Liquid facelifts using products like Restylane, Perlane,
Juvederm and Radiesse as well Sculptra have become extremely popular during the
last few years. Using a blunt cannula has increased the safety of these
injections tremendously. Blunt cannulas minimize the risk of intravascular
The use of blunt cannulas various widely from practitioner
to practitioner even in the same office. The gauge range I have used is as fine
as a 30 gauge to 22 gauge. The length I now prefer is one inch, however, for
several months I preferred 2 inches.
I still find myself having a new favorite as I try various
sizes. I feel I have more control with the more rigid the cannula is, so I know
exactly where I am. I do not use a blunt cannula for Sculptra, because I had
issues with the cannula getting clogged.
The safety of using cannulas has given me more confidence of
injecting various areas of the face; however, it is not without challenges or complications.
The following are a few challenges:
More time is generally required when using the
Some areas of the face, especially lateral to
the mid pupillary line, are more painful when using cannulas
Extra care needs to be taken to maintain
sterility of the needle if you set the needle and syringe down on your tray
Patients experience more swelling after
injections under the eyes
I use more product when using the cannula
Bruising can still occur, so patients should be
aware that the cannula does not guarantee that they will not bruise
In areas like the marionette lines, I almost
always now use the needle to do fine tuning
I find myself varying my technique depending on the
patient's condition, their expectations, the area I am treating, the amount I
have to use and social downtime factors.