It is universally accepted that as we age, we lose volume from the fat pockets of our face. The hollowing or depressions are mostly evident under the eye, mid cheek, temples and in the areas where folds are formed such as nasolabial folds, marionette lines and prejowl areas.
Restoration of volume in these areas has a rejuvenating effect on face. Fillers, as the name suggests, are injectables that replace volume, where volume is lost. Fillers can be synthetic or natural. A natural filler is our own body fat. A synthetic filler is Hyaluronic acid.
Hyaluronic acid or NASHA ( Non Animal Stabilised Hyaluronic acid ) is a popular synthetic injectable filler marketed by many renowned companies with various trade names.
These are completely inert products that are cleared by our body slowly by hydrolysis (converting to water). They are completely harmless with no side effects. Injecting these fillers is quite like giving an injection. The filler will fill the area restoring volume and hydrating the tissues. The longevity of the filler will depend on the cross linking or consistency. Some fillers are cleared by our body in six to eight months while some last up to two years.
Various companies have tried to increase its longevity or lifting capacity by adding various elements such as Hydroxy appatite, or collagen. However, there is an increase in complications such as granulomas or nodularity, infections etc. Hence, it is wise to ask your doctor which type of filler is going to be used and whether it has any risks before agreeing to have an injection done.
What are the advantages of synthetic fillers?
It is an Out patient procedure under local anaesthetic. It has minimal downtime. It is almost immediately possible to see the final result. Can be considered as a lunch time procedure.
What are the downsides of synthetic fillers?
Although with the technique we use, the amount or risk of bruising has reduced, there is still a minor risk of bruising, which may take up to some few weeks to disappear, if in case it happens. The other downside is the short life of the fillers.
What are the advantages of natural filler such as fat?
Fat is autologous, which means your own tissue. There is no risk of rejection. Fat is an excellent source of stem cells. These stem cells contribute to a rejuvenating effect.
What are the downsides of fat grafting as a filler?
Up to half of what we inject can get absorbed, so a bit of overfilling is necessary initially. The amount of bruising is sometimes more. There is a downtime, which may extend from a couple of weeks up to some required weeks, depending on the amount of swelling.
Who can have synthetic fillers?
Any adult over 18 years of age can have synthetic fillers provided they do not have any known allergy to the substance. Although allergy is very rare, it cannot be completely ruled out. Although considered safe, it is not recommended in pregnant women or severely immunocompromised
Can fillers be used for any indication other than rejuvenation?
Yes fillers can be used for volume augmentation or improvement of structure such as nose augmentation, chin or cheek augmentation. There are fillers available for breast or buttock augmentation, but as the volume required is more, Fat is a preferred fillers for such indications.
Is there pain during and after injection of a filler?
The actual process of injecting is done with the help of local anaesthetic. We have mastered the art of doing it with minimal pain or discomfort. Post operatively, the pain with both the procedures Is minimal. Almost no painkiller is required after a synthetic filler injection and a combiflam or a analgesic tablet such as voveran is enough after Fatgraftng.
How is the actual process done?
You will be awake and chatting during the procedure. You will be given a mirror to compare and see the result. The result is almost instantaneous during a synthetic filler injection. Fat grafting is a minor surgical procedure and requires more anaesthetic. Sometimes we opt for local anaesthesia with sedation. The results are not instantaneous..