As we become older, smile lines around the mouth may become more pronounced and noticeable. When that begins to occur, some injectable collagen fillers, such as Bellafill–a soft tissue filler, instantly adds volume to the skin and lifts the wrinkles around that area.
Bellafill is also used to correct acne scars by immediately providing volume in order to match the level of the surrounding skin. Fortunately, William J. Seare, MD, a double-board plastic and orthopedic surgeon, can give individuals in the Carlsbad and San Diego, CA area the Bellafill treatments they need to maintain their youthful appearance.
What is Bellafill?
An injectable collagen treatment, Bellafill is a dermal filler that not only provides immediate volume to facial wrinkles and acne scars, but it also works along with PMMA microspheres to create a process that helps support your body’s own collagen production.
Bellafill is the most long lasting soft tissue injectable filler approved by the FDA.
It is an amazing product that was launched for use in the US by Artes Corporation in February 2008. The product sold very well and over 7,000 patients were treated from product launch in its first two months of marketing. Unfortunately the management overspent and went into bankruptcy, and Suneva Medical took over the FDA approval and manufacturing and has been marketing it under the name of BellaFill.
Dr. Seare worked with Artes and the FDA to come up with an injectable, lifelike facial mask, that simulated the injecting experience so that practitioners injecting this long lasting filler would get some life-like experience with an injection. This was necessary, because any injection mistakes would last a long time, unlike collagen Zyderm and II, Restalyne, Voluma, Juvederm, and other hyaluronic acid or hydroxyappetite fillers, which would normally be absorbed within 3-6 months. Dr. Seare was involved in physician training and interacted with the product launch team and manufacturing teams, and became very excited about the potential for this filler.
Benefits of Bellafill
- Adds volume to the skin by smoothing out facial wrinkles, also known as smile lines.
- Corrects facial acne scars.
- Results are visible immediately and the results continue thereafter because of the PMMA microspheres.
- It has shown it can last for years in patients.
What is Bellafill Used For?
Bellafill is an FDA-approved non-surgical dermal filler used to correct smile lines and acne scars in the face and cheek areas.
What Should I Expect from Bellafill Treatments?
Depending on the size of the area being treated, Bellafill treatments can typically take anywhere from 15 to 30 minutes. Dr. Seare uses a fast acting Benzacaine-Lidocaine-Tetracaine also referred to as BLT that is provided in a special carrier system that helps promote penetration into the skin and discomfort is reduced. He also uses an ice pack that is specifically molded to the treatment area that helps decrease perceived pain and reduces bruising. The solution is injected through a very thin needle. Once injected, the solution fills wrinkles and acne scars.
Most patients will see results after one treatment. However, Dr. Seare usually recommends additional treatments in order for Bellafill to provide the optimal result.
Bellafill comes in prepackaged ready to use syringes that is then injected through a very thin needle or a small cannula. For acne scars, it is important to cross-inject the area and penetrate it and distend and expand the scar area, and not the area around the scar. This latter error in injection technique can give a volcano shaped distortion to the skin and actually make it worse. Once injected, the Bellafill product fills wrinkles and acne scars immediately. Over time, some studies actually show that there is a modest gain in the improvement as the body’s own tissues replace the foreign bovine collagen with its own collagen tissues.
Bellafill treatments do not require recovery time, and patients can immediately jump back into their normal routine. However, you may experience side effects such as swelling, lumpiness, redness or pain at the injection site. It is recommended that you avoid taking medications such as aspirin for two weeks before a treatment and other NSAIDs such as ibuprofen, Advil, Naprosin, fish oil, Vitamin E, etc for one week before your treatment in order to decrease the risk of side effects. Tylenol has no effect on the bleeding propensity.
Bellafill is an FDA-approved injectable that is safe and effective for most individuals. It is very important that an allergy test is done prior to scheduling treatment due to the presence of bovine collagen.
It is essential that Dr. Seare review your medical history before treatment. Using other treatments for facial wrinkles within the last six months and the use of UV light therapy to treat skin diseases may impact your candidacy for Bellafill in those specific areas but are not a contra-indication to its use.
How Much Does Bellafill Cost?
The total cost of Bellafill treatment is based on the number and size of the injections Dr. Seare recommends. Dr. Seare charges by the syringe of Bellafill which is usually about $900/syringe for approximately 1cc. It takes longer to inject 1 cc of Bellafill because of the need to place micro-amounts of the Bellafill so as not to get lumps or bumps sometimes called granulomas that are a know complication of Bellafill.
Because of its permanence, Bellafill injections Dr. Seare has developed and uses with a micro-injector specifically engineered for the very small and difficult injections such as within an acne scars, other scars, or areas needing very fine injection control. Clinique Liposculpture accepts checks, cash and major credit cards (MasterCard and Visa), and financing is available through CareCredit.