Soft tissue fillers, also known as injectable implants or dermal fillers, are a minimally invasive cosmetic procedure used to fill in fine wrinkles on the face and increase fullness to targeted areas.
According to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, there were 2,301,673 soft tissue filler procedures performed in 2014.
Choosing Soft Tissue Fillers
Aging, sun exposure, and many other factors cause the loss of collagen and hyaluronic acid in the skin, creating wrinkles and lines on the face. Soft tissue fillers injected into the face can restore the look of healthy, fresh skin.
Patients choose to have soft tissue fillers if they want to treat conditions like:
- Facial creases and wrinkles
- Uneven facial contours
- Sagging skin
- Scar tissue
- Thin lips
Soft tissue fillers are most commonly used around the mouth, eyes, cheeks, jaw line, brow, or nose, or on the lips.
The average cost of soft-tissue filler procedures is $592, though prices will vary widely based on the type of filler used, the size of the targeted area, and the number of sessions needed.
Types of Soft Tissue Fillers
There are many different types of soft fillers with results ranging from temporary to permanent.
Temporary fillers can be made of three different materials: collagen, hyaluronic acid, or calcium. Collagen is a protein that is naturally occurring in the skin where it provides structure.
Collagen fillers can be derived from human or animal skin. Collagen fillers are still used but they have been replaced in popularity by the newer methods of hyaluronic acid and calcium fillers.
Hyaluronic acid-based fillers are also naturally derived: it works in the body to carry essential nutrients from the blood to the skin cells. In addition to its cosmetic benefits, it can also be injected into the joints of people suffering from arthritis. When injected into the skin it adds structure and added body and brings water to the surface of the skin to keep it fresh and flexible. Hyaluronic acid-based fillers are some of the most popular soft tissue fillers and are marketed under name brands like Juvederm, Captique, and Prevelle.
Calcium hydroxylapatite fillers are made of the minerals that help bones keep their strength. Theses fillers provide more dramatic results and are often used in reconstructive surgery.
Semi-Permanent and Permanent
Patients may also choose to have semi-permanent or permanent fillers injected. Semi-permanent fillers are usually made of synthetic materials like poly-L-lactic acid. Permanent fillers are usually made of polymethylmethacrylate (PMMA).
Semi-permanent and permanent fillers are not suitable for all parts of the body. Talk to your doctor or healthcare professional to decide which fillers are best for you.
Another permanent options for fillers is fat taken from the patient's own body. A doctor will perform liposuction on one part of the body (usually the buttocks, thighs, lower back, or abdomen), and will inject this fat into targeted areas. The body does re-absorb a portion of the fat, and like natural fat, it will continue to fade with age.
Silicone injections are not approved by the FDA and should not be used as injectable fillers. Patients should be wary of any healthcare professional offering silicone injections.
Soft Tissue Filler Procedures
Before the procedure the healthcare professional will talk with the patient about the objectives of the procedure. The healthcare professional will mark injection points on the skin, and cleanse the injection site and surrounding area. Some form of numbing agent, like ice or topical gel, may be used for comfort. The filler will be injected with a thin needle. Multiple sessions may be needed to achieve desired results.
Results from the procedure will be immediate. Patients may also experience swelling, bruising, and redness at the injection site for the first few days.
Results will remain for different amount of times depending on the type of filler chosen.
Risks of Soft Tissue Fillers
- Allergic reaction to injected material
- Migration or the movement of the filler away from the injection site
- Leak of filler through the skin
- Hard nodules
- Damage to the skin or lips
The healthcare professional should discuss all possible risks with patients before the procedure. Soft tissue fillers should first be tested on small sites on the skin to make sure the patient will not have an allergic reaction to the material.
Medical Malpractice and Soft Tissue Fillers
Soft tissue fillers can cause serious problems when the patient suffers an allergic reaction or when the fillers migrate away from the injection site.
If you or a loved one has suffered a serious injury from a soft tissue filler procedure, you will need an experienced medical malpractice attorney. Call Gilman & Bedigian today to schedule a free consultation and to learn more about your legal rights. Our skilled attorneys protect Maryland residents from injuries that result from medical negligence.