It is easy for consumers to be confused because of the many fillers that are currently on the market. Here is a summary on how they differ and how to decide which one is best for you.
Most fillers available today are made from hyaluronic acid (HA), which is found naturally in our bodies. These work much like a sponge – binding with water and plumping up the space into which they are injected. Many of these are very similar, but made by different companies. For example, Juvederm is used in the same areas of the face and produce almost identical results, but are made by Allergan and Galderma, respectively. Some doctors use both, but many choose one company with whom to work and just carry their fillers. Genesis only offers Allergan HA fillers.
Hyaluronic acid fillers differ in their “thickness”. Thick or robust fillers, such as Voluma, are used mostly in the cheeks and along the cheekbones, where lift is needed. These fillers tend to last longer (12 – 15 months) than many others because they are thicker. Very thin fillers, such as Volbella, are used in shallow lines. “Smokers’ lines” are a great example of shallow lines that fill in nicely with Volbella. Thin fillers tend to last about ten months. Juvederm Ultra Plus and Ultra, as well as Vollure, are in between Volbella and Voluma in their thickness and duration. These fillers are used in areas such as the nasolabial folds, the marionette lines and the backs of hands.
Advantages of hyaluronic acid (HA) fillers include looking and feeling very natural, since HA is “known” by our bodies. In addition, HA fillers are easily manipulated when heated. Therefore, if somebody has a lump, the staff at Genesis can gently heat that with a laser and then smooth it out. Lastly, there is an enzyme that dissolves HA fillers in the event that a patient does not like their filler or that there are any complications with the filler. Disadvantages include that HA fillers do tend to develop some lumps and bumps, although these are usually easy to resolve. Another disadvantage is that a small percentage of people’s bodies dissolve HA fillers more rapidly than normal and so their fillers go away after a few months.
Radiesse is a slightly different filler. It is made from calcium hydroxylapatite. These particles are inside a jell carrier, which provides the initial filling effect. The calcium hydroxylapatite particles stimulate collagen production, which takes about 3-4 months to show. As the jell dissolves, a patient’s own collagen fills up the area. This usually lasts about a year. Radiesse is an excellent option for patients whose HA fillers only last a few months. Disadvantages of Radiesse are that any lumps or bumps can be hard to resolve and the effects of the filler are slightly more unpredictable because they are very dependent on each person’s ability to make collagen.
Sculptra is made from L-poly lactic acid. Sculptra works solely by stimulating collagen production. Usually, 2 or 3 treatments are needed about a month apart and those results last about a year. Some people feel that these results are more natural than those from other fillers, since they are only a person’s own collagen. Disadvantages are that multiple treatments are needed, which increases the price and almost everybody gets significant bruising with Sculptra because a larger needle has to be used than is needed with other fillers.
Drs. Bode and Jenks, as well as Nurse Kellie are skilled with all of these fillers. Once they talk to a patient, review his or her medical history, find out what areas of their body need filling and what their expectations are, they are able to make expert recommendations on which filler will be best to use. Call today to schedule your appointment.