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Fillers are gel-like substances that are injected beneath the skin to add fullness and reduce the signs of ageing. This is a minimally-invasive procedure that can enhance a youthful appearance without the need for surgery and its associated downtime. However, their results are generally more subtle and less dramatic than those achievable through surgical procedures, such as a facelift.
Filler injections can achieve the following:• Reduce fine lines or wrinkles on the face• Restore volume to sunken cheeks and temples• Plump and enhance the lips• Fill in or soften recessed scars e.g. acne scars
There are many different types of fillers available, most of which are absorbable. Their results may last from as little as 6 months to a couple of years, depending on the product and person. Repeated filler injections will be required to maintain your new improved appearance. While fillers have a good track record of safety, they are not recommended for women who are pregnant or breastfeeding. You should also discuss any pre-existing health conditions or medications with your plastic surgeon as some of these may increase the risk of filler injections. The ProcedureFiller injections are routinely performed in an office-based setting. After consultation and examination, your plastic surgeon will determine with you the type of filler which will best suit your needs. This will depend on what problems you want to correct and the quality of your skin.
A topical anaesthetic cream may be applied first to minimize the discomfort during the procedure. Multiple injections are usually required, but these are generally well-tolerated. If the procedure goes smoothly, you will be able to go home soon afterwards. There is minimal downtime, and you can usually resume your normal activities within the next couple of days.
After the ProcedureYou should be able to notice the results immediately after receiving the injections. Redness, swelling, pain and bruising are relatively common side effects afterwards. These usually settle within 7 to 14 days. Depending on the type of filler that was injected, your results may last anywhere from several months to a couple of years. Your plastic surgeon will advise you when you need to repeat the treatment in order to maintain your results. Understanding the RisksAlthough filler injections are generally quick and safe office-based procedures, possible complications include:• Prolonged swelling and bruising• Infection• Allergy• Asymmetry• Nodules around the injection sites• Injury to blood vessels• Blindness, which occurs when the filler is accidentally injected into an artery which results in blockage of blood flow to the eyes• Tissue death, which occurs due to blockage of blood flow to the skin
Some of these complications are uncommon but devastating and may require emergency intervention or surgery to treat.