Posted on August 12th, 2014
Posted by Julene Samuels
One of my all-time favorite “quick-fixes” has to be a quick injection of Juvederm, Restylane or Perlane. It’s a fast, affordable, no down-time procedure to remove folds, scars, wrinkles, and fine lines…or a quick way to lift the corners of the mouth… or give shape or volume to the lips…or erase lip lines. Fillers are used in localized areas of the face to plump things up a bit. They are naturally-occurring sugars, well-tolerated by the body, because they are normally found in the deep layer of skin known as the dermal layer (or collagen layer). A natural consequence of the aging process is loss of collagen and fat, and fillers provide a quick way to restore both. The ideal place for a filler is in the nasolabial folds outside the mouth, the prejowl sulcus, the tear trough (although I prefer Sculptra here), and the lips (my favorite!). Because they are made of a material naturally found in the dermis, there is no need for skin testing and few side effects have been reported. It takes about 20 minutes to inject these products, results are seen immediately and last up to 9 to 12 months or more. The only side effects seen include slight bruising at the injection site in about 10% of patients, although if patients consume aspirin or non-steriodal anti-inflammatories on a regular basis, we advise patients to discontinue these medications for several days prior to an injection. For the heavy bruiser, we administer an herbal combination of arnica and bromelaine 2 days before injection. Juvederm and Restylane are similar, with slight differences in the amount of crosslinking of the hyaluronic acid gel, and are also used in the lips, either to smoothe fine lines at the vermilion border, or to give shape and/or fullness to the lips themselves. Beware…fillers to the lips can be addictive if performed correctly (ie, artistically)! My least favorite thing is poorly done lips…and my most favorite thing is well treated lips! Fillers to the lips can smoothe the fine lines as well as give that “Cupid’s Bow” shape back. The goal is not always to enhance volume, although we can certainly shoot for that result in the thin-lipped patient. But too often, I see big lips that have become larger at the expense of shape. In the attempt to add volume, loss of all of the pretty Cupid’s Bow shape might occur…I call these lips “sausage up and sausage down” = UGH. Hence, my affinity for injecting lips…it requires an artist’s eye.
The typical cost of a filler injection is anywhere from $500 to $650 per syringe, and most injections require one to two syringes…occasionally more, depending on the patient. Perlane is a product used for fine lines, but is also a naturally occurring sugar well-tolerated by all patients. Many patients combine these products in a single treatment.
So if you are not quite ready for a facelift…don’t despair! Cheating is always allowed! Call us and see what you might have been missing!