Cosmetic Procedures
Fillers: What to Expect Before, During, and After

If you’d like to restore some youthful fullness to your face or hands, your dermatologist may recommend a filler. The following explains what happens before, during, and after this procedure.

What to Expect Before a Filler
A consultation is essential. Your dermatologist will discuss the signs of aging that concern you and gather your medical history. During this consultation, tell your dermatologist if you have any medical condition including allergies, a history of cold sores, or a heart condition. Also mention any cosmetic procedures you have had.

Your dermatologist will ask you about your medications. Be sure to tell your dermatologist about all prescriptions, over-the-counter medications, vitamins, and herbal remedies that you take. Warfarin, aspirin, ibuprofen, vitamin E, St. John’s wort, and even garlic and ginger supplements can affect the results you see after receiving a filler. Be sure to mention everything.

Many safe and effective fillers are available. Your dermatologist will examine your skin to determine if a filler can diminish the signs of aging that concern you or if another cosmetic procedure may be more appropriate.

If a filler is appropriate, your dermatologist will tell you more about the filler. If self-donated fat will be used to fill the skin, you will first undergo a cosmetic procedure called liposuction, which can usually be performed the same day.

What to Expect When Getting a Filler
Fillers can be safely and effectively injected in a dermatologist’s office. When you arrive, your makeup will be removed and your skin cleansed. Next, the area may be iced or a topical anesthesia applied. Not all fillers require anesthesia. In some cases, a medication will be injected directly into or around a nerve in the area to be treated. This is known as a nerve block.

Once the skin is ready, the filler is injected. Some people report feeling a stinging or burning sensation as the filler is injected. Most treatment sessions take 15 to 30 minutes.

If your own fat will be used to fill the area, the entire procedure can now often be completed in 1 day. This procedure requires removing fat from your own body, processing the fat so that it can be used as a filler, and then injecting the fat as a filler.

What to Expect After a Filler
Redness and swelling afterward are normal. Some minor bruising also may be visible. To alleviate these, your dermatologist may recommend icing the area for 15 to 20 minutes before you leave. Makeup can usually be applied immediately after.

To avoid increased swelling and bruising, you should not exercise until the next day. You also will want to avoid touching the treated area for about 3 days unless you received the filler, poly-L-lactic acid. This filler requires massaging the treated area very gently for about 5 minutes several times a day for 1 or 2 weeks.

Some fillers such as poly-L-lactic acid require repeat treatments. Typically, treatments are given every 4 to 8 weeks until the desired outcome is achieved.

Cohen JL, Bar A. “Fillers for Facial Rejuvenation” In: Hirsch RJ, Cohen JL, Sadick N. Aesthetic Rejuvenation: A Regional Approach. China, McGraw-Hill Companies; 2009. P. 71-80.

Donofrio LM. “Soft-Tissue Augmentation.” In: Wolff K, Goldsmith LA, Katz SI et al, editors. Fitzpatrick’s Dermatology in General Medicine. 7th edition. United States of America, McGraw Hill Medical; 2008. p. 2380-8.

Hirsch RJ. “Dermal Fillers.” In: Sadick, Moy, Lawrence, et al. Concise Manual of Dermatologic Surgery. China, McGraw-Hill Companies; 2008. p. 37-45.

Matarasso SL, Sadick NS. “Soft tissue Augmentation.” In: Bolognia JL, Jorizzo JL, Rapini RP et al, editors. Dermatology. 2nd edition. Spain, Mosby Elsevier; 2008. p. 2369-79.

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Cosmetic Procedures: Fillers

Cosmetic Procedures: Liposuction





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