Types of Injectable Fillers

Although injectable filler is a common facial cosmetic procedure in aesthetic salons and plastic surgery centres around the world, the cosmetic treatment is not new

As early as 1900, surgeons were adding volume to various facial features using paraffin wax! The “search for youth” has come a long way over the past century, with many different types of dermal filler now available.

have been around for 35 years.

Collagen Fillers

The majority of our skin tissues are made up of this protein called collagen. A purified form of collagen is usually derived from cows (bovine). When injected into soft tissue, it lasts approximately 3 months, which is the shortest amount of time before being assimilated back into the body. Collagen fillers are no longer popular and are barely used. They have been replaced with hyaluronic acid-based fillers.

Hyaluronic acid (HA) fillers are a naturally-occurring carbohydrate in our skin and cartilage (polysaccharide). When HA is combined with water, it swells and forms a gel-like substance. It is derived from bacteria or rooster combs. In recent years, HA fillers have been improved to last longer before being absorbed by our bodies, typically 6 to 12 months. Restylane, Perlane, Teosyal, Volbella, Redensity II, Voluma, and Juvéderm are popular HA fillers and are used extensively by our doctors at our facial cosmetic clinic in Yorkville, downtown Toronto. Calcium hydroxylapatite is a mineral we have in our bones and teeth. Particles of calcium hydroxyl are suspended in a water-based gel solution in order to inject. This type of filler can last up to 12 months. Radiesse is the most commonly known filler in this category, but is only appropriate to use in certain areas of the face such as the cheekbones.

Poly L lactic acid (PLLA) is a biodegradable man-made polymer filler

PLLA & PMMA Fillers

It has been used by the medical profession for years in absorbable stitches and bone screws. PLLA fillers are injected over a series of months and last approximately 2 years. PLLA filler is marketed under the name Sculptra. Polymethylmethacrylate (PMMA microspheres) is a non-biodegradable man-made polymer filler. It has been used extensively in surgery as bone cement. 20% microsphere particles are combined with 80% collagen gel to form the filler to inject. Eventually, when the microspheres break down, our bodies produce their own collagen to fill out the spaces. PMMA fillers require several sessions in order to create the necessary volume and may take up to 3 months to see full results. This semi-lasting filler was called Artefill, but was rebranded Bellafil in December 2014. Platelet-rich fibrin matrix (PRFM) fillers actually use the clients’ own platelets and are reinjected into areas needing more collagen stimulation. When doctors inject this filler, clotting occurs, forming a framework to fill the area. The most popular type of PRP therapy filler is known as Selphyl. Liquid silicone, once used by Hollywood celebrities, has not been approved for use in Canada as an injectable filler for facial contouring.

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