If you’re considering injectable fillers in the San Francisco Bay Area…
A telltale sign of aging is the development of expression lines in your face: wrinkles that result from the repeated movement of certain facial muscles. Your face also loses fullness over time. This is the result of sun exposure, heredity, and lifestyle. There are surgical options, such as a blepharoplasty (eyelid surgery) which can help with puffiness around the eyes, or for rejuvenation of the face and neck a patient may consider a face lift. San Francisco patients are active patients and they often need minimal-downtime procedures which, for moderate facial aging, will usually be injectable fillers, also known as dermal fillers. These fillers, such as Restylane, Radiesse and Sculptra can soften facial lines and creases and restore volume and fullness in the face. In some cases, they can ease the appearance of recessed scars. This section will familiarize you with the procedure before you contact a San Francisco Bay Area cosmetic surgery clinic. Here you will discover:
- what you can realistically expect from dermal fillers
- whether you’re a candidate for injectable fillers
- the best options and alternatives available to you
- how the injection is done
Once you’ve reviewed the benefits that injectable fillers offer, you’ll want to set up a consultation visit with Dr. Mosser in his office or in one of his San Francisco plastic surgery locations to discuss your specific goals. In this relaxed environment, he will be able to explain to you:
- whether or not injectable fillers make sense for you
- the alternatives for meeting your specific goals
- the step-by-step injection procedure that you will undergo
- the outcome you can reasonably expect along with risks and possible complications of injectable fillers
What exactly are injectable fillers? There are several kinds. Some are natural substances that come from the body. Others are synthetic forms of these substances. And in some cases, they may be fat cells from your own body. Chemical structure is only one way fillers are different from each other. Each has a different preferred application and duration for its results.
- Collagen, for example, is a protein manufactured by your own body, which supports the skin. Injectable filler forms which are made from human skin include Cosmoderm® and Cosmoplast®. Zyderm® and Zyplast®, on the other hand, are derived from bovine collagen and require allergy testing before they’re used.
- Restylane® is likewise a natural hyaluronic acid, which is found in our bodies. It is often used to fill out some surface wrinkles and concave scars. It’s also used to fill facial creases and to plump up lips. Its effects last six months or longer.
Radiesse®, a natural compound found in human bones, can fill deeper creases, such as marionette lines and frown lines. It can enhance the fullness of cheeks and accentuate certain facial contours. Its effects last two years or longer.
- Sculptra® is a longer-term injectable filler that induces your own body to produce more of its natural collagen. It has been used extremely successfully replacing facial volume lost in certain medical conditions, and now is becoming a very popular facial filler.
The big decisions for anyone undergoing a filler treatment are: what areas are you treating and how long do you want the results to last. As long as you are clear on these two questions, the best option for filling is often easy to decide.
When discussing fillers for rejuvenation, I like to begin with this important observation about aging: in the most simple terms, shadows make us look older. I’m talking here about the shadows that appear from wrinkles, lines, eyelid fat bags and hollow or flat cheek areas. When we were all young, there were almost no shadows in the face. We had tighter skin, more volume, and therefore a more rounded, convex shape, and the light bounced off our faces in all directions.
As we age, there are different types of shadows that form on the face, from fine lines to jowls, but all have in common that they are telling us and often the world around us that we are looking older.
Fillers literally fill these shadows and make them better or sometimes can make them disappear, and this is the key to their success. We’ll come back to the concept of shadows as we make our way through the available options.
There are a few treatments such as lip augmentation or cheek shaping which are not for aging and instead are to augment beauty. So when we discuss these treatment areas during a consultation, we don’t focus on shadows but instead focus on the patient goals for what they find to be a goal for beauty.
Differences between the filler options:
To get a grasp on the differences between fillers, it’s important for us to focus on several ways in which these fillers differ:
Filler category (based on the filler’s main ingredient)
Best facial areas to use the filler
Duration of the result
Amount of volume (cubic centimeters, or cc’s) gained with a treatment
The economic ‘value’ of a treatment compared to the others (this is different from the price – I’ll explain below).