Plastic Surgery

Hyaluronic acid injections

What is the Hyaluronic acid injections?

Hyaluronic acid is a gel-like, transparent substance present mainly in the skin where (along with other substances) it fills in the spaces between diverse fibres. It’s found in large quantities in our bodies in youth, but it gets destroyed over time.

Cosmetic surgeons use Hyaluronic acid injections to fill in wrinkles. The product used is a synthetic, biodegradable gel which attracts water and mixes with the Hyaluronic acid in the skin's dermis, restoring its former volume. This technique also stimulates the synthesis of Hyaluronic acid in the skin as well as stimulating collagen production.

The product comes in a reticulated form (dense) or non-reticulated (liquid). The former is the most compact and stable over a longer period (from 6 - 9 months or even longer). The liquid version maintains results for around 3 months.

What is the procedure?

The procedure lasts for about 30 minutes. Hyaluronic acid is injected into the skin in the form of a transparent gel using a very thin needle. Underneath the wrinkle, it swells the tissues and restores skin’s smooth and natural feel. Sometimes, depending on the area being treated, the surgeon might use a local anesthetic.

The surgeon might choose to carry out a single injection under a targeted wrinkle, using it as a guide. The wrinkle is filled in and the tissues moved up to the level of the neighboring non-wrinkled skin. Alternatively, the surgeon might opt for several small injections whereby he injects a succession of tiny drops of the product under the wrinkle.

What kind of result can you expect?

The effects are immediate and there is no scarring. The effects are visible for 3 to 9 months, after which time the product is reabsorbed. The majority of patients have a second session between 6 and 12 months after their first one.

Recovery period and recommendations

After the treatment, redness and swelling may occur but should disappear within 24 to 48 hours. Avoid exposing yourself to extreme temperatures in the 10 days following the injection.

Possible side effects and complications

Depending on the area injected and the type of filler or pain control used, patients may find the procedure relatively painless to mildly uncomfortable. Treatments around the nose or lip areas are usually more painful.

The obvious immediate side effect is of slight bleeding after the needle has been inserted into the skin. Other risks include mild bruising, redness and swelling that may also occur around the site of injection. These signs may take 2 - 3 days to vanish completely, especially around the lips where there is little flesh and the skin is tender.

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