Visible signs of aging plague the best of us. Over time, vibrant and youthful skin will slowly age and change. Skin eventually thins and loses its natural production of collagen, which contributes to the plump appearance of healthy, youthful skin. Thin skins leads to visible signs of aging, such as wrinkles and fine lines around the eyes, nose and mouth.
Dr. Leo Lapuerta is a triple-board-certified plastic surgeon with 20 years of experience helping patients reduce visible signs of aging. When confronted with a patient who wants to turn back the hands of time and recapture their youthful appearance, Dr. Lapuerta suggests facial filler injections, which can help reduce the appearance of fine lines, wrinkles, and shadows on the face.
Filler injections provide facial enhancement without the time, expense, or risk involved with surgery. Injectable fillers, when combined with other anti-aging treatments, such as BOTOX®, have been labeled the “liquid facelift” of our time, giving patients amazing results without the hassle of undergoing surgery.
Filler injections usually consist of a gel-like substance that is injected directly into the target area on the face. These procedures are considered outpatient and are performed right inside Dr. Lapuerta’s Houston, Pearland, and Katy, Texas, plastic surgery centers. There are a variety of filler brands, including Restylane®, Juvéderm®, Radiesse®, and Sculptra®, all of which can address different problem areas on and around the face.
Technological advances have made it possible to manufacture a variety of fillers. Most fillers are derived from natural substances (such as collagen) while others are artificially produced. The patient’s skin condition and aesthetic goals will decide which type of filler will be best to use.
A fat transfer is the harvesting of excess fat from a donor site on the patient’s body. The fat is extracted using liposuction. These fat tissues are then purified and reinjected gradually into an area of skin with layering precision. The doctor will massage the skin and ensure that the intended contour is achieved. The body naturally absorbs fat and the results often last up to 6 months.
Collagen is a naturally occurring protein in humans and animals—skin, bone, cartilage, and teeth are rich in collagen. These are harvested and converted into a sterilized liquid form and used as a dermal filler. It is a popular filler for lip augmentation procedures. Some collagen is derived from animals, so patients using a dermal filler of this nature will require allergy testing ahead of the procedure to ensure that they will not have any complications.
Usually found in human bones and teeth, calcium hydroxyapatite is also harvested and processed to use as a liquid filler. It is considered one of the heavier substances and ideal in adding volume to deep creases. This particular filler product usually lasts longer than some of the others on the market.
Hyaluronic acid is another substance that is sourced from humans. Rich deposits of this substance are commonly found in ligaments and connective tissues. As with other natural substances, when used as a dermal filler, the results are natural and effective, but they are not long-lasting as the body reabsorbs the solution over time.
Polylactic acid is an artificial substance. When injected, it doesn’t just add volume underneath the skin, but it also triggers the production of collagen, which helps in skin renewal. The contours will be visible immediately and the skin quality will be evident after several months. This filler can last up to a year or longer for most patients.
This is a popular dermal filler as it lasts longer compared to fillers that are made only from natural substances. PMMA is a hybrid of microspheres mixed with a collagen solution. The result is a more solid, heavy filler that works well for deep creases and for reconstructive purposes when a good amount of tissue is absent. This filler is considered longer lasting, meaning it has the potential to work for several years or longer.
With so many different types of fillers to choose from, filler injections have a variety of different uses and can address a variety of different facial imperfections. Below are a few of the most common areas in which filler injections are used.
Lip fillers can address a number of issues both on and surrounding the lips. For those who wish to give themselves plump and beautiful lips, lip fillers can add volume to enhance the appearance of your lips. Lip fillers can also reduce the appearance of vertical lip lines that commonly appear with aging.
If people are constantly asking you if you are tired, you may want to opt for under eye fillers. Under eye fillers can reduce the appearance of wrinkles and bags under the eyes, leaving your face looking more youthful and refreshed.
Face fillers are generally used to address wrinkles and fine lines on the face, particularly around the mouth and nose. Since face fillers smooth out the skin around the injection site, it can also help improve facial symmetry.
Lost facial volume can result in sunken cheeks that can detract from your appearance. Cheek fillers restore lost volume to the cheeks, giving you vibrancy and youthful bounce.
Injectable fillers are performed in the doctor’s office with the use of local anesthetic creams if necessary. Almost pain-free, the patient will only feel a prick from the injection. The substance will be injected gradually in even layers to make sure a natural-looking result and contour are achieved. Sometimes, it may take more than one full syringe depending on how much volume is needed. Following treatment, you can expect to see almost immediate results.
There may be slight swelling, bruising, and redness on the treated area, but this usually subsides after a few days. Patients will be able to return to a normal routine a few hours after treatment, but your surgeon may ask you to take a few days off from any strenuous exercise.
Results may vary depending on what kind of filler is used and the location of the target area. In general, filler injections will last somewhere between 6 and 18 months. For more details, talk to your doctor about the specific type of filler they will be using.
The cost for an injectable filler treatment varies per full syringe. Some treatments may require more than one syringe in a specific target area. In addition, there may be several target areas per session. Fees range from $350 to $1,500 per session. During a consultation, Dr. Lapuerta will determine the best possible fillers treatment method to address your goals, and at that point can provide an accurate injectable fillers cost estimate.
Filler injections provide a simple and easy treatment for signs of facial aging. If you are unhappy with the prevalence of wrinkles, fine lines, or other signs of aging on your face, filler injections with Dr. Lapuerta can get your face looking more youthful in no time. Dr. Lapuerta has been serving patients in Houston, Katy, and Pearland, Texas, for over two decades, and is an expert when it comes to filler injections. If you are interested in learning more or would like to schedule a filler injections consultation with Dr. Lapuerta, contact us today.