Needles and fillers are synonymous—for better and for worse. You may dread the former, but your love of the latter’s effects is probably enough to carry you through the treatment.
And yet, a needle isn’t the only way to place facial fillers. In most situations, it may not even be the best way. A 2016 study that compared placing soft-tissue fillers with a needle and a cannula found that the cannula showed “more precision in the placement of product.” When a needle was used, the filler tended to migrate back along the path of the needle, ending up in multiple layers of tissue and skin. The filler placed with a cannula, on the other hand, remained confined to intended location, the deep tissue layers.
The study also indicated that there’s a higher risk of piercing blood vessels when filler is placed with a needle, which can result in bruising and swelling.
I do use a needle to place fillers in certain parts of the face, but, increasingly, Davis Cosmetic Plastic Surgery is turning to the latest-generation cannula, as evidence of its superior comfort and safety mounts.
What is a cannula?
A cannula is also a type of needle, but unlike the kind that’s used by many injectors, the cannula’s tip is blunt. Basically, it looks like a long, thin, flexible tube with a small opening on one side. Its shape and flexibility allows me to inject a variety of locations through a single, small opening, which isn’t possible with a conventional needle.
Fewer injection points, coupled with the reduced risk of piercing blood vessels (and, in turn, less bruising and swelling), equates to less downtime following the procedure.
And that’s not the only significant benefit of the cannula’s unique shape and flexibility. As we age, our skin tends to become undulated across our foreheads and around our mouths and cheeks. It’s the cumulative effect of so many expressions made over and over again. Gradually, the skin becomes tethered to the surface underneath. I can run a cannula under the skin and break up those attachments prior to injecting a filler, further enhancing the filler’s energizing effects.
The future is here
Recently, Restylane Lyft, a hyaluronic acid-based filler, became the first filler of its kind to be approved by the FDA for placement through a cannula in the cheeks and middle of the face. (The FDA has also approved cannula placement of Restylane Silk in the lips.)
In a study that investigated Restylane Lyft’s effects when it was placed in the middle of the face with a cannula, 98.3% of the participants showed aesthetic improvement 16 weeks after treatment, which is quite promising. The takeaway from that is that you could walk away from your next filler treatment with precisely the look you want and much less bruising and swelling to deal with.
Either way you wish to proceed, we at Davis Cosmetic Plastic Surgery in Cherry Hill is here to make sure we get you the results you want. If you wish to speak to me or one of our team members at DCPS, please contact us and we will setup a virtual consultation.