Swelling or bruising is usually minimal – but be prepared! Don’t schedule your procedure the day of your big meeting presentation or the night before your job interview. Murphy’s Law will guarantee that you get a bruise with that kind of pressure. Filler treatments are performed using very small needles and although the injection process is usually associated with only some very mild swelling or even a little bruising for about 24 hours, it can be more significant. And bruising is definitely more common with the fillers than with Botox® injections, and more likely still if you have taken any Motrin or Advil within a week of your treatment. Some people also just happen to bruise easily. If this is you, schedule your treatment session accordingly or get a big scarf and big sunglasses.
Just how many different wrinkle fillers are there? Don’t Ask. There are so many different kinds available and they all advertise that they are the best, last the longest, and are the “number one” used by plastic surgeons. How do you choose? Don’t stress. Your doctor is the expert, not you – that’s why he is taking care of you and you are not doing the injections yourself. He has the best access to the latest scientific information. He will combine that knowledge with his personal preferences, professional experience, your health history, your anatomy and your goals. The “HA”s (i.e. the hyaluronic acid fillers such as Restylane® and Juvederm®) are probably the most popular and are essentially a synthetic version of a natural filler-type compound found in the skin. From an artistic point of view, some wrinkle fillers seem to work better than others in certain areas, e.g. the lips. Your doctor should be able to explain what he recommends and why. Do you really want the type of doctor who carries every brand and will just inject whichever one you pick?
Trust me – you want an expert. A detailed analysis of your unique facial anatomy, asymmetries, skin thickness, shadows, folds and textures are all critical to the sculpting process – and it is just like sculpture. Your doctor’s medical knowledge and experience must be blended with an artistic eye to make the sculpting a success. You are not paying for a “box” or a “syringe” of filler, you are paying for the artistry and expertise of a board certified cosmetic surgeon that makes all the difference between “Sort of OK” and “Wow”. We won’t even talk about the “Uh-oh”.
The results are essentially instantaneous and last for several months. Aside from some short-term minor swelling, what you see at the end your treatment session is the result. Hopefully, it is a satisfying and noticeable improvement. Fillers can make a dramatic difference for creating fuller cheeks, a less saggy look to the face, hiding jowls and smoothing the lines around the mouth. Treatments focusing on the mouth area and lips tend to create a softer, less harsh look as well as enhancing sensuality and youthfulness. Most wrinkle fillers have a range of effectiveness in the 6 – 12 month range. Some will last a little shorter, some (e.g. Artefill) much longer.
A “filler treatment” is not a one way ticket to a plumped out, strange-looking face and gigantic lips. Fillers are a cosmetic tool. It is the artist, the sculptor, not the clay (i.e. the filler) which creates the final image. Proper use of the fillers means not too much and not too little, understanding how a wrinkle filler is good for some purposes and not for others, and most importantly – realizing how fillers can yield great results in most patients but are not for everybody. The fillers work best when a cosmetic surgeon uses them to create a “nice” look to the face – softer, younger, smoother, and more pleasant, with fewer lines, fuller lips and perhaps just a touch of more sensuality. Choose your “artist” wisely, it is his vision you will wear. Poor results can occur when inadequate amounts of filler have been used, which is sometimes a byproduct of “budget” concerns. But it may be better to have no treatment at all than to spend your money on a treatment in way that is destined to create a marginal result. Conservative but proper volumes of wrinkle filler are the most effective way to go. The best filler treatments look natural and beautiful and not “overdone”.
Dr. Lyle Back is originally from New York City, receiving his medical and surgical training at Rutgers Medical School, Cooper Hospital – University Medical Center, and Ohio State. He is Board Certified in General Surgery (ABS) and Plastic Surgery (ABPS). He is a Fellow of the American College of Surgeons (ACS), the American Academy of Cosmetic Surgery (AACS), and a longstanding member of the premier American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS). He served as a Professor of Plastic Surgery at Temple University and St. Christopher’s Hospital for Children and performed reconstructive surgery with “Operation Smile” in Vietnam. He specializes in the full range of the most modern and state of the art facial cosmetic surgery procedures and non-surgical cosmetic enhancement techniques available today.