The Latest News about Non-Invasive Filler Procedures
New York – According to a recent survey by the American Academy of Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery (AAFPRS), 49 percent of women and 39 percent of men said “looking younger” was their motivator for undergoing facial cosmetic surgery. Today this growing demand for a more youthful appearance is being met through non-surgical methods with the introduction and availability of affordable products and procedures used to help remove or reduce the appearance of facial wrinkles and aging. Additionally, these treatments allow patients to recover quickly.
Patients who may have once considered a forehead lift ($3500 – $4000) to erase forehead wrinkles and achieve a more favorable brow position, may now instead choose a filler treatment to decrease the wrinkes, as well as Botox to raise the brow. The average filler cost per session is $547, while Botox averages $443 per session. Overall, filler injections increased 39 percent last year, and with the growing availability of facial fillers, the AAFPRS forecasts an even greater percentage increase in next year’s statistics.
“Facial plastic surgeons are seeing more and more patients who want a rejuvenated and restored youthful appearance. With the continuous increase in availability of filler products and treatments for an aging face, the more options patients have to safely achieve their personal goal,” said Dr. Keith LaFerriere, president of the AAFPRS. “While fillers are less expensive than, for example, a typical forehead lift surgery, they only offer temporary results and patients should be aware of this.”
The AAFPRS reminds patients to make informed decisions when it comes to undergoing any facial plastic surgery procedures. “Whether undergoing a surgical operation like a facelift or a non-surgical filler procedure, patients need to be mindful that these are all medical procedures that should be performed by the hands of a well-trained, qualified, and experienced facial plastic surgeon,” adds LaFerriere.
A surgeon should be board certified by boards affiliated with the American Board of Medical Specialists (ABMS) or equivalent boards like the American Board of Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery. Many AAFPRS members are certified by the American Board of Otolaryngology – Head and Neck Surgery – a board recognized by the ABMS, which certifies surgeons in facial plastic surgery.
THE FACTS ON FILLERS
Below is background information on several filler products currently available to patients. Most familiar is Collagen which has been used over the past 20 years to safely correct fine lines, soften unwanted wrinkles, and enhance the lips. However, there are a variety of new FDA-approved alternatives that offer distinct advantages over Collagen.
Cosmoderm and Cosmoplast became available to patients in 2003. Both are derived from human tissue and thus, unlike Collagen, do not require skin testing. Treatments can be performed at the time of the initial patient consultation in a physician’s office. Like its bovine derived counterparts, cosmoderm is used for fine lines and wrinkles and cosmoplast is used for deeper wrinkles and scars as well as for lip augmentation. Both cosmoderm and cosmoplast can be used in combination with a deeper hyaluronic filler to fill in lines. Results are similar to traditional Collagen, but seem to last longer. Average cost: $475 per cc
Restylane recently received FDA approval in the United States, but has been used for years in Europe and Canada. Restylane is derived from hyaluronic acid, a substance found naturally within the dermis. It provides longer-lasting results (six to nine months) than either bovine or human collagen. In addition, no skin testing is required allowing immediate treatment. The cost of a Restylane treatment may be more, compared to other fillers, but it offers longer lasting results. Average cost: $600 per syringe
Hylaform is another hyaluronic acid derived product that has recently received FDA approval. Skin testing is not necessary and there is a low allergic potential. Like Restylane, the results from Hylaform are immediate with the majority of patients seeing results from six to nine months. Average cost: $400 per syringe
Radiance is a long-lasting filler derived from calcium hydroxylapatite, a substance naturally found in bone. It also has the advantage of not requiring a skin test allowing immediate treatment. At the present time, its use as a soft tissue filler is considered “off label.” It is FDA approved for vocal fold augmentation and radiographic marking. Although early, results are lasting for years instead of months. Radiance typically costs three to four times that of other soft tissue fillers and at present offers the best filler alternative for those seeking long-term improvement.
Another Alternative for Non-Invasive Procedures:
Botox , the trade name for botulinum toxin, was approved by the FDA for cosmetic use in 2002. Results typically last three to five months and treatments can be performed at the initial patient consultation. Botox treatments are widely used to soften facial lines, especially frown lines, “crow’s feet,” and forehead lines. When Botox is injected into the muscles surrounding the eyes, for instance, those muscles can not “scrunch up” for a period of time. The wrinkles in that area, often referred to as “crow’s feet,” are temporarily made less noticeable. Last year, Botox injections increased 44 percent and 133 percent in patients under 40 years old. Average cost per session: $443
The AAFPRS is the world’s largest association of facial plastic and reconstructive surgeons with more than 2,600 members – whose cosmetic reconstructive surgery focuses on the face, head and neck. Academy fellows are board-certified and subscribe to a code of ethics. In addition, the AAFPRS provides consumers with free information and brochures and a list of qualified facial plastic surgeons in their area by calling 1-800-332-FACE or by visiting the AAFPRS Web Site, www.FACEMD.org.