Soft Tissue Fillers/Dermal Fillers The Woodlands
What are soft tissue fillers?
Soft tissue fillers are sometimes known as “fillers” or “dermal fillers”. Fillers are a non-surgical in-office procedure that function by adding volume to the areas injected. Fillers that we use most often at The Lind Institute of Plastic Surgery are temporary and consist of hyaluronic acid, a naturally occurring substance in our bodies. There are other fillers that we use, on occasion, that are considered semi-permanent and permanent.
Who benefits From Soft Tissue Fillers
Soft tissue fillers have a wide array of uses in plastic surgery. Fillers can be used to fill in deep lines and some wrinkles on the face. The most common areas that are injected for this application are the nasolabial folds (deep area that runs from the corner of the nose to the corner of the mouth) and the tear trough (deep area at the junction of the lower eyelid and the cheek). A deep tear trough can make a client looked aged and can give the appearance of having bags around the eyes. Other areas with wrinkles and deep lines can also be injected.
Fillers can also be used to add volume to the cheeks and jaw line in some clients. As we age, we loose volume in these areas. Increasing the volume, especially in the cheeks, can result in a firmer, rounder, more youthful appearance.
Lastly, in our practice, a common application is using soft tissue fillers for lip augmentation. A sign of a youthful, beautiful face are nice, full lips. This can be easily achieved with dermal fillers. However, the philosophy in our practice is not to overdo the injections in this location, as we do not want to give clients the “duck bill” appearance from over augmentation of the upper lip.
It is important for our clients to know that some of the applications we use soft tissue fillers for are not FDA approved but are widely accepted by the plastic surgery community. These off-label uses will be discussed with you during your consultation.
Soft tissue filler procedure
If you have a history of cold sores you will need to take a prophylactic antiviral medication before and after the procedure in order to prevent an outbreak. If feasible, you will also need to stop all prescription and over-the-counter medications that can lead to excessive bleeding. Female clients should wear minimal make-up when coming in for soft tissue fillers. The face will be cleaned and a numbing cream will be placed on the skin. In clients that are going to be undergoing more extensive injections, especially into the cheeks, tear troughs, or lips, nerve blocks can be performed if the client desires. This is a huge advantage when having your fillers performed by a plastic surgeon as med spas and other specialist typically will not and cannot perform nerve blocks. The nerve blocks really decrease the discomfort that you feel during the procedure. The soft tissue filler injections will be performed in the areas that are discussed and agreed on. During the injections, the areas will be massaged and smoothed out to achieve the desired effect. Ice packs will be used during the procedure to decrease the bleeding and bruising that can occur. At The Lind Institute of Plastic Surgery, the plastic surgeon performs all of the injections. The in-office procedure will take about 25-45 minutes. Your results will be immediate.
As a part of the normal aging process, volume can be lost in the lips and in the face. Loosing volume in the face can cause the eyes to look sunken in. It can also make your cheeks look hollowed out. This decrease in volume will also make the skin appear loose. A youthful face has lots of volume in the right locations.
Volume can also be lost in the lips over time. This can make the lips look thin, and in some cases, can even make the lip hard to see. Loosing volume in the corner of the lips (oral commissures) can also cause the corners to turn down giving the appearance of a sad look. Unfortunately, genetics can also play a roll in clients having decreased volume or thinness in the lips. In this circumstance, younger clients could also benefit from lip enhancement.
YOUR TREATMENT OPTIONS: Soft tissue fillers/dermal fillers, fat transfers
Soft Tissue Filler Post-operative care
After the injections, some redness and swelling will occur. The redness will go away, usually within 24 hours. In some clients, bruising and bleeding can occur but this is usually very mild. If bruising occurs, it can be easily hidden with make-up for the female clients. The bruising and swelling will usually resolve in one to two weeks.
Clients should avoid strenuous activity for the remainder of the day. Also, the areas that are injected should not be massaged as it can cause the product to migrate. Clients can return to work the same day as the procedure and physical activity can be resumed the following day.
Soft tissue fillers are a very low risk procedure. As mentioned previously, complications can include some local redness, bruising, and swelling. On occasion, you may also be able to feel lumps or bumps in the injected areas. This is actually the soft tissue filler. These will go away over time and typically are not visible. If they are troublesome, an injection of a different product (hyaluronidase) can dissolve the lumps. Other rare complications can occur and will be discussed with you during your consultation.
The results of the temporary soft tissue fillers typically will last between six to 12 months. Repeat injections will be needed in order to continue enjoying the youthful results.
Jeffrey G. Lind II, MD and The Lind Institute of Plastic Surgery offer professional and high-level care for soft tissue filler clients in The Woodlands and Houston, Texas area.