Soft Tissue Augmentation
Smooth skin and full lips with well-accentuated borders are associated with youth and beauty. As your body’s natural collagen begins to wear out due to aging, wrinkles and creases begin to appear. With time, the muscle and soft tissue that give lips fullness and definition gradually diminish in bulk, making them appear thin and indistinct.
Several injectable and implantable products are available as a treatment for facial wrinkles and scars and to enlarge lips.
Soft Tissue Injectables
Purified collagen products (Zyderm™ and Zyplast™) were first introduced in the 1980’s but in Canada and Europe have since been replaced by longer lasting materials that do not require allergy skin testing prior to treatment.
Hyaluronic acid (HA) is a naturally occurring material that exists in all animal cells including our own. Currently, the most popular type of injectable soft tissue filling agents are composed of HA. They provide a natural and long lasting result with an exemplary safety profile.
Several hyaluronic acid based fillers are available including the Juvederm™ family of products (Juvederm Ultra™, Juvederm Ultra Plus™, Juvederm Ultra XC™ and Voluma™). Voluma™ is the newest addition to the line and provides long lasting lifting and augmentation of the cheeks. Other products include Restylane™, Restylane™ Fine-Lines and Perlane™.
When injected into the skin HA fillers work with the body’s own hyaluronic acid to create the volume needed to lift lines and reduce wrinkles. They can be used as treatment for frown lines, deep smile lines and to enhance the lips. The results are a healthy, vital appearance that can last up to 9 months for some individuals. The treated areas remain slightly red and swollen for 24 hours. On rare occasions, patients have experienced temporary swelling, redness and tenderness at or near the injection site several weeks after treatment.
All soft tissue augmentation injections are performed by Dr. Denton.
Soft Tissue Implants
Advanta™ lip and nasolabial fold implants may be appropriate for individuals seeking a more permanent soft tissue augmentation solution. Advanta™ implants are composed of a soft, pliable synthetic material called ePTFE. This material has been safely used in more than 3.5 million people in an extensive range of medical and surgical procedures over many years.
Under local anesthesia, the implant is inserted below the surface of the skin through a small incision. Swelling and bruising usually settles over the first 7 to 10 days. Continued softening of the implant is anticipated over the first 3 to 4 months. Rarely, infection or migration can occur necessitating implant removal or replacement.
For more information, view November 2003 article in The Seattle Times: Fighting wrinkles: New products fill the lines of time.