Injectables or Dermal Fillers are an excellent adjunct to facelift surgery and are an excellent option for those who are not yet candidates for a facelift.
What Are Injectable Dermal Fillers?
Injectable dermal fillers provide texture and volume to skin by filling in wrinkles. The injection can consist of either natural substances, such as fat or biocompatible artificial substances. Many patients choose to have Injectable dermal fillers in lieu of surgery, as the overall recovery time involved in an injection session is much less than that of a surgical procedure. However, dermal fillers cannot provide the same long lasting, natural results that a facelift or Dr. Slupchynskyj’s SLUPlift™ can.
What is a Liquid Facelift?
A “Liquid Facelift“ is a non-surgical procedure that is performed using temporary dermal or injectable facial fillers, like Juvéderm®, Restylane®™, Radiesse®™ or Sculptra®™ and BOTOX®. There is little to no downtime with a liquid facelift, which makes this facial rejuvenation option attractive to many looking to turn back the hands of time. While a liquid facelift might be an ideal treatment for some, the benefits are temporary. Therefore, repeat treatments are necessary, which can add up in terms of cost.
A liquid facelift will conceal or cover the effects of aging. However, this procedure cannot take the place of a facelift or mini facelift surgery, which achieves a true and permanent anatomical repositioning of aging tissues. Face lift surgery addresses skin laxity or excess skin, muscle position and fatty deposits, which a liquid facelift does not.
Fat Grafting, also known as fat transfer, can restore volume to the cheek area, hollowed lower eyelids, also known as orbital hollows, and can fill lines and deep wrinkles on the face. Unlike a liquid facelift, which employs injectable fillers to provide temporary results, the results of fat grafting can be permanent.
Researchers at the Feinberg School of Medicine at Northwestern University in Chicago conducted a review of injectable dermal fillers for patients looking for a fast, easy method to restore a younger appearance. The review studied the effectiveness of injections and compared different methods to each other, as well as to the standard facelift procedure. The review, published in the Journal of Plastic, Reconstructive & Aesthetic Surgery in 2009, stated that it was “imperative” that the operator or doctor performing the injections “understands these agents when treating patients with cosmetic complaints.”
How Do Dermal Fillers for Liquid Facelift Work?
The type of filler Dr. Slupchynskyj will apply to the patient’s problem areas depends highly on the needs of the individual patient. However, the patient must understand that the treatment of wrinkles through a liquid facelift with injectable dermal fillers is only a temporary measure. The skin typically reabsorbs the filler material within a few months.
Are Dermal Fillers for Liquid Facelift Safe?
In 2008, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) advised that out of the millions of procedures performed over the last ten years, most patients who had undergone the injections from non-licensed medical personnel, rather than from board certified facial plastic surgeons, reported complaints from side effects.
Why Should I Choose a Facial Plastic Surgeon to Do a Liquid Facelift with Dermal Fillers?
As part of their medical education, facial plastic surgeons receive rigorous training about the underlying anatomical structure of the face. They also have more experience with both the benefits and risks of injectable procedures.
What Substances Are Used as Dermal Fillers for Liquid Facelift?
FDA approves the use of both natural and artificial dermal fillers for liquid facelift. Dr. Slupchynskyj will advise his patients which material is best suited to his or her needs and desired results.
To perform liquid facelift with the use of this substance, Dr. Slupchynskyj harvests a portion of fat from another area of the patient’s body, cleans it, and then injects it into the areas of the face that would most benefit from the treatment. Since the fat comes from the patient’s own body, the risk of rejection or allergic reaction is practically zero. The one downside is that the body will reincorporate the fat cells away from the injection site. This means that the patient may need repeated liquid facelift treatments to achieve the final desired result. Some doctors have even injected more than what is needed during the initial treatment to make up for the eventual loss.
Hyaluronic Acid is another natural substance found to be highly effective as dermal filler for liquid facelift procedures. This substance occurs in the fluids that lubricate the joints and cartilages, and acts as a healing agent in damaged skin. When Dr. Slupchynskyj injects the hyaluronic acid gel, it performs much like an air cushion that lifts and supports facial tissues that may have experienced reduced volume or elasticity attributable to normal aging or skin damage. Hyaluronic Acid also lifts water to the skin’s surface and restores a fresh and supple appearance to the face. Several synthetic forms of hyaluronic acid have become popular materials for facial fillers, with brand names such as Juvéderm®™, Restylane®™, and Perlane®.
Collagen is a protein that makes up a major component of human skin. Collagen fibers provide a vital means of support for skin cells and the blood vessels that feed them nutrients. Collagen was also one of the key ingredients used in early dermal fillers. Today, the collagen injections that surgeons provide can come from humans, cattle, or pigs. Sometimes, manufacturers mix collagen derived from such sources artificial materials to maintain structural integrity and to prolong the time between follow-up visits.
A new type of filler combines 80 percent collagen gel with 20 percent polymethyl-methacrylate (PMMA) as a semi-permanent filler to fill in medium to deep wrinkles. A major ingredient in surgical implants, the FDA recently approved PMMA for use as a dermal filler for liquid facelift. Within a few months, the collagen in the injection breaks down, and the PMMA allows the body to produce its own natural collagen to fill in the wrinkles. The major disadvantage of PMMA is that it may require several liquid facelift treatments, and may take up to three months to see the complete results.
Radiesse®™ (Calcium Hydroxylapatite)
Another semi-permanent dermal filler used for liquid facelift is calcium hydroxylapatite, a compound found in human bones. Dr. Slupchynskyj may use this material in a liquid facelift procedure to fill in the nasolabial folds, as well as to give more fullness to the cheekbones. Dr. Slupchynskyj injects a solution of calcium hydroxylapatite in a water-based gel into the affected area. The calcium particles support the growth of new collagen proteins and restore a youthful look to the skin. The particles are hypoallergenic, do not migrate, and rarely carry any harmful side effects.
Previously used as a suturing material, studies and previous treatments have proven polylactic acid’s effectiveness at filling in lines around the lips and nose. Many doctors have used the material to create fuller lips and to decrease the folds between the nose and lips. The patient typically undergoes a monthly liquid facelift treatment for three months as the solution stimulates collagen growth at the injection site.
What About BOTOX®™?
Many patients use BOTOX®™, a form of neurotoxin, to smooth out wrinkles. BOTOX®™ acts to deaden the nerves around the injection site to prevent the facial muscles from contracting and producing wrinkles. However, since BOTOX® is a nerve agent, patients should not undergo this procedure without first consulting with a qualified surgeon and should never have the procedure done by an unqualified provider, especially when used for liquid facelift treatments.
How Can I Avoid Complications from Dermal Fillers for Liquid Facelift?
The best way to avoid complications from dermal fillers is to have the procedure conducted by a facial plastic surgeon with experience and training in the process. While many cosmetic practitioners may be familiar with how dermal fillers work, they may not have the qualifications or experience to understand the delicate structures of facial anatomy. A facial plastic surgeon will be more familiar with the potential complications involved in liquid facelift using dermal fillers, and will use his medical expertise to avoid the nerves, ligaments, and blood vessels around the injection site.