Collagen

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Injectable collagen can help improve the skin's texture by filling in the laugh lines and facial creases that often occur with aging.

 

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Years of squinting and other facial muscle movements can take their toll on the eye area, leaving crow's feet and other noticeable lines

 

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After treatment, the skin around the eye area appears smoother and tauter.

 

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Lines and creases that form around the mouth are usually caused by gravity and a breakdown of tissues beneath the skin.

 

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The lower face appears firmer and smoother after treatment with injectables. Lines around the mouth are filled in and nearly imperceptible.

 

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With regular follow-up treatments, your refreshed look can be easily maintained.

If You're Considering Collagen Injections...

As we age, our faces begin to show the effects of gravity, sun exposure and years of facial muscle movement, such as smiling, chewing and squinting. The underlying tissues that keep our skin looking youthful and plumped up begin to break down, often leaving laugh lines, smile lines, crow's feet or facial creases over the areas where this muscle movement occurs.

Collagen injections can help fill in these lines and creases, temporarily restoring a smoother, more youthful-looking appearance. When injected beneath the skin, these fillers plump up creased and sunken areas of the face. They can also add fullness to the lips and cheeks. Collagen injections may be performed alone or in conjunction with a resurfacing procedure, such as a laser treatment, or a recontouring procedure, such as a facelift.

If you're considering a facial rejuvenation treatment with collagen, this brochure will give you a basic understanding of the procedure-- when collagen can help, how the procedure is performed and what results you can expect. It may not answer all of your questions, since a lot depends on your individual circumstances. Please ask your doctor if there is anything about the procedure you don't understand.

Knowing Your Options

Injected collagen is primarily used to improve the appearance of the skin's texture. They can help fill out deep facial wrinkles, creases and furrows, "sunken" cheeks, skin depressions and some types of scars. They can also be used to add a fuller, more sensuous look to the lips.

Injectable collagen is usually not sufficient for severe surface wrinkles on the face, such as multiple vertical "lipstick lines" that sometimes form around the mouth. Instead, your plastic surgeon may suggest a resurfacing technique, such as chemical peel, dermabrasion or laser treatments. Rather than filling in facial lines, resurfacing methods strip away the outer layers of the skin to produce a smoother appearance.

Deep folds in the face or brow caused by overactive muscles or by loose skin may be more effectively treated with cosmetic surgery, such as a facelift or brow lift. Injectables like collagen are sometimes used in conjunction with facial surgery procedures; however, injectables alone cannot change facial contour the way surgery can.

Keep in mind that a plastic surgeon is a specialist that can offer you the full gamut of the most advanced treatments ranging from cosmetic surgery, refinishing techniques, laser therapy, injectables and the use of other fillers. You and your surgeon may determine that a single procedure or a combination of procedures is the best choice for you.

ASPS brochures are available on chemical peel, dermabrasion, laser treatments, facelift and brow lift. If you and your doctor think that one of these other procedures might be more appropriate for you, ask your plastic surgeon to provide you with a copy.

A Word About Other Types of Fillers

This brochure deals with collagen injections, however a number of other filler materials are also being used for facial rejuvenation purposes. They include temporary fillers made of hyaluronic acid like Juvederm, Restylane and Perlane, as well as long-lasting fillers like Radiesse, Sculptra and Artefill.

Each of these options has its own set of risks and benefits. If you're considering any of these alternatives to collagen injections, tell your doctor.

What to Expect from Treatment

The most important fact to remember about injectable collagen is that the results are not permanent. Injected material is eventually metabolized by the body. You should not expect the same long-lasting results that may be gained from cosmetic surgery.

In some individuals, the results may last only a few weeks; in others, the results may be maintained for months. Researchers believe that age, genetic background, skin quality and lifestyle, as well as the injected body site, may all play a role in the injected material's "staying power." However, the precise reason for the variation of results among patients has yet to be identified.

Although it's true that some individuals' bodies are more receptive to one injectable substance than the other, others may find that neither substance produces optimal results. Sometimes one substance may work better than another for a specific problem.

Risks Related to Collagen Injections

When collagen injections are administered by a qualified plastic surgeon, complications are infrequent and usually minor in nature. Still, individuals vary greatly in their anatomy, their physical reactions and their healing abilities. The outcome of treatment with collagen injections is never completely predictable.

Allergic reaction is the primary risk of collagen. To help determine if you are allergic to the substance, your surgeon will perform an allergy skin test about a month before the procedure. After the test is performed, the test site should be watched carefully for three or four weeks, or as long as your surgeon advises. Any sign of redness, itching, swelling or other occurrences at the test site should be reported to your surgeon.

Risks not necessarily related to allergies include infection, abscesses, open sores, skin peeling, scarring and lumpiness, which may persist over the treated area. Reports of these problems are very rare.

Planning for Treatment

Facial rejuvenation is very individualized. That's why it's important to discuss your hopes and expectations with a board-certified plastic surgeon who has experience with many different types of surgical and non-surgical facial procedures.

In your initial consultation, your plastic surgeon will evaluate your face - the skin, the muscles and the underlying bone - and discuss your goals for the surgery. Your doctor will help you select a treatment option based on your goals and concerns, your anatomy and your lifestyle.

Your surgeon will ask you about your medical history, drug allergies and check for conditions that could cause problems, such as active skin infections or non-healed sores from injuries. Collagen injections are generally off limits for pregnant women, individuals who are allergic to beef or bovine products, patients who suffer from autoimmune diseases and those who are allergic to lidocaine (the anesthetic agent contained in the syringe with the collagen material). For more specific information about the contraindications and risks of collagen use, ask your doctor for the manufacturer's brochure for patients.

Insurance usually doesn't cover cosmetic procedures. However, if your injectable collagen treatment is being performed to treat a scar or indentation from an accident or injury, you may be reimbursed for a portion of the cost. Check with your insurance carrier to be sure.

Where Your Treatment Will Be Performed

Collagen injections are usually administered in a surgeon's office-based facility. If, however, you are being hospitalized for a facelift, neck lift, brow lift or any other procedure, your injections may be administered in the hospital as well.

Types of Anesthesia

Because the anesthetic agent lidocaine is mixed in with collagen, additional anesthetic is usually not used. However, if you are especially sensitive to pain, your doctor may use a topical cream anesthetic or a Freon spray to numb the injected area. Or, you may elect to have an injected local anesthetic or sedative drugs.

About Collagen Injections

Collagen is a naturally occurring protein that provides support to various parts of the human body: the skin, the joints, the bones and the ligaments. Injectable collagen, patented by the Collagen Corporation under the trade names Zyderm and Zyplast, is derived from purified bovine collagen. The purification process creates a product similar to human collagen. Injectable collagen received approval from the Food and Drug Administration in1981. It is produced in various thicknesses to meet individual patient needs.

Collagen is used primarily to fill wrinkles, lines and scars on the face and sometimes the neck, back and chest.

The procedure: Treatment with collagen can begin after a skin test determines that you're not allergic to the substance. The collagen is injected using a fine needle inserted at several points along the edge of the treatment site. If a local anesthesia has not been used, you may feel some minor stinging or burning as the injections are administered.

Since part of the substance is salt water that will be absorbed by the body within a few days, your doctor will slightly overfill the area. You may be asked to hold a hand mirror during the procedure to help your doctor decide when you've had enough.

After treatment: Immediately following treatment, you may notice some minor discomfort, stinging or throbbing in the injected area. Occasionally some bruising or swelling will occur, but it is usually minor. Any redness that appears in the injected site usually disappears within 24 hours. However, in some individuals, particularly fair-skinned patients, this redness may persist for a week or more. Tiny scabs may also form over the needle-stick areas; these generally heal quickly.

No bandaging is needed and you are free to eat, drink, and wear makeup with sunblock protection shortly thereafter. There may be some temporary swelling and redness in the treated area which should dissipate within a few days. If these symptoms persist, contact your surgeon