How is a filler procedure performed?
You will likely get fillers in a surgeon’s office. Your surgeon will administer dermal fillers with a syringe to various predetermined areas, such as around your eyes or on your jaw, lips, and forehead. The number, location, and depth of the injections depend mainly on the type of dermal fillers and your desired results. Some fillers contain a local anesthetic like lidocaine to enhance comfort during injection. Your surgeon may also use numbing cream.
What are my filler options?
There are three common types of dermal fillers: temporary, semi-permanent, and permanent. Hyaluronic acid-based fillers are temporary, while other types of fillers offer longer-lasting results. Your aesthetic plastic surgeon will help you select the option that’s best for you.
There are various temporary fillers options:
- Collagen-Based Fillers: Collagen is a naturally occurring protein that adds strength and structure to the skin. Collagen was the first filler on the market, but the arrival of hyaluronic acid-based fillers decreased its popularity.
- Hyaluronic Acid-Based Fillers: Like collagen, hyaluronic acid is a naturally occurring substance and is primarily used to promote fullness and volume.
- Calcium Hydroxylapatite: Heavier and denser than hyaluronic acid, calcium filler is injected deeper, underneath the skin, and does not usually cause immune or allergic responses because the material is found in bones.
Longer-lasting dermal fillers typically contain thicker substances, such as the biodegradable synthetic filler known as poly-L-lactic acid. These types of soft tissue fillers treat deep facial lines. Though they offer semi-permanent results, you may need a “touch up” several weeks after your initial injections.
Permanent fillers are made of polymethylmethacrylate (PMMA), which are microspheres that are not absorbed by the body. This filler also contains collagen and is only recommended for thick-skin areas such as the nasolabial folds (the folds that separate your cheeks from your upper lip). You should not use this filler in areas around the eyes or for the lips.
Silicone Injections *Patient Safety Warning*
Silicone injections are not safe and are an unacceptable option to use as a filler. These injections are not FDA approved, and unlicensed individuals often offer them. You should avoid them! Always consult with a board-certified aesthetic plastic surgeon if you have questions about a particular type or brand of filler. You can ask one of our board-certified aesthetic plastic surgeons a question using our Ask a Surgeon feature.
What are the brand names for fillers?
There are several filler brand names, but some of the most common are:
- Hyaluronic Acid-Based Fillers: Restylane®, Restylane® Lyft, Restylane® Silk, Juvederm, Juvederm Volbella, Juvederm Voluma, PREVELLE Silk, Hydrelle, Belotero
- Collagen-Based Fillers: Cosmoplast, Cosmoderm, Evolence
- Semi-Permanent Fillers: Sculptra, Radiesse
- Permanent Fillers: Bellafill