Elective facial surgeries are an increasingly popular way for patients to smooth and fill in wrinkles, shore up sagging skin and reduce the visible signs of aging. In the past, facial rejuvenation involved surgical procedures designed to tighten the skin. Nowadays, the focus is more preventative in nature, with many patients opting for non-surgical treatment involving injectable facial fillers.
What Kind of Fillers Are Available?
A variety of soft tissue fillers for facial rejuvenation are available based on a patient’s needs and preferences. There are four main categories: autologous implants, collagens, hyaluronic acids and biosynthetic polymers. Each has unique advantages and disadvantages.
Autologous (derived from the body) implants use the patient’s own fat. The procedure is safe and inexpensive, and there’s an abundant supply; however, donor site morbidity (complications at the excision site) may occur and the fat must be processed.
Collagen, either human or bovine (derived from a cow), is another popular alternative. It is safe and reliable, but donor morbidity may be an issue when human collagen is used, and bovine collagen produces allergic reactions in a small percentage of patients. Results are short-term, typically lasting two to six months.
Hyaluronic acids are naturally occurring tissue compounds that help to lubricate the tissues. They are safe and reliable, but results are short-term and there is an increased risk of post-procedural pain, swelling and bruising.
Biosynthetic polymers are a popular alternative due to their cost-effectiveness and long-term results – many last for at least a year, and some, such as silicone, offer permanent results. Long-term side effects may be an issue in some patients.
What Alternative Options Are There?
Another popular option for facial rejuvenation is Botox. Unlike injectable fillers that add volume to the skin in order to decrease or “fill in” facial lines and wrinkles, Botox works by temporarily paralyzing the muscles to relax the skin. It has been a popular treatment for over a decade and has proven results, but repeat injections are needed at least every six months.
Not every option may be viable for you. If you are considering facial rejuvenation injections, speak with your doctor to come up with a treatment plan suitable for your needs.
Call ENT Specialists of Arizona at (480) 894-5550 for more information or to schedule an appointment.