Is Bellafill® an implant or filler?
Posted:8:49 a.m. Monday, Aug. 18, 2014
By Anita Mandal, M.D.
Question: I’ve been researching injectable fillers on the Internet. What I learned is that Bellafill® is actually an implant even though my doctor told me it was a filler. Isn’t it dangerous to inject an implant into your face that can harden over time?
Answer: While the Internet contains helpful information, there is also considerable inaccurate and misleading information on cosmetic procedures.
The active ingredient in Bellafill®, polymethyl methacrylate or PMMA, has been used for decades in the form of surgical implants in the body. Because PMMA implants are inert and well accepted by our body, 20 years of research and product development has led to the current Bellafill® formulation in the form of an injectable filler.
Unlike the fixed size and shape of the PMMA implants surgically inserted into the tissues for medical reasons, Bellafill® consists of microscopic PMMA crystals suspended in solution and injected to stimulate collagen production by our bodies. However, there is no distinct boundary between implant and filler. Most fillers can be thought of as small implanted particles whereas many implants that result in filling can be considered fillers. Further, whether a material is a filler or an implant has nothing to do with how safe and effective it is. It is typically the nature of material that the implant or filler consists of that is important. Of course, technical skill of the surgeon, regardless of whether it is surgery or an injectable treatment, is equally important.
In my experience of performing at least 50 syringes per month, Bellafill® is a very safe and effective injectable filler. Careful consultation with a Facial Plastic Surgeon who has a thorough knowledge of facial volumization and surgical anatomy as well as being a skilled injector is the first step in determining the most suitable filler option for you. The results of all fillers is highly technique and injector-dependent.