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Dermal Fillers: Microcannulas vs. Needles

FDA-Approved, hyaluronic acid (HA) based dermal fillers, such as Juvederm, Restylane or Voluma can be used to preserve our skin’s youthfulness by restoring volume loss and improving contour. In a few minutes, you can instantly see dramatic improvement of hollow depressions, deep lines and wrinkling, improvement of facials scars, and more. But what many patients do not realize are the varying types of injectable methods that are used in cosmetic dermatology, and the skill that is required to receive a successful outcome. Typically, HA dermal fillers are sent to the office pre-packaged with needles as a means of injection. However in my practice, for injection of facial dermal fillers, we replace the needle sticks for nearly painless-bruise free microcannulas. As you read the blog, you will discover several advantages to using a microcannula, rather than using a needle.

Why use a microcannula?

It’s less painful.

When using a needle for dermal fillers, you are piercing the external layer of the skin, passing through layer in which the filler is injected. This penetration can cause the patient quite a bit of discomfort and pain, since the needle is having to pass through the entry layer of the skin repeated times.

With the microcannula, an introductory incision is made using a needle. Proceeding the introductory incision, the blunt microcannula is used to enter the layers beneath the skin. The benefit of this is the blunt microcannula will continue to enter the same entry point without repetitively puncturing the patient with a sharp needle. The needle is also shorter than a microcannula, meaning that there are more insertions necessary with a needle. The result with microcannulas is less discomfort for the patient, and less pain to be endured as opposed to a sharp needle stick.

There’s less bruising and swelling.

Another benefit of using microcannulas is the fact that you will incur less bruising and swelling after your procedure. A needle has a sharp point, and can easily make its way into a vein, which in result causes bruising and swelling. Using needles can also increase the risk of injecting the hyaluronic acid filler into the vein or artery, which can cause the patient significant complications such as necrosis and blindness. With the microcannula, the physician is better able to avoid injection of filler into the vein or artery, since the blunt, flexible tip can push aside vessels as it moves through the tissues. You are also able to sense the resistance of the veins and arteries as the cannula enters the surface of the skin.

It takes great skill from the physician.

It is important to note that not all physicians are capable of this injection technique. Many practices do not offer this method of injection, since the process can take longer. However, the results are absolutely worth the extra time that it takes to inject the patient. This technique in injecting yields the most optimal patient results, while also greatly enhancing the patient’s experience.

Benefits of using the microcannula:

  • Minimal bruising
  • Less swelling
  • Less pain
  • Stimulating collagen growth
  • Less injections made for entry
  • Improved patient experience and comfort

Dr. Ostad uses microcannulas to inject his patients with dermal fillers, rather than needles. Microcannulas can be used for the lips, under eyes, nasolabial folds and marionette lines. Microcannulas are blunt instruments, requiring only one insertion into the patient, and significantly reduces patient bruising, bleeding & swelling. Microcannulas are an advanced technique that not all practices offer. It takes great skill, technique, and time from the physician.

Dr. Ostad will conduct a comprehensive examination and consultation before recommending the best solution to your concerns. Often, a customized treatment plan includes different fillers used in different areas to achieve the best possible results. Call us at (212) 517-7900 to schedule an appointment and learn about your options.

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