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Unfounded Fears of Long-Term Fillers

Posted: 12:01 a.m. Sunday, Nov. 11, 2018

By Anita Mandal, M.D.
Question: I really want Bellafill. I see that you are a BellaDiamond injector and do a lot of Bellafill. I imagine that you could only have so much success with Bellafill because the results speak for themselves. My research shows that Bellafill is very safe. Why aren’t more doctors using it?

Answer: This is a great question. There are several important aspects of Bellafill that neither consumers nor doctors are properly educated on.

First, many doctors confuse Bellafill with two older fillers, Artecol and Arteplast, which were only available in Europe and had a high rate of problems. To keep us safe, the FDA never allowed Artecol or Arteplast into the U.S.

While the Bellafill crystal, which stimulates collagen, is derived from a similar material as Artecol, Bellafill has a very different formulation and is, thus, a completely different product. Unlike the primitive european products, Bellafill has a smaller particle size, is much more uniform in size and has a positive charge between surrounding particles to keep it evenly suspended during injection. These major technological advances in product formulation are the reason why Bellafill has been scientifically shown to last 5 years, based on the more than 1000-patient FDA study. It is also why Bellafill has a much more predictable collagen stimulatory response, unlike the filler, Sculptra, with its less reliable outcome. Most important, Bellafill’s unique formulation gives it a high safety profile similar to that of Juvederm and Restylane.

Another reason why many doctors don’t advocate Bellafill, the 5-year filler, is that long-term injectable fillers require much greater injector skill. With so many doctors (without plastic surgery backgrounds) and non-doctors taking weekend training courses to learn about fillers, consumers have more injector choices. When a less-skilled injector makes an error, it’s easy to tell the patient that a temporary filler with go away in a year or two.

Unfortunately, the number of highly skilled injectors is very small. With a long-term filler, seeking an injector who has the mindset of “getting it done right on the first try”, similar to a surgeon’s mindset, is key. Remember, “minimally- invasive” does not have to mean “minimally-skilled.”

A third reason is that Bellafill is a volumization filler for deeper lines or grooves, facial hollows as well as for sagging brows and droopy mouth corners. Unlike the 2-dimensional filling of fine lines, facial volumization requires a 3-dimensional understanding of facial aesthetics. Volumization fillers are placed deeper in the tissues, requiring more detailed knowledge of the complex facial anatomy of nerves, vessels and muscles, in order to optimize results and minimize complications.

Seeking a Board Certified Facial Plastic Surgeon who is not only skilled in surgery of the face and neck, but is also an expert injector of Bellafill should be the first step in enhancing your chances of a natural, refreshed and satisfying result.


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