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   home > Anti-Aging Procedures > Fillers
  Fillers  
  Fillers are basically two types; temporary (absorbable) or permanent.

While permanent fillers stay permanently; temporary fillers stay effective for a variable period of 6 months to about a year and then gradually get absorbed and disappear. Temporary fillers would require repeated treatments; however on the positive side, if you desire any modification in the look, it can always be done the next time. The possibility of side effects like granulomas is also less with temporary fillers.

As we age, our faces begin to show the effects of gravity, sun exposure and years of facial muscle movement, such as smiling, chewing and squinting. The underlying tissues that keep our skin looking youthful and plumped up begin to break down, often leaving laugh lines, smile lines, crow's feet or facial creases over the areas where this muscle movement occurs.

Soft-tissue fillers can help fill in these 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. Injectable fillers may be used alone or in conjunction with a resurfacing procedure, such as a laser treatment, or a recontouring procedure, such as a facelift.


KNOWING YOUR OPTIONS
Injected fillers are primarily used to improve the appearance of the skin's texture. They can help fill out deep facial wrinkles, creases and furrows, "sunken" cheeks, skin depressions and some types of scars. They can also be used to add a fuller, more sensuous look to the lips.

Injectables are usually not sufficient for severe surface wrinkles on the face, such as multiple vertical "lipstick lines" that sometimes form around the mouth. Instead, your plastic surgeon may suggest a resurfacing technique, such as chemical peel, dermabrasion or laser treatments. Rather than filling in facial lines, resurfacing methods strip away the outer layers of the skin to produce a smoother appearance.

Deep folds in the face or brow caused by overactive muscles or by loose skin may be more effectively treated with cosmetic surgery, such as a facelift or brow lift. Injectables are sometimes used in conjunction with facial surgery procedures; however, injectables alone cannot change facial contour the way surgery can.

Keep in mind that a plastic surgeon is a specialist that can offer you the full gamut of the most advanced treatments ranging from cosmetic surgery, refinishing techniques, laser therapy, injectables and the use of other fillers.
 
    
                

           
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A quick look at your queries...
 

AM I THE RIGHT CANDIDATE FOR THE TREATMENT ?

The most important fact to remember about injectable fillers is that the results are not permanent. Injected material is eventually metabolized by the body. You should not expect the same long-lasting results that may be gained from cosmetic surgery.

In some individuals, the results may last only a few weeks; in others, the results may be maintained indefinitely. Researchers believe that age, genetic background, skin quality and lifestyle as well as the injected body site may all play a role in the injected material's "staying power." However, the precise reason for the variation of results among patients has yet to be identified.

If you've had short-lived results from fat injections, you shouldn't necessarily assume that collagen injections will work better for you. And, conversely, if you've had disappointing results from collagen, don't assume that injected fat is the answer. Although it's true that some individuals' bodies are more receptive to one substance than the other, others may find that neither substance produces long-lasting results. Sometimes one substance may work better than the other for a specific problem.

WHAT ARE THE UNCERTAINTIES AND RISKS ?

When injectables are administered by a qualified plastic surgeon, complications are infrequent and usually minor in nature. Still, individuals vary greatly in their anatomy, their physical reactions and their healing abilities. The outcome of treatment with injectables is never completely predictable.

Allergic reaction is the primary risk of fillers. Risks not necessarily related to allergies include infection, abscesses, open sores, skin peeling, scarring and lumpiness, which may persist over the treated area. Reports of these problems are very rare.

Fat: Allergic reaction is not a factor for fat because it's harvested from a patient's own body. However, there is still a small risk of infection and other infrequent complications.

HOW DO I PLAN THE PROCEDURE ?

Facial rejuvenation is very individualized. That's why it's important to discuss your hopes and expectations with a qualified plastic surgeon who has experience with many different types of surgical and non-surgical facial procedures.

In your initial consultation, your plastic surgeon will evaluate your face - the skin, the muscles and the underlying bone - and discuss your goals. Your doctor will help you select a treatment option based on your goals and concerns, your anatomy and your lifestyle.

Your surgeon will ask you about your medical history, drug allergies, and check for conditions that could cause problems, such as active skin infections or non-healed sores from injuries. Collagen injections are generally off limits for pregnant women, individuals who are allergic to beef or bovine products, patients who suffer from autoimmune diseases, and those who are allergic to lidocaine (the anesthetic agent contained in the syringe with the collagen material).

