Dermal fillers could help win your battle against wrinkles. As we age, our faces naturally lose subcutaneous fat. The facial muscles are then working closer to the skin surface, so smile lines and crow’s feet become more apparent. Dermal fillers help to diminish facial lines and restore volume and fullness in the face. They can be very beneficial in those with early signs of aging, or as a value-added part of facial rejuvenation surgery.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has issued a safety communication to warn consumers and health care practitioners about the serious injuries and disfigurement that can result from using injectable silicone or products being falsely marketed as FDA-approved dermal fillers for the purpose of enhancing the size of their buttocks, breasts and other body parts. The FDA has significant concerns with unsafe injectable silicone that’s being marketed for body contouring by unlicensed providers. There have been serious adverse events that result from products, which are sometimes industrial-grade silicone, being used for unapproved medical purposes. The FDA is taking the necessary actions to put an end to these services that are being provided and promoted, but also want raise public awareness about the short- and long-term risks, which can include irreversible disfigurement and even death.
The difference between injectable silicone and silicone contained within approved breast implants is that the breast implant shell keeps the silicone from migrating within the body. Injectable silicone is only FDA approved for a specific use inside the eye. Consumers seeking to enlarge the size of their buttocks or breasts, or other large-scale body contouring procedures are falsely told they are receiving an FDA-approved dermal filler, but are actually injected with silicone. Side effects to injectable silicone being used for body contouring can include ongoing pain and serious injuries, such as scarring, tissue death, and permanent disfigurement. If the silicone migrates beyond the injection site, it could cause an embolism, stroke, infections and death. Serious complications may occur right away or could develop weeks, months, or years later.
Silicone injections for body contouring are often performed by unlicensed and non-medical practitioners in non-clinical settings such as residential homes or hotels. Since unlicensed practitioners do not report injuries incurred from their legal practice and patients who are harmed may not alert the FDA, it’s almost impossible for the FDA to know the true extent of these injuries that occur.
If you have received injectable silicone it is imperative that you seek medical attention immediately if you experience problems, such as difficulty breathing, chest pain, signs of a stroke (including sudden difficulty speaking, numbness or weakness in the face, arms, or legs difficulty walking, face drooping, severe headache, dizziness, confusion), as it may be a life-threatening situation. Those who have been offered or have received injectable silicone for body contouring from an unlicensed provider are encouraged to use the FDA website to Report Suspected Criminal Activity.
Hyaluronic acid (HA) fillers are a popular treatment for facial lines and wrinkles, but early degradation of these fillers may limit how long their effects last. According to the official medical journal of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, experimental evidence supports a simple technique for prolonging the effects if HA dermal fillers: using them together with botulinum toxin. Using botulinum neurotoxin-A can prolong the life of the HA fillers by reducing muscle activity in the treated area.
Dermal filler injections is one of the most common minimally invasive cosmetic procedures. Hyaluronic acid dermal fillers are most commonly used because they are natural, gel-based products that are highly compatible with the body. The downside is that early degradation of HA fillers limits the duration of the cosmetic improvement. Longevity is affected by the properties of the HA filler and by the forces applied to them. In order to reduce these forces, plastic surgeons sometimes use HA fillers in a combination procedure with BoNT-A—best known by the brand name Botox. Not only does this procedure improve the clinical results of HA filler injection, but it causes temporary paralysis of the muscles in the treated area which lasts a few months.
A study was done on rabbits in which a small amount of HA filler was injected under the skin in front of each ear. This area was chosen because it corresponds to the forehead region in humans which is a common area for dermal filler treatment. HA filler alone was used on one side and HA filler combined with BoNT-A was used on the other side to paralyze the muscle in that area. Three months later, MRI scans were performed to compare the amount of filler remaining on both sides. The results demonstrated that BoNT-A decreased the degradation rate of the HA fillers by 42 percent. On the side where BoNT-A was used, the remaining volume of HA filler was 50 percent greater. The difference was visible as well as measurable. In conclusion, the study showed that HA filler application in combination with BoNT-A significantly decreases the degradation process and increases the remaining volume at the end of the paralyzed period.
According to the official medical journal of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, learning about some key “danger zones” can help plastic surgeons to enhance the safety and effectiveness of facial filled procedures. A few anatomically-based techniques can minimize risk and minimize safety when using dermal fillers ion specific areas of the face. It’s highly recommended that that plastic surgeons and facial plastic surgeons learn safe, predictable techniques to achieve optimal results with facial filler injections.
Injection of soft tissue dermal fillers can reduce facial lines and wrinkles and restore a fuller, younger-looking facial appearance. Facial filler injection is a safe procedure when performed by a board certified or experienced practitioner. Complications are rare, but serious complications have been reported, occurring especially with inadvertent injection blood vessel damage or injection of the filler material into the blood vessels.
One approach to specific principles for safe filler injection, include the use of hyaluronic acid fillers when possible. The major advantage of these products is that their effects can be rapidly reversed by rescue injection with the enzyme hyaluronidase. The use of continuous motion and gentle injection techniques are other principles for safe filler injection. Practitioners should pay particular attention to the six danger zones from the forehead to the chin, and be able to recognize complications and address them immediately.