What is a dermal filler?
At Halcyon Skin, two types of fillers are used. One of these resembles a natural sugar molecule found in the skin and acts like a "pillow" to replace lost volume. It can be dissolved if the result is undesirable or if there are complications. The other type of fillers stimulate the skin to produce collagen and are not reversible. Both groups of fillers are not permanent and will be absorbed by the body over time. The individual characteristics of the filler and where they are placed dictate how long they last, which is generally 6-24 months.
The filler is injected by a very fine needle or cannula either into wrinkles or more commonly into areas highlighted for volume replacement to create more attractive curves and lines, such as those found in the lips, cheeks and the jaw line and to deal with excess skin in the lower face or “jowls.”
Why have filler?
Dermal fillers assist in achieving a more youthful appearance. They are particularly good at restoring volume to combat the sagging of ageing around the cheek and lower face. They help define and plump lips and can also be used to soften static lines such as those found around the mouth.
How are the injections performed?
Before any procedure takes place Dr Lizzy will personally assess what is possible, discuss your expectations and highlight any risks. A treatment plan will be formulated that suits your budget. You will then be asked to sign a consent form. A photo will be taken before the procedure and placed in your confidential file*. You may like to bring a photo or image showing what you hope to achieve, but this is not essential.
The area of the face is cleaned and a topical anaesthetic ointment is applied. If pain is an issue a very fine injection of anaesthetic will be offered to numb the lips. The dermal filler is then injected with a fine needle or cannula. The procedure will take 30 to 90 minutes depending on the areas treated.
* Images taken will only be used for medical documentation and training purposes and will not be available to third parties.
What are the risks?
No procedure is without risks and it is important you are aware of these risks prior to undergoing any treatment. It is also important to understand that whilst all effort is made to achieve your desired look, the practice of cosmetic enhancement is imperfect.
The most common side effects include redness, swelling and bruising. Bruising can last 4-14 days. You will receive a complimentary sample of a specially formulated bruise concealer in the event of noticeable bruising. The lips are particularly prone to swelling following treatment. However, this usually subsides over the subsequent two to three days. Lumps, bumps and unevenness are also risks with filler injections. Lumps can often be moulded down and usually settle after a few weeks as the material integrates in the tissue. Please allow at least two weeks, ideally four, between filler treatment and an important event.
If you are planning lip enhancement and suffer cold sores, a medication will be offered to limit the risk of an outbreak. Please inform us if you suffer cold sores before you attend for your lip filler.
To limit bruising please refrain from anti-inflammatories, and high dose ginko, garlic or fish oil for at least 3 days, ideally 5 (aspirin 7 days) prior to the procedure. If you take aspirin or other blood thinners for medical purposes, please inform us well in advance of your appointment.
The more serious side effects include the formation of lumps of inflammatory tissue called granulomas, infection at the site and also compromise of blood flow to tissue caused by inadvertent injection of the filler into an artery. This can lead to tissue necrosis. There have been cases of blindness reported in the literature. Should you decide to choose a different clinic to Halycon Skin, we strongly recommend you have your filler performed by a trained doctor who understands facial anatomy.
Please tell us if you have any allergies, particularly severe allergy to bee stings. Severe allergic reactions have been reported with the use of the reversing/dissolving agent, hyaluronidase, in those with anaphylaxis to bee stings.
How many treatments will I need?
The duration of effect of the filler depends on the consistency of the product. The lips for example may require two treatments in the first year then annual “top-ups”. Firmer fillers used in the cheek and jaw area last between 9-24 months. Filler used in the lower face tends to wear off faster than that used in the upper face due to the movement of this area.
Is it painful?
There may be an element of discomfort. However, there are ways of numbing the area to render the procedure well tolerated. Firstly, the use of topical anaesthetic eliminates most of the discomfort. Secondly the products now include anaesthetic, which has made them much less painful. Thirdly, for the lips, we can add a local anaesthic injection, which blocks the nerve fibres that transmit the pain signal. If, at any time during the procedure you are in discomfort please say so.
What should I expect after treatment?
There will be an immediate difference, which is always satisfying. However, the area may swell a little over the subsequent 24-72hrs. This is particularly so with lips. If there is excessive swelling immediately after the injection, it may indicate an allergic reaction, which is rare. This can be managed with medication.
Over the subsequent 2-6 weeks the dermal filler will integrate into your tissues.
It is a good idea to take it easy for 24 hours following your dermal filler injection. Avoid lying on the area injected, touching or compressing the area and avoid intense exercise as this may increase the risk of swelling and bruising. If you can, sleep on your back and avoid sleeping face down for a few days at least.
For two weeks after the injection avoid flying, facials, laser treatments or chemical peels. Avoid prolonged exposure to sunlight, UV light and extremes in temperature such as that found in saunas and spas.
Please do not book invasive dental treatments within 3 weeks of dermal fillers. If you need emergency dental treatment within 3 weeks of tissue fillers, please tell your dentist and consider antibiotic coverage.
Seek medical treatment immediately if you feel you are getting a cold sore within three weeks of treatment. Start anti-viral medication available from the pharmacist if you are unsure.
What if I do not like the result?
Remember that most filler integrates into the tissues over two to six weeks. Sometimes a bump will be palpable and this too will soften into the tissues. Part of the service here at Halcyon Skin includes the option of a follow-up appointment, either in person or over the phone to assess the outcome and level of satisfaction. Whilst we strive to meet your expectations, please remember the practice of cosmetic medicine is not perfect. Most people’s faces are asymmetric before they have fillers. Reassuringly, the fillers used at Halcyon Skin are not permanent and will disappear over time. Most fillers can be dissolved by the injection of a reversing agent. This agent is not suitable for those with severe allergy to bee stings. Please inform Dr Lizzy before your procedure if this applies to you.
It is difficult to estimate the cost of filler as each face is different and requires a different volume of different products to achieve a desired effect. Please contact us for an obligation-free consultation and quote.