Skin FIllers - Process and Procedure

The Process

Skin fillers can either be injected into the deeper layers of the skin or immediately below the skin through fine needles or implanted below the skin through tiny hidden incisions. Materials differ in their ability to correct different problems, as well as their longevity. The type of material used in a given patient depends upon the site, needed volume of augmentation and patient's goals. Dr. Sclafani can aid you in choosing the right material for you.

The Procedure

Derivatives of hyaluronic acid, such as Restylane, Perlane and Juvederm have recently been approved by the F.D.A. for treatment of skin folds and wrinkles. Hyaluronic acid (HA) is a normal sugar component of the skin. The HA in these derivative fillers is derived from bacteria, then purified and treated to last longer. It is also injected through a small needle into the skin, and appears to last 5-8 months. There is a potential for intermittent swelling and redness of the treated area during the first 1-2 days after treatment; however, most patients are extremely satisfied with their result. Treatments that are particularly amenable to Restylane, Perlane and Juvederm are laugh lines, frown lines around the mouth as well as those between the eyebrows, fine lines in the lips and for lip augmentation. The results are exceptionally natural in appearance and feel.

Some patients choose to have multiple areas treated at the same time, for a "VolumeLift". Typically, this includes treatment of the brows, under eye area, cheeks, laugh lines and jawline, and occasionally some other facial areas. While the VolumeLift does not take the place of a standard facelift, it can help give the entire face a more youthful appearance.

Another filler, Radiesse, is composed of microscopic calcium beads which become surrounded by fibrous tissue until they dissolve harmlessly.  This material is an excellent option for longer-lasting results in the laugh lines, cheek and chin.

Fat can be harvested from a patient's abdomen, thigh or buttock and reinjected under the skin in areas of tissue deficiency, such as the lips or skin folds. Through a small incision (often inside the belly-button), fat is harvested, then concentrated and reinjected under the skin through tiny access incisions. Fat can be used to augment cheekbones, lips, chins or fill depressions like laugh lines. There is usually a 1-2 week period of swelling after treatment, and the amount of fat that persists varies from patient to patient.