Cosmetic injectable fillers are still a hot topic and new products are continually being developed. By knowing the differences between these products, patients can better understand their risks and benefits and choose the one that is right for them. Also Limited Facelifts or "thread lifts" are being hailed as a quicker easier way to facial rejuvenation. Are they right for you?
There are numerous soft tissue fillers currently on the market to help eliminate fine lines or unwanted wrinkles on the face or provide lip enhancement. Because there are a lot of options, patients need to be aware of the risks and benefits of these products and choose the one that is best for their needs.
Collagen which has been the gold standard for fillers has been in use for many years. Collagen is a natural protein that is found throughout the body. It can be injected into the skin to supplement your own body's Collagen, providing texture, resiliency, and shape. The newer collagen products, CosmoDerm® and Cosmoplast® obtain collagen from human tissue and do not require a test dose and may last a bit longer than the bovine (animal based) collagen. There are some who still prefer the results of Collagen, but the majority of patients have moved on to Hyaluronic acid because of its longer lasting effects.
Hyaluronic Acid exists naturally in the body and is a normal component of connective tissues, including the skin. Hyaluronic acid has been used to treat joint pain. Restylane® is a soft tissue filler made of hyaluronic acid, manufactured by recombinent technology which adds volume to minimize wrinkles and lines. It reportedly lasts for up to six to nine months, but many people are getting another injection in about 6 months. It's ideal for softening the lines that form between the nose and corner of the mouth (Nasolabial fold). We also use it for lip enhancement to give fuller more shapely lips. As the substance naturally occurs in humans and all animals, allergic reactions are rare. According to the ASPS, nearly 490,000 hyaluronic acid injection procedures were performed in 2005. Captique™ is another soft tissue filler made of hyaluronic acid which received FDA approval in 2004. Hylaform® Hylaform Plus® are soft tissue fillers composed of hyaluronic acid extracted from rooster combs - both received FDA approval in 2004.
Two additional soft tissue fillers being studied for their wrinkle reducing and volume-adding qualities are Artefill® (formerly Artecoll®) and Radiesse™ (formerly Radiance™). Artefill® is a permanent "micro-implant" to fill facial wrinkles and lines, which is currently used in Europe, Canada and Mexico. RadiesseTM is composed of calcium hydroxylapatite (a material found in bone), which has been used in the body for multiple applications including cheek and chin implants. RadiesseTM is injected into the face adding volume through microspheres that are suspended in polysaccharide carriers until encapsulation occurs. This product may last up to 2 years. Another filler, Sculptra®, which is made of synthetic polylactic acid contained in microspheres, can be used to restore volume to the face of HIV patients suffering from facial lipoatrophy.
Today many patients want maximum results with minimal down time. These nonsurgical procedures can postpone the need for a facelift especially in the younger patients with minimal effects of aging. Many patients will consider a more limited facelift or "threadlift" procedure to get the results of a standard facelift with much less recovery time. However, patients need to be aware that the results from these limited facelifts or "threadlifts" will not last as long or be as effective as a standard facelift. If a patient has a significant amount of excess skin in the neck and jowel area, a limited facelift or "threadlift" will not remove all of this skin. The results may look good for 6 months, but after that they may start to look like they did before the surgery and be unhappy with the results. Also many of these "threadlifts" are done by non-plastic surgeons (Physicians performing Plastic Surgery procedures not certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery) who do not have the experience or training to perform a traditional facelift and can only offer a "threadlift" that they learned at a weekend seminar.
Whatever new product, surgical technique, or new technology comes out on the "talk shows" or news media, it is important to consult with Dr. Fedele to see how safe the products or procedures are, or how much we know about them. Often there is a lot of hype associated with "New" Plastic Surgery techniques and they may only be a short-lived Fad. Dr. Fedele does not experiment on his patients. He will investigate new techniques or products to see what kind of risks are associated with them and what benefits they have. After careful review of the literature and the clinical trials he will incorporate them into his practice if they have a proven benefit to his patients with acceptable risks.
This Website and Digital Images contained herein Copyright © GM Fedele, MD, 2007 All Rights Reserved; The information contained in this website including patient digital images may not be reproduced or distributed electronically or in print without permission from Dr. Fedele.
Dr. Fedele, a native of the Cleveland area, and his staff at the Center for Plastic & Cosmetic Surgery, has been serving the communities of Akron, Beachwood, Canton, Chagrin Falls, Gates Mills, Lakewood, Lyndhurst, Mayfield, Mentor, Moreland Hills, Pepper Pike, Westlake, Willoughby, and the counties of Cuyahoga, Geauga, Lake, Summit and all of Northeastern Ohio for more than seven years.