As it’s name suggest, a filler in a broad sense of the word is any material/s that is used to fill gaps.
“I dream my painting and I paint my dream.”
Van Gogh could not have said it more eloquently. Just like paint, there are many types of fillers each with it’s own unique characteristics and like any painting from any given artist, the final outcome of any filler injection or placement will depend on the vision and subsequently the skill of the practitioner involved.
Aesthetic Medicine is truly the one place where science meets art. Especially so in this instance because in its bare form, a filler is nothing more than just a material. The way the practioner utilises this material to “create” the final aesthetic look is often the only thing that makes all the difference. A thorough understanding of the strength and limitations of each material and the formulation of a proper treatment plan is key towards achieving this goal.
Different type of fillers
- The first filler material to be used in aesthetic treatments
- Derived either from human skin or animals
- Can cause allergic reaction and requires pre-treatment skin test
- Not a popular option anymore
- Superseded by the following materials…
- Hyaluronic acid is a substance that is naturally present in the human body. It is found in the highest concentrations in fluids in the eyes, and connective tissues in the skin and cartilage.
- It naturally has a short lifespan before being degraded by the body but stabilization processes strengthens the molecular structure and extends it’s longetivity to about anything from 6 months to a year making it an excellent material for various cosmetic applications ranging from rejuvenation to augmentation.
- A favourite among most patient as well as physicians because it is easy to work with and has a long term safety record.
- Excellent material in terms of delivering natural looking results
- Requires harvesting from same patient
- Technique is difficult, time consuming and expensive
- Results and longetivity somewhat unpredictable
Poly-L-Lactic Acid (PLLA) (SculptraR)
- A biostimulatory filler because it does not replace volume immediately in a 1-to-1 fashion (like most other fillers) but provides a collagen framework deep in the skin and at the same time stimulate natural collagen growth within this framework.
- Helps to gradually reduce lines, wrinkles and folds.
- Gradually replaces skin elasticity and facial volume.
- Requires a minimum of 3 injections within 3 months.
- Results seen after 6 weeks and lasts a little over 2 years.
- Download the brochure here. SculptraEBrochure
Calcium Hydroxylapatite (CaHA) (RadiesseR)
- A hybrid type filler which shares properties of regular voluminising fillers but at the same time biostimulatory as well.
- Calcium Hydroxylapatite (CaHA) microspheres are suspended in an aqueous gel carrier and injected into soft tissue space
- Once injected, it provides immediate volume and correction but continues to work by stimulating the body to produce its own natural collagen
- Over time, the gel is absorbed and the body metabolizes the CaHA microspheres leaving behind only your own natural collagen.
- Excellent for augmentation and voluminisation of face (esp cheeks!)
- Effect generally lasts about 14 months
- Requires trained and experienced physician to inject as CaHA is injected deep into the tissues ; most of the time onto the surface of the bone.
*Permanent Injectable Fillers
- There exist in the market filler materials which claim to be permanent or semi-permanent
- These are made from Polyalkylamide, Polyacrylamide or Collagen derivatives.
- Although in terms of aesthetic effect, they may give long lasting results but there are existing quality and safety issues related to their use
- At Eden Medical Aesthetics , we have personally found very little reason or indication for their use and have long since stopped offering them.
- Please contact us directly if you are looking towards achieving a more lasting filling effect.
- Although classically not considered by many as a “filler”, we would include this in as a form of filling material
- Made from synthetic materials eg silicone, titanium, PTFE, etc
- Almost always inserted surgically and non-biodegradable
- Material is designed to last a lifetime
Some Common application of fillers
Deep Wrinkle Correction
Augmentation and Contouring
There are numerous ways in which fillers are used and different styles that each physician employs in placement. Results of similar treatment or technique will again be different for each patient based on condition and aesthetic goals. There are numerous before and after photos that are available on the internet that you can refer to (Look at our Resource Section) Photos that unfortunately are not allowed by the Ministry of Health’s regulation to be shown on the clinic website. (More of it here under 2.51 and 2.8)