There are numerous injectable facial fillers to help restore volume and symmetry to ones face. These fillers can be used to restore volume to facial folds, lips, cheeks temples, tear troughs as well as along the jaw line and chin.
The most popular and familiar fillers are hyaluronic acid (HA) fillers. These include Restylane, Perlane, Restylane Silk, Juvederm Ultra, Juvederm Ultra Plus, Voluma and Beletero. Hyaluronic acid is a naturally occurring sugar we have in our skin that helps it maintain volume. These fillers are made of synthetic modiphied HA inside an inert clear gel that can be injected wherever volume is needing to be restored. The particles of HA attract water and maintain volume. These fillers last anywhere from 6 months to 2 years depending on the filler. Of note, HA fillers can be reversed with a product called hyaluronidase if the outcome is undesirable.
Radiesse is a facial filler that is made of calcium particles suspended in a gel which is injected in to areas of volume loss. The calcium particles promote collagen growth and the volume is ultimately maintained by your bodies own collagen production. The gel itself breaks down in 3-4 months at which time patients sometimes see a lag in correction until their collagen has grown in.
Sculptra is also used to restore volume using your bodies own collagen production. It is made of poly-L-Lactic acid. (PLLA, the same substance dissolving sutures are made of) Once injected to areas needing volume your body grows collagen around the microscopic particles of PLLA. This filler generally requires 3 treatments a month apart and then maintenance every 1-2 years as needed.
You and your provider can determine what you are wanting to address and determine which filler/fillers are best suited for your needs. Once a treatment plan is established you can expect the treatment area to be numbed with either a topical analgesic or nerve block. Numerous facial fillers now come with Lidocaine mixed in which has made the treatments much more comfortable. Your provider may mix Lidocaine in with the product if it does not come already incorporated in the syringe. The injections are done with fine needles or cannulas.
Side effects can include swelling, bruising, discomfort, risk of infection, small lumps and skin discoloration. In my experience swelling and bruising are the most common side effects lasting 3-7 days depending on the patient.