Blunt Cannula Technique
Injection of soft tissue fillers such as Restylane, Juvederm
and Radiesse are becoming more popular in aesthetic practices. Unlike a sharp
beveled needle, a blunt cannula has a rounded tip and the opening is just
proximal to that blunt tip. The cannulas are flexible or rigid and are available
in different lengths. A variety of techniques can be used due to the vast
options of needles.
Most injectors claim that the biggest benefit is less
bruising to the patient. As an injector, the fear of causing necrosis of tissue
due to an intravascular injection is always there. The blunt cannula glides
through tissue along and beside vessels with less risk puncturing through them
as a sharp needle would. There is less trauma and bruising of the tissue.
Compared to traditional needle injections, blunt cannulas provide less social
Blunt cannula injections are being performed around the eyes
and more vascular areas in a safer fashion. Diluting the filler and using a
fanning technique allows for treatment of the temples and forehead with
pleasing aesthetic results and less risk of lumpiness.
Many claim that the use of blunt cannulas makes a more
comfortable treatment for the patient. However, depending on the area being
treated, size of the cannula and the patient's pain tolerance, it may cause
some discomfort. I still like to provide topical, local and small dose nerve
block anesthetics if needed.
The use of these blunt cannulas in Europe is very popular,
with growing popularity in the US. It is exciting to see different injector
techniques. With the length of some of these cannulas, an injector may make
just one insertion site on each side of the face to do their full correction
resulting in less evidence and less social downtime.