Fillers, which come in a variety of materials, including animal and human collagen, human fat, naturally occurring substances in the body, and so forth, are injected into the depression or crease in a wrinkled area. We classify them as temporary, semi-permanent, and permanent.
In general, we use fillers to replace volume, which helps to restore a natural look. Unfortunately, many people associate a sunken, skeletal look with age and disease, whereas the youthful fullness of a face that has retained its curves and a supple appearance is often considered attractive.
Some fillers fit the definition of a non-extreme treatment we offer to help individuals to look good quickly and make a good first impression. Some filler treatments can be done in minutes in the office with very little downtime. Most of the newer filler agents available today can provide a great youthful look by the coming weekend.
We sometimes use fillers in combination with other treatments. A Botox injection, followed by a filler and laser treatment, is one of the most common combination treatments and can be a fast way to make an improved first impression.
Over the past five years, the use of fillers has become more and more popular, but the concept itself isn’t new. In fact, as early as 1893, doctors discussed the idea of using fat as a filler agent within facial wrinkles and creases. In the 1920s, a few doctors injected fillers such as paraffin, silicon, and mineral oil to remove wrinkles and rejuvenate facial appearance. In facial rejuvenation philosophy, interest in fillers has increased as thinking evolves from using surgical tightening procedures towards the direction of what we call volume replacement.
Many cosmetic surgeons now recognize the benefits of restoring volume to the face in order to recreate a youthful look. With age, the skin loses elasticity, but also appears to fall as we lose a significant amount of soft tissue and fat that is characteristic of a youthful face. In addition, the bones in the face (our facial skeleton) get smaller, and the facial muscles thin.
These factors combine to create the look we associate with the aging face. In addition, if we don’t replace facial volume, but just pull the skin and muscles tight, we may end up with unusual lines on the face, plus a skeletal or cadaver look – and that can be inconsistent with an appearance of health or youthfulness!
Who Is A Good Candidate For Fillers?
In general, those who have lost volume or have deepening furrows, creases, and lines characteristic of aging can benefit from fillers. Those who are younger, but desire bigger lips or bigger cheeks or a more defined chin may also benefit from fillers.
In the sections below, you will find information about a variety of fillers, including those no longer frequently used or on their way out. I include a brief discussion of them because in certain situations they might prove useful. Filler products evolve as new information becomes available, so I strongly recommend that you seek updated information before choosing any filler treatment.
The filler discussion is divided into Temporary, Semi-Permanent, and Permanent fillers and further divided by the material used to create the filler. In addition, I’ve provided some general information about preparation for filler treatments, some of which applies to most filler injection procedures. You’ll note that when a filler is either too new to evaluate fairly or is one I would rarely recommend, I have summarized its features and have not assigned it a grade.
What to Expect During Treatment
The setup and protocols are similar for all filler products. So, these are general guidelines:
- Most likely you’ll be seated upright in a comfortable exam chair.
- Before any filler product is administered, makeup and dirt will be removed, usually with an alcohol pad.
- You may wish to use topical anesthetic cream to blunt the discomfort associated with an injection.
- Injections usually take just minutes.
- While the injections may hurt, many patients find them tolerable with just a topical anesthetic or an ice cube placed on the sight just prior to the procedure.
Newer techniques with filler are proving to be groundbreaking. Using blunt tipped cannulas, an artistic eye, and guided by the evolutionary science of beauty, Steven H. Dayan, M.D. and his staff have taken filler treatments to a new level of success. Read about filler and the Subliminal Difference.
Contact the Chicago Center for Facial Plastic Surgery about Fillers