What are cheek fillers? NEW series ‘Ask the anti-ageing doctor’, featuring Oculoplastic Surgeon and Aesthetic Doctor, Maryam Zamani explains anti-ageing treatments
Cheek fillers have grown in popularity over the years and now they are one of the most asked for procedures. But what exactly are they and are they worth the hype? To understand the pros and cons of this treatment we asked, Dr Maryam Zamani.
What are cheek fillers?
‘One of the most common reasons people come into my practise is to have augmentation either in the lower eyelids or the cheeks to help fill and volumise areas that may have lost volume.
‘The fillers that I predominantly use in these areas are hyaluronic acid fillers. The reason for that is that one, they are reversible and two they are temporary. They last for anywhere between 12 and 24 months depending on the type of filler used.
‘In my opinion, hyaluronic acid is the perfect treatment to augment the area of the cheek and different parts of the face.
‘In order to create a more harmonious appearance to the face you not only have to inject the cheek area but you may need to go into the maxilla, you may need to go into the chin, you may need to tweak a number of different areas to get the best aesthetic outcome. It’s always in the best interest of the patient to have less and it is always easier to add more at a later stage.’
What are the risks?
‘Any sort of injection implies that there could be bruising and swelling as a result of the injection. You can however, have too much filler in an area and depending on where it is injected it can manifest itself as swelling in the eye area for instance.
‘Sometimes you can actually see the placement of the filler if it’s done too superficially. Sometimes you can have lumps and bumps, if it is not done in the correct plane, or if there is too much filler injected into the area.
‘Then there are more serious complications, I always tell my patients that there is always the risk of having necrosis of the skin, which means you can have some of the tissue dying because of lack of blood supply to the area.
‘There is also a very small risk that blindness can happen with any injection of dermal filler on the face.’
Can cheek fillers be removed?
‘In the event that you have a complication or do not like the aesthetic outcome of hyaluronic acid fillers, there is a way to remove them or dissolve them, it is called hyaluronidase, generally, this is used as a last resort in the event of a complication.
‘For example, if you have some kind of tissue necrosis or another medical issue that’s happening we tend to use hyaluronidase.
‘This is an injection and is similar to a botulinum toxin injection because it’s a very small needle that’s used to place hyaluronidase which is an enzyme that helps dissolve the hyaluronic acid.
‘It works immediately, within 24 hours you will have some of the hyaluronic acid filler dissolved.
It is not a precise science though, so imagine that you have filler in the form of an ice cube and you put hot water on top of it and the hot water melts the ice cube. Hyaluronidase works in a similar fashion, wherever the hyaluronic acid is touched it is melted in that area.
‘If you don’t inject it into the area that has hyaluronic acid it will remain. Sometimes you may need more than one treatment in order to dissolve all the hyaluronic acid that you would like to remove.’
How much does it cost?
The price of cheek filler treatments start at £325 up to £750.
‘Do your research on your injector and the doctor that is going to treat you.
‘Have realistic expectations and look for a doctor who is going to be conservative – there is always the chance to do more.
‘Before you go ahead, ask what they would do in the unlikely event that you are to have a complication, so you can be sure they are able to manage that effectively and well and give you the best long-term outcome possible.’
As a leading Oculoplastic Surgeon and Aesthetic Doctor, Dr Maryam Zamani has garnered a global reputation – both in the US and UK with twelve years of practice and alongside her two fellowships at London’s Imperial College NHS Trust and Chelsea Westminster NHS Trust. Dr Zamani works from her base at the Cadogan Clinic, on Sloane Street and is also the creator and founder of MZ Skin a luxurious yet performance driven skincare range of eight hero products.