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Facial Filler Facts

Facial dermal fillers, such as Restylane, Perlane, Juvederm and Artefill, are some of the most popular cosmetic office-based treatments I perform on a daily basis. These minimally invasive injection procedures involve careful placement of a gel-like filler substance to correct unwanted facial lines and creases. The results in most cases can be a significant improvement and enhancement of the facial appearance with essentially no downtime, which is why these fillers as so attractive to so many patients. A good number of you out there have likely already dabbled in this arena with filler injections of the smile lines (or nasolabial folds), cheeks and lips – some of the more common areas for filler enhancement. Every so often we see someone in the office for possible filler injection who says something to the effect that they had the treatment in the past, but it didn’t work. In most of these instances, I try and educate the patient as to what probably really occurred – a point that I would like to emphasize here today.

Filler Failure? Not Likely

The reality is that there is rarely a ‘filler failure’ in most plastic surgery offices. Meaning it is highly unlikely that the filler material simply did not do what it was designed to do. What it usually boils down to is the fact that not enough filler was used to treat the area(s) of concern. For example, when someone consults with us for treatment of deep smile lines, also known as the parenthesis deformity, they usually require 1-2 syringes of the chosen filler – whether it be Restylane, Perlane, Juvederm or Artefill. In some patients who are less aged, perhaps one syringe may work to soften or fill both smile lines. In others, their parenthesis deformity is more pronounced with deeper creases that might necessitate using one or more syringes of a filler on each side – so a total of two to four syringes. If the latter patient is only interested in purchasing one syringe (but really needs two or more), they are not going to have as nice of a result as the former patient (who really only needed one syringe). In this instance, the patient who got the one syringe, but really needed more than that, may see their injectable filler result as a failure. In reality though, they simply didn’t get enough filler injected for their particular problem. So why did this happen you might ask? The answer is largely economical. Many patients who get injectable fillers are on some kind of budget. Each syringe of injectable filler can range in price from $425 up to $900. If that particular patient was recommended to have two or more syringes of filler, yet only budgeted for one, they are unlikely to attain an ideal result. This is not a filler failure. It is simply an issue that not enough filler was injected for that specific patient.

Multiple Site Injections

A similar scenario arises in cases where injectable filler patients are looking to have multiple sites treated, but only want to purchase one syringe. For example, I had a recent patient in the office who wanted to treat her smile lines, lips and pre jowl area on both sides of the face. However, she was only willing to purchase one syringe of Restylane on that particular day. As I discussed with her in detail, one syringe of Restylane (or Perlane, Juvederm, etc.) was just not sufficient to treat these multiple areas. You can certainly try and use one syringe of a filler and distribute it across all of these injection sites. But the end result will be just slight improvement in each area. This is in contrast to significant enhancement of one particular area if the entire syringe is used to target just one of these regions. To help better understand this concept, you can use the analogy of traveling around the world on a set budget for one week. Think of having a fixed amount of money (filler) and wanting to see certain tourist sites (facial lines and creases). You have to decide if you want to spend in-depth, quality time in just one tourist destination or visit multiple sites each for a short period of time. If you had an unlimited budget, you may choose to spend quality time in a multitude of sites living life to the fullest. But the reality is that most people, and patients, do not have this luxury.

Injectable Filler Consult San Diego, CA

I hope this explanation sheds some light on the reality of having injectable fillers for undesirable facial lines and creases. This doesn’t mean you have to necessarily pay more money just to achieve an enhanced facial appearance with Restylane, Perlane, Juvederm or Artefill. It just means that you have to be realistic in what areas you want treated with a certain amount of filler. If you are considering an injectable dermal filler treatment and want more detailed information, contact our San Diego facial plastic surgery office today to consult with Dr. John Hilinski – one of the area’s foremost experts in facial enhancement with fillers.

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