Soft tissue fillers, or “fillers” in short, are products which are intended to fill up defects in the soft tissues, typically wrinkles, folds and dents in the face. Some fillers are intended to add volume, for example to the cheekbone or the chin and are often used for lip enhancement. There are many products on the market. The most important distinction is between non-permanent fillers, which disappear spontaneously after a while, and the permanent fillers, which stay embedded in the tissues forever. Most non-permanent fillers are quite safe to use, but here also it is advisable to demand fillers that are generally accepted, or FDA approved, such the ones based on hyaluronic acid, collagen and calcium hydroxylapatite microspheres. Fillers are injected directly into the area to be treated, often after application of a topical anaesthetic cream. The effect is immediate, and lasts between 2-18 months, depending on the type of product and the treated area.

Always demand to know which product your physician is going to use.

  • Length

    Approximately 10-20 minutes.

  • Anesthesia

    Usually topical anaesthetic cream, sometimes a local anaesthetic injection.

  • Inpatient – Outpatient

    Outpatient.

  • Possible Side Effects

    Transient swelling (mainly lips), redness, tenderness, bruising. Cold application after treatment can minimize these side effects.

  • Risks

    There is widespread consensus that, although they may seem appealing, permanent fillers are not to be recommended lightly as they sometimes induce adverse reactions which are very difficult if not totally impossible to treat without surgery. For all fillers, risks include irregularities or lumpiness, over- or under-correction, asymmetry and infection. Permanently visible lumps or late reactions with some permanent fillers can result.

  • Recovery

    If present, swelling and redness usually settles after 24-48 hours. Most patients can go back to their activities immediately with some make-up.

  • Results

    Partial or complete correction of wrinkles and folds. Enhancement of facial features. 

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