Dermal fillers are effective treatments used to soften and reduce wrinkles and deep lines, fill out the cheeks and smooth facial contours. There are four main types of injectable dermal fillers, including fat, collagen, hyaluronic acid, and microsphere-containing carriers of another material such as polymethyl methacrylate (PMMA). These fillers are described in more detail below.
Fat harvested from a part of the patient’s body such as the thighs, buttocks, or abdomen is re-injected into areas of the face that have started to lose fat. This can improve facial fullness, fill in wrinkles and build up hollow areas. A blunt cannula is used to inject harvested fat droplets into the facial areas that require treatment. The grafted fat then develops a new blood supply in order to survive.
As living tissue, the fat needs to be handled gently; improper placement of volumes that are too large can lead to the tissue failing to “take.” Slow, incremental placement increases the chance of the tissue being able to form the required blood supply. The success rate varies between individuals, based on a variety of factors. However, once the blood supply is established, the graft usually “blossoms” for about 18 months after the surgery.
When this happens, the graft can become a permanent part of the soft facial tissue, which provides much better results than the use of synthetic fillers, which usually requires follow-up treatments at least once a year.
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