Dermal (Skin) Fillers

Dermal fillers, or soft tissue fillers, are injectable formulas that can give your face or hands a more youthful look. These cosmetic procedures diminish lines and fill out volume to treat creases and wrinkles, sunken skin, and other signs of aging and skin damage. Doctors also use dermal fillers to treat scars from acne, burns, or injury.

You can find these and other cosmetic services at Faith Regional Physicians Services in Norfolk, Nebraska. We offer one-to-one consultation and care from an experienced, board-certified plastic and reconstructive surgeon.

How Dermal Fillers Help

Dermal fillers are often known by their brand names, such as Restylane, Radiesse, and Sculptra. They include natural therapies like calcium, collagen, hyaluronic acid gel, and other fillers.

However, not all fillers are created equal!  Plastic Surgeons have access to products that may not be available to other practitioners.  These include fillers and biostimulants with the latest technology and research.

They’re among many nonsurgical skin rejuvenation treatment options available at Faith Regional.

Doctors apply a topical anesthetic before injecting these gel-like therapies in a relatively painless procedure. They treat a wide array of conditions affecting the skin and underlying tissues. In addition to filling in wrinkles and creases, dermal fillers can help if you have hollowed cheeks or a loss of fullness in any part of your face.

Dermal fillers can help in these and other ways:   

  • Add fullness to lips, cheeks, facial contours, and hands
  • Soften creases, lines, and wrinkles
  • Diminish recessed scars
  • Lift eyelid folds and fill in hollow areas around the eyes
  • Enhance the jawline

Depending on the treatment, soft tissue fillers can last anywhere from 8 to 18 months. They may delay the need for more permanent surgical treatments, such as a facelift or ear, chin, and eyelid procedures.

Consulting with a Plastic Surgeon

Details matter when considering your choices. Each type of filler has unique qualities to consider. For example, if you’d like something longer-lasting, semi-permanent fillers are a good option. If a skin test indicates an allergy, you could choose a more biocompatible filler. Skilled surgical delivery techniques are also essential to avoid potential complications.

To discover your best options, you can schedule a free consultation with a board-certified plastic surgeon at Faith Regional. Your doctor will ask about your goals and any past procedures, such as Botox, laser, or other treatments. During this or other office visits, your surgeon may:

  • Evaluate your health and health history
  • Examine and measure your face or other areas treated
  • Take photographs
  • Discuss benefits and risks of treatments
  • Make treatment recommendations

Types of Fillers

After your consultation and evaluation, your doctor will recommend appropriate injectable filler options based on your skin condition, goals, and preferences. You’ll discuss the types of fillers listed below and other soft tissue fillers or treatment options.

Hyaluronic acid (Restylane)

Hyaluronic acid is found naturally in your body, in soft connective tissues, around your eyes, and in other areas. It’s in cartilage, joint fluids, and skin tissue, and it’s also used to ease joint pain.

Injections of hyaluronic acid can improve your skin’s contour and diminish depressed areas of such as scars, injuries, or lines.

Brand names include: Captique, Esthélis, Elevess, Hylaform, Juvederm, Perlane, Prevelle, Puragen and Restylane. Uses include:

  • Crow’s feet (creases near corners of eyes)
  • Forehead lines and frown lines between brows
  • Hollowed or sunken cheek areas
  • Laugh lines (nasolabial furrows) from nose to mouth
  • Lip borders (redefinition)
  • Marionette lines (extending down from sides of the mouth)
  • Scars caused by acne, burns, or injury
  • Smoker’s lines (tiny vertical lines on the mouth)

Polymethyl-methacrylate microspheres (PMMA)

PMMA, or Bellafill, is a semi-permanent therapy for medium-to-deep wrinkles, lines, and deep folds, such as the nasolabial folds from the nose to the mouth. Doctors also use PMMA to fill out pitted scars and thin lips. PMMA requires more injections for added volume and you may have to wait a few months before seeing the full effects.

If not properly administered, PMMA can be visible beneath the skin. At Faith Regional, our plastic surgeon is experienced in accurate techniques, which involve precise injection at the dermal subcutaneous junction with threading or tunneling methods.

Risks and Complications

With experienced board-certified plastic surgeons, complications are uncommon. Risks vary with the type of treatment you’ll have. Your plastic surgeon will explain risks in detail, specific to your condition and procedure.

General risks of dermal fillers can include rashes, redness, bleeding, bruising, swelling, infection, and skin damage. Other complications can include lumps, hardness, asymmetry (uneven results), and results not as expected.

In very rare cases, dermal fillers have been accidentally injected into blood vessels, blocking blood flow. Symptoms of this rare but serious complication vary depending on where the block is and can cause skin loss, wounds, vision changes, or systemic effects.

At Faith Regional, our board-certified plastic surgeon has advanced training, education, and expertise exclusive to plastic surgery. We take every precaution for your good results and safety. Your doctor will review specific risks with you. You’ll learn which symptoms are out of the ordinary and should be reported right away to receive appropriate treatment.

Dermal Filler Procedure Steps

At Faith Regional, dermal filler procedures are typically done in your doctor’s office. Treatment times can range from 15 minutes to an hour. The doctor gives you a local anesthetic to minimize discomfort. While injections are not completely painless most people find that it’s easily tolerated.

Steps for dermal filler treatment are generally as follows:

  • Your surgeon evaluates facial appearance and skin tone and examines areas to be treated. The doctor may photograph the areas that you’ll have treated.
  • Your surgeon may mark certain injection location points on your face or other areas of treatment.
  • The treated area is cleansed with antibacterial medication.
  • The doctor may chill your skin with a cold medical device to alleviate pain. An anesthetic ointment is applied to numb your skin. Some procedures may involve an injected local anesthetic to numb the area.
  • Injections typically take just a few minutes per site of injection. Your doctor will inject, massage, and evaluate the result, adding more filler if needed.
  • When your treatment is complete, the doctor cleans off any markings. You may be offered an ice pack to help reduce any swelling and discomfort.

After Your Dermal Filler Procedure

Recovery processes and times depend on the treatment plan. Most people can go back to normal activities immediately. However, you should avoid intense physical activity for a day or two to minimize bruising and swelling. Your doctor will discuss your personal recovery plan in early office visits and after your procedure.

Following are general guidelines about what to expect after a dermal filler procedure. Effects can include:

  • Temporary redness or numbness
  • Tenderness in treated areas for a day or two
  • Swelling or bruising, from mild to severe
  • A temporary “overfilled” appearance in treated areas
  • Lumps or hardened areas at injection sites
  • Hypersensitivity reaction, with hives and swelling

Your doctor can ease symptoms with topical icing and massage. Symptoms usually go away within hours or a few days. More intense reactions might require other treatment, such as medication or injections.

Although it’s rare, unusual symptoms such as changes in eyesight or pain and weakness on just one side of your body should be reported immediately. Notify your doctor’s office and seek medical help right away. Your physician will be sure you know what to expect, how to care for your skin, and who to contact if concerns of any kind arise.

If you have additional nonsurgical skin rejuvenation treatments alongside dermal fillers, your healing process can take longer.

Your Plastic Surgery Team

At Faith Regional, your plastic surgeon, a specialized nurse and other healthcare professionals such as an advanced care practitioner and aesthetician may be involved in your care.

Dr. Mark Shashikant

Schedule a Consultation

You can reach us at 402-844-8167 or email frpsclinics@frhs.org to schedule an appointment.