HOW DO I PREPARE MYSELF FOR PROCEDURE ?

You are advised to stay away from drugs like aspirin for a few days before the injection. The procedure would take only a few minutes and you can expect some swelling and redness over the area of injection lasting for a day or two. You may arrange your schedule accordingly.

HOW LONG WOULD I NEED TO STAY IN THE HOSPITAL?

Injectables are usually administered in a surgeon's office-based facility and do not require any hospitalization.

IS THE SURGERY PAINFUL?

The pain of the injection is like a pain you may have experienced from any other injection.  However, if you are especially sensitive to pain, your doctor may use a topical cream anesthetic or a spray to numb the injected area. Or, you may elect to have an injected local anesthetic or sedative drugs.

Fat: Both the donor and recipient sites are numbed with local anesthesia. Sedation can be used as well. If you elect to use sedation, be sure to arrange for a ride home after your treatment.

WHAT IS THE TECHNIQUE USED ?

The filler is injected using a fine needle inserted at several points along the edge of the treatment site. If a local anesthesia has not been used, you may feel some minor stinging or burning as the injections are administered. You may be asked to hold a hand mirror during the procedure to help your doctor decide when you've had enough.

WHAT CARE DO I NEED TO TAKE AFTER THE TREATMENT ?

Immediately following treatment, you may notice some minor discomfort, stinging or throbbing in the injected area. Occasionally some bruising or swelling will occur, but it is usually minor. Any redness that appears in the injected site usually disappears within 24 hours. However, in some individuals, particularly fair-skinned patients, this redness may persist for a week or more. Tiny scabs may also form over the needle-stick areas; these generally heal quickly.

No bandaging is needed and you are free to eat, drink, and wear makeup with sun block protection shortly thereafter. There may be some temporary swelling and redness in the treated area which should dissipate within a few days. If these symptoms persist, contact your surgeon.

WHAT IS FAT INJECTION ?

In the medical world, the fat-injection procedure is known as autologous fat transplantation or micro-lipoinjection. It involves extracting fat cells from the patient's abdomen, thighs, buttocks or elsewhere and re-injecting them beneath the facial skin. Fat is most often used to fill in "sunken" cheeks or laugh lines between the nose and mouth, to correct skin depressions or indentations, to minimize forehead wrinkles and to enhance the lips.

WHAT IS THE TECHNIQUE USED FOR FAT INJECTION ?

After both the donor and recipient sites are cleansed and treated with a local anesthesia, the fat is withdrawn using a syringe with a large-bore needle or a cannula (the same instrument used in liposuction) attached to a suction device. The fat is then prepared and injected into the recipient site with a needle. Sometimes an adhesive bandage is applied over the injection site.

In case of fat, "overfilling" is necessary to allow for fat absorption in the weeks following treatment. When fat is used to fill sunken cheeks or to correct areas on the face other than lines, this overcorrection of newly injected fat may temporarily make the face appear abnormally puffed out or swollen.

WHAT CARE DO I NEED TO TAKE AFTER THE FAT INJECTION ?

If a larger area was treated, you may be advised to curtail your activity for a brief time. However, many patients are able to resume normal activity immediately. You can expect some swelling, bruising or redness in both the donor and recipient sites. The severity of these symptoms depends upon the size and location of the treated area. You should stay out of the sun until the redness and bruising subsides - usually about 48 hours. In the meantime, you may use makeup with sun block protection to help conceal your condition.

The swelling and puffiness in the recipient site may last several weeks, especially if a large area was filled.

Results: The duration of the fat injections varies significantly from patient to patient. Though some patients have reported results lasting a year or more, the majority of patients find that at least half of the injected fullness disappears within 3-6 months. Therefore, repeated injections may be necessary. Your doctor will advise you on how to maintain your results with repeat treatments.

YOUR NEW LOOK

If you're like most patients, you'll be very satisfied with the results of your injectable treatments. You may be surprised at the pleasing results that can be gained from this procedure.

 As stated earlier, the duration of results from filler injections is variable. Longevity of the result depends on the patient's lifestyle and physical characteristics as well as the part of the body treated. In general, the injected material is likely to disappear faster in areas that are more affected by muscle movement.

Your doctor can help you determine how long you can go between treatments to best maintain your results.

 

 
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