common areas treated are the “smile lines” that run from the edge of the nostrils down to the corner of the mouth and the “marionette lines” that run form the corner of the mouth down to the jaw border. Also, the “tear trough” which forms dark circles under the eye and the hollowing of the temples can be well treated with various fillers. The most common problem treated with fillers is the volume loss in the lips and the fine wrinkles around the mouth.
Who is a good candidate?
For patients who are not interested in surgery or who are too early to consider surgery, fillers are a great option to make you look better. Fillers are never as good as surgery, but in patients who have minor depressions, fillers are an excellent treatment which can be done very simply and effectively in the office. We use different fillers in different regions and dilute the material to treat larger areas. The most common fillers we use are Restylane, Juvederm, Sculptra, and Radiesse.
How is the procedure performed?
The area to be treated is numbed with a topical numbing cream. We then apply ice to the area prior to layering in the material with a very fine needle. Every attempt is made to place the filler at exactly the proper level and smoothing all contours. It can be massaged into a smoother appearance for a few days after injection, if it feels a bit irregular. It is ideal to stop any medications that increase bleeding for at least a week prior to treatment.
What can I expect for results?
Fillers yield a subtle but noticeable improvement in the depth of depressions that occur in the face. In the lips, because of the constant motion, the result is usually apparent for three to six months. In the tear trough the result can last for even a year or more. Other areas are usually improved for six months to a year.
Are there any potential complications?
Filler complications are rare when injected by experienced plastic surgeons. Unfortunately, we see complications from other practitioners who may not have the training or experience of a board certified plastic surgeon. Infections can occur as well as lumps (called granulomas) which can be treated with enzyme injections. Rarely, blindness has been reported with all fillers including fat from embolus to the retina. It is important to have fillers injected using proper technique to minimize the chances of a serious complication. The results of fillers are predictably good and problems are uncommon.