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Aesthetics Practice Today

Liquid Facelifts

Published December 10, 2013 9:23 AM by Mina Grasso

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 injections.

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: 

1.     More time is generally required when using the cannula

2.     Some areas of the face, especially lateral to the mid pupillary line, are more painful when using cannulas

3.     Extra care needs to be taken to maintain sterility of the needle if you set the needle and syringe down on your tray

4.     Patients experience more swelling after injections under the eyes

5.     I use more product when using the cannula

6.     Bruising can still occur, so patients should be aware that the cannula does not guarantee that they will not bruise

7.     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.  

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    Occupation: Physician Assistant/Nurse Practitioner
    Setting: Miami & Upland, Calif.
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