Dermal filler use has increased so substantially in recent years that it rivals surgical facial rejuvenation. While there are several advantages to the use of dermal fillers, some patients desire a little more than they can get with a traditional injectable. We are happy to serve our patients’ needs for extended effects with Bellafill®.
What is Bellafill?
Bellafill is an FDA-approved filler product that has been in use since 2006 to assist patients with the long-term correction of moderate to severe lines and wrinkles. Original approval was originally under the name Artefill, which changed to Bellafill in 2014. Shortly after rebranding, Bellafill gained extended FDA approval for the treatment of acne scarring.
How does Bellafill work?
Bellafill immediately rejuvenates the skin by adding volume in the form of bovine collagen to a wrinkle, acne scar, or hollow area. Over 3 to 6 months, your body absorbs the bovine collagen and replaces it with your natural collagen. Organic collagen production is stimulated by the presence of polymethylmethacrylate microspheres, PMMA, which remain intact at injection sites where they act as a support matrix for smooth, youthful skin.
What is Bellafill made of?
Bovine collagen makes up the majority of the Bellafill product. 13% of each syringe contains polymethylmethacrylate microspheres. PMMA has been widely used in medicine for several decades. The microspheres contained in Bellafill are only about the size of a single cell in the body. Additionally, a small amount of lidocaine is in the formulation for the comfort of the patient.
Is Bellafill safe?
Because Bellafill is a long-lasting dermal filler product, it has had to go through extensive clinical evaluation for safety and efficacy and it has delivered. The longest and most extensive dermal filler study to be conducted confirmed that Bellafill is very safe. Furthermore, post-approval data submitted to the FDA has revealed that Bellafill has a 5-year satisfaction rate of over 90% among patients as well as clinical investigators. The complication rate, consisting primarily of lumps and bumps, was less than 2%.
Bellafill Treatment Areas
Bellafill is approved for the correction of moderate to severe nasolabial folds and smile lines. However, experienced physicians also commonly use this product for longer-lasting correction of mid-facial volume loss and improvement in the contouring of the chin. Dr. Keamy can safely inject Bellafill into the:
- Nasolabial Folds
- Acne Scars
The Bellafill Injection Process
Bellafill treatment can start after Dr. Keamy confirms appropriateness via the skin-test that accompanies this product.
Although an allergic reaction to bovine collagen is very rare, Bellafill treatment does involve a skin test to identify sensitivity to this ingredient or to the lidocaine in the formula.
Before injections, Dr. Keamy will often apply numbing cream to the skin and left for a few minutes. Thorough cleansing of your skin is also conducted prior to injections of Bellafill using a thin needle. Then, Dr. Keamy will introduce small amounts of product into scars or other concerns in increments that allow us to observe effects as we go. Depending on the extensiveness of treatment, your appointment may be complete within half an hour.
Bellafill Treatment Sessions
In most cases, only one Bellafill treatment is necessary to achieve the desired outcome. Patients can schedule a follow-up appointment for one month after your initial treatment to observe the progress of results. If applicable, patients can discuss the need for additional Bellafill for deep lines and creases or extensive facial atrophy.
Ideal Candidates for Bellafill
Men and women over the age of 21 with an interest in long-term results from a reputable dermal filler are good candidates for Bellafill. This product will likely better suit patients that are familiar with the effects of conventional short-term filler products. Contraindications include:
- Known allergy to bovine collagen
- History of severe allergies
- Allergy to lidocaine
- History of excessive or thick scarring
Side Effects of Bellafill
Side effects of Bellafill treatment are similar to other dermal fillers. These include temporary bruising, redness, and swelling at injection sites. Redness usually diminishes within a 24-hour period. Swelling may last a few days up to a few weeks, depending on the area treated. Bruising may not occur at all. If it does, it may last up to 2 weeks.
Results of Bellafill
Bellafill has commonly been referred to as a permanent dermal filler. This is not accurate. A more precise description of this treatment is that it is long-lasting. While results do not last forever, Dr. Keamy is careful in the application of Bellafill to maximize facial symmetry and youthfulness. Clinical trials have demonstrated significant improvement in signs of aging at up to 5 years after treatment. While formal studies have ended at the 5-year mark, many Bellafill patients have continued to report satisfying results after eight years.
Bellafill is the only long-term dermal filler approved for use at this time. Alternatives include standard filler products like Restylane, which are useful for short-term improvements. Some patients consider fat grafting for long-lasting facial rejuvenation. However, the predictability of results is better with Bellafill than with fat cells. Also, fat grafting involves a minor surgical procedure, liposuction, to harvest fat cells from one or more areas of the body for use in injectable facial rejuvenation.