Unlike BOTOX® Cosmetic, dermal fillers do not affect muscle activity. Instead, these injectable products enhance appearance by adding volume. Some time ago, plastic surgeons discovered that volume loss occurs in the aging face. Volume loss can be as responsible for an aged appearance as skin laxity. In fact, soft tissue volume loss contributes to skin laxity. Rather than routinely tightening loose, wrinkled skin, plastic surgeons realized that adding volume often avoids, or at least postpones, more invasive procedures. With a variety of fillers to choose from, our doctors can soften facial folds and wrinkles, augment lips and cheeks, enhance facial contours, and even improve recessed scars.
Our board-certified plastic surgeons—Dr. Brian Braithwaite and Dr. Lorri Cobbins—have extensive experience with the full range of injectable fillers and they will select the most appropriate product to meet your needs. FDA-approved fillers are grouped into categories based on the active component of the product. The largest group of fillers contains hyaluronic acid, or HA, a naturally occurring skin substance that provides volume and hydration. HA products include Juvéderm®, JUVÉDERM VOLUMA™, Restylane®, Perlane®, and Prevelle™ Silk. These products can reduce facial wrinkles, restore volume to the cheeks and midfacial region, soften nasolabial folds, and augment lips. Due to their natural composition, they do not require skin testing prior to treatment. Depending on their location, most HA products last at least six months, though JUVÉDERM VOLUMA™ has been clinically-proven to last up to two years in many instances. The collagen group includes Cosmoderm® and Cosmoplast®. Collagen is a natural protein that is abundant in skin. These fillers work well to eliminate lip lines, fine lines and wrinkles, and acne scars. No skin testing is required and results typically last two to four months. Hyaluronic acid and collagen products may be readily combined with BOTOX® Cosmetic, which often extends their longevity.
More durable products include Radiesse® and Sculptra®. Radiesse® contains calcium-based microspheres and stimulates collagen production in treated areas. This product can augment cheekbones and improve deep nasolabial folds and marionette lines. Radiesse® is also FDA-approved for facial lipoatrophy. Our doctors often mix Radiesse® with local anesthetic for improved patient comfort. No skin testing is required and results usually last at least 1 year. Sculptra® contains polylactic acid microparticles which are similar to components found in absorbable suture. Sculptra® also stimulates collagen production to increase skin thickness but requires a series of treatments several weeks apart. Sculptra® is a global filler and has a variety of applications, including hand rejuvenation. This product is also FDA-approved for facial lipoatrophy. No skin testing is required and Sculptra® lasts for at least two years. Our doctors have extensive experience treating facial lipoatrophy patients with Sculptra®.
To determine if you are a good candidate for injectable fillers, your doctor will review your health history during your consultation. After understanding your goals and desires, we will carefully examine your facial regions and create an individualized treatment plan and explain it to you. If you elect to proceed with treatment, your doctor will inject soft tissue fillers with very small needles. We offer local anesthetic or topical anesthetic cream to minimize discomfort during the injections. Results are obvious immediately. Bruising is infrequent and any swelling is temporary. BOTOX® Cosmetic can be added to most filler treatments. We recommend avoiding strenuous exercise just after treatment but patients may drive and return to work immediately.
For more information about injectable fillers or to schedule a consultation at our Chicago plastic surgery practice, please contact us via email or call (312) 361-8108 today.