Filler FACTS by Westport Plastic Surgeon, Dr. Joseph O’Connell
You’ve heard about injectable fillers for years and they’re almost as popular as Botox – but they’re different. Here’s what you need to know:
- Injectable fillers are products that are used to “volumize” – that’s why they’re known as “plumpers.” Fillers are most commonly used to soften lines and wrinkles on the face but they can also be used to enhance and rejuvenate larger areas like the cheeks, jawline, hands and temples.
- We’re in a time that I call the “era of designer fillers” – where it’s extremely important to use the right filler for the right application. I use different fillers to enhance the cheeks and under eye hollows and other fillers to soften the “parenthesis lines” that run from the base of your nose toward your mouth. One size doesn’t fit all so it’s important to make sure your doctor has an array of the latest fillers on hand.
- Fillers must be injected under meticulously sterile conditions – that’s why I don’t like to see them used in hair salons or at “Botox parties” in private homes. Because of our training and expertise in sterile surgical technique and our knowledge of anatomy, plastic surgeons are the most qualified to inject fillers.
- Reversible fillers, like the Juvederm and Restylane families are safest but you should ask your provider if they have the “antidote” (hyaluronidase) on hand – this is critical in the rare situation where product inadvertently is injected into a blood vessel.
- What may seem like a bargain at the outset can end up costing you more because fillers need to be injected precisely in the correct level of the skin and adjacent tissue.
- Ask about the training and background of anyone proposing to inject you with filler. “Aesthetic medicine” is not a recognized specialty and “aesthetic physicians ” are not recognized by the American Board of Medical Specialties. To obtain the best results I personally inject all Botox and fillers myself – I’m a double board certified plastic surgeon with over 35 years surgical experience.