Restylane is a product approved by the FDA to be used as dermal filler. It is a gel of hyaluronic acid generated by the Streptococcus species of bacteria; hyaluronic acid is a natural substance that can be found in any living organism and its function is to provide volume to the skin. As opposed to other hyaluronic acid products, Restylane is not derived from animal sources, this is a product produced in a biotechnological laboratory. Where they use natural processes in a sterile area, so there are no risks of getting diseases and there is less risk of having allergic reactions; even in those patients prone to develop allergies to common foods, such as beef, chicken, or eggs. This makes of Restylane the safest and most natural way to enhance the appearance.
Restylane is used for cosmetic and beauty procedures, as it can help to effectively reduce creases, lines, and wrinkles, it improves the volume of the lips and other parts of the face, at the time that improves the skin elasticity.
Nowadays, this treatment has increased in popularity. It has been used in more than 20 million of patients, and there are several research studies and clinical trials upon it. It has been scientifically proven that this product gives results that look very natural for a long time. It is such a safe product, that it has been widely used during the last decades to treat rheumatological and ophthalmological disorders, and it has been used to help to heal certain wounds. Its aesthetic use is more recent. Restylane is also marketed and sold in more than 65 countries outside the United States.
When is the use of Restylane recommended?
It is recommended to patients that desire to create a youthful appearance, eliminating all the creases and deep lines in the face. In other terms, Restylane is a safe-to-use dermal filler, because it is very compatible with the human body. The patient should understand that hyaluronic acid treatments will help to improve his/her appearance temporarily, but it's not a permanent solution and it won't stop the aging process.
Some people have injections of hyaluronic acid, also called liquid facelift, trying to delay the moment for a surgical facelift. Many experts recommend Restylane as a way to see some improvements in the appearance until the patient is ready for a permanent surgical option.
The Restylaneline has a variety of products, each one with a specific indication.
- In the case of Restylane® and Restylane-L®, Perlane®and Perlane-L®, they may be useful to act as a filler, adding volume and a fuller appearance to the treated area. These characteristics allow it to eliminate or make less visible deep creases in the face and nasolabial folds, among all others.
- In the case of Restylane®, Restylane Silk® and Restylane-L®, they may be useful to enhance the volume of the lips (in patients older than 21 years).
How does Restylane work?
Once Restylane is injected under the skin, it makes the function of a cushion, so it brings support to all the structures and underlying tissues in the face that become flat due to the aging process. It also improves the skin hydrated because the hyaluronic acid brings water to it; this maintains the skin flexibility and health. Further, this allows the tissues to maintain the new volume. Restylane is degraded progressively by different mechanisms of the body; which means that it is natural and completely degraded, so it does not leave residues.
How much does Restylane cost?
According to the statistics of American Society of Plastic Surgeons in 2013, the average cost of hyaluronic acid injections is $568. But, this may vary based on the expertise and qualifications of the plastic surgeon, the type of procedure and its extension. The average fee referenced above does not include anesthesia, operating room facilities or other related expenses.
What is the preparation for a Restylane injection?
In the first consultation with the plastic surgeon the patient should express his/her desired results, then the surgeon will evaluate the appearance of the patient's face, type of skin, and even the skin tone to decide what are the areas where the patient need to be treated with Restylane.
Before the patient undergoes a Restylane treatment, he/she should be aware that he/she might not achieve the results he/she wants with just one treatment, and depending on his/her body reaction to the injections he/she may need additional injections. In fact, most people need at least three injections before reaching the desired results completely. Restylane has the advantage that does not require allergy tests before to be injected.
What is the procedure of a Restylane injection?
During Restylane treatment, the plastic surgeon will inject small amounts of the product in the area of the face that needs to be enhanced, for this he/she uses needles really fine. The treatment usually is performed in the maximum of 30 minutes and just seconds per site. However, this depends on how many areas are treated.
The part of the face that will be injected should be cleaned previously with any antibacterial substance. The patient can expect a little sensation of discomfort, so in some cases, the plastic surgeon applies a topic anesthesia to numb the area; this is particularly performed if the patient is nervous or sensitive.
Before the procedure begins, the plastic surgeon creates marks in the skin of the patient's face. These are used as a guide so that he can administer the injections in the correct sites.
What are the post-injection of Restylane cares?
The sites that were injected should be washed after the treatment, and the patient should put cold compresses and ice packs on the sites. This helps to reduce the sensation of discomfort. However, the patient should be careful to avoid applying pressure over the injected areas; this can cause the spread of the injected Restylane. When this product is used to eliminate scars or deep wrinkles; it may be needed several sessions to achieve the specific goals.
Which are the side effects and complications of Restylane injection?
When Restylane is applied by inexperienced hands it can be dangerous. The plastic surgeon not only should be experienced in the area, he must also have specific experience with these types of injections.
The most common side effects, according to different studies, changes in the skin coloration (bruising and redness), swelling in the injection site, pain and discomfort, itching, changes in sensitivity, infection, nodules formation, and skin exfoliation.
Usually, the patients present an adverse event at first injection, but adverse effects are less common with the second injection at 6 months.
Are Restylane injections results permanent?
Results can be appreciated immediately following the treatment, but the patient should understand that the results of the procedure usually last from 3 to 5 months; this will depend on the patient's lifestyle, the metabolism, and the aging process.
However, some patients may achieve results that last longer than six months, depending upon injection site. Experts recommend the patient to have new Restylane injections approximately 2 to 3 times during the year to maintain their results and a youthful appearance.
If the patient decides not having subsequent injections, his/her appearance will go back to the original state. So the lines, wrinkles, creases and scars that were eliminated can return, and the volume of the lips decreases again.
Dr. Amjadi MD, DDS, FACS
Certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgeons
915 Gessner Rd #870
Houston, TX 77024