We have found that only certain injectable products offer worthwhile benefits, as follows:
Hyaluronic Acid Injectables
Hyaluronan (Hyaluronic acid or HA) is the jelly-like substance that is present in the human body ie, in our joints and is a component of human collagen. HA fillers were first developed in Sweden as a replacement for Collagen. The material comes in pre-filled syringes and the product comes in a variety of levels of viscosity. The correct material would be determed during a consultation, where the areas of concern would be identified. HA products were first used in the lips for lip enhancement, but now with the variety of products available, multipile areas of the face can now be treated to re-volumize an againg face; smooth folds and contour irregularities. HA Products are temporary in nature. Lip enhancement typically lasts 6 months although with product development, there is a new product on the market that lasts a year. Other areas of the face may last even longer. The product has no allergens so pre-testing is not required and they now also contain a local anaesthetic so that in combination with a topical anaesthetic cream the actual injections are now much less uncomfortable.
The biggest risk and or complications include bruising and swelling which last two to three days. Bruising does not often happen but patients are asked not to take anti-inflammatories ie, Avil, Ibuprofen or Asprin, for two weeks prior to injection. Omega 3′s, Vitamin E supplements and some herbal preparations can also act as blood thinners and increase the risk of bruising.
Experience with these fillers is now considerable, dating back for cosmetic use to the late 1990s in Canada, and even earlier in Europe.
Fat injections have limited benefit in the treatment of fine and medium wrinkles, but recent work has shown that part of aging is the gradual loss of fat from the face and therefore the fullness of the face. In a short operation, requiring between one and two hours, fat, is injected where it is needed in the face, filling out contours and plumping up the skin. It is taken by liposuction from another part of the body.
Introduction to Skin Fillers
We do not recommend the following injectable products:
Collagen in skin care creams and lotions is of absolutely no value. As a large protein molecule, it cannot penetrate through the upper layers of the skin.
Purified collagen protein has been injected into fine and medium wrinkles for about twenty years. A simple office visit is required and the injection takes only a few minutes. A skin test for allergy to the collagen is required, prior to treatments. It takes several days to see the results of the test, and many doctors feel a second skin test is worthwhile, to prevent allergic reactions to the injected collagen. Collagen treatments are moderately effective but the effects are relatively brief, lasting only three to six months. Most patients want more extensive and longer lasting improvement than collagen offers and are better waiting until they are prepared to undergo more definitive treatment.
I do not use injectable collagen to fill wrinkles and fine lines of the face. It certainly is not â€œreplacement therapy as described by the advertisements promoting it. It is made from animal collagen, and is broken down in human skin once injected. In fact your own collagen is in a balance, being constantly made and broken down.
Artecoll was another injectable which is now no longer available. Our concerns about it related to its content. It was is made up of acrylic (plastic) micro-spheres in a collagen base. Because of the microspheres, once injected, the selling point was that it was permanent (perhaps an advantage). But the flip side of this was it is very difficult to remove. While this offered a hope of permanent change, it makes problems difficult to treat, and we have seen difficulties arising from the injection of silicone in the past which make a less permanent injectable more attractive.
If you have had Artecoll® injected in the past:
We have some limited experience in removal of unsatisfactory results of Artecoll from lip injections. while final results have been satisfactory in the few cases we have done, the surgery can result in prolonged healing problems requiring months to settle and a final result which has ranged from excellent to merely acceptable.
For more information about non-surgical and surgical treatment options available at Broadway Cosmetic Plastic Surgery Center, contact our office at (604) 874-2078 or fill out our online form.