Where face lifts and implants may have been the hottest ticket toward a perfect face, these procedures are now being replaced by latest in facial rejuvenation – large volume fillers.
Most of us are familiar with the concept of fillers, they have been around for decades to give the desired pouty lip or fill in an unwanted line and wrinkle. However, now with new technology and a better understanding of the aging face, these fillers and their derivatives are being used to restore shape to the face.
Where it was once thought that just the mere act of tightening the skin would produce the sought after youthful look, research has now shown that what is actually missing is the plump appearance of younger skin. Sunken cheeks, pronounced jowls and protruding bones add years onto one’s look, and the only way to truly combat that is to add back the volume which is missing. (There is a reason we associate round, plump faces with babies and children – it is the look of youth!)
There are currently many fillers out on the market, some suitable for treating the finest of lines and wrinkles while others are more appropriate for a larger correction. Let’s look at some of the popular large volume fillers:
Fat Transfer or Lipo-Transfer
At first glance this procedure seems like a dream. Take fat from one area of the body, process it, and redeposit it in the desired location. After all, this is your own natural fat and stem cells, and your body will have no reaction or rejection to the procedure. However, this procedure may be more lumpy than desired and can be unpredictable.
Hyaluronic Acid (Restylane, Pearlane, Juvederm)
Hyaluronic Acid occurs naturally in the body and attracts water, hydrating and plumping the skin. These fillers are very popular. Thinner versions are used for fine lines and lip augmentation while thicker versions are used for a more extensive procedure.
Calcium Hydroxyapatite (Radiesse)
This filler uses calcium hydroxyapatite spheres suspended in a gel to give the patient an immediate improvement and stimulate the growth of your own collagen. This is a good choice or those with deep lines.
Poly-Lactic Acid (Sculptra)
Currently this is the go-to product for facial volume replacement. The product is administered in a series of injections over several months and works deep in the dermis to replace lost collagen. The product can last up to two years.
With any medical procedure one should be careful to choose only the best and most qualified physicians. This cannot be stressed enough especially when dealing with injectables. Once they are injected, there is little one can do to reverse it. All too often we see those who have been “over-corrected” not only is that unattractive but as the filler dissipates it leaves undesired dimpling and ripples in the skin leaving the patient looking like deflated balloon.
This is not the time to bargain shop. Therefore, having someone who does this type of correction on a consistent basis and understands the art behind sculpting a face is absolutely critical. For those who require and desire large volume replacement, the results can truly be life-changing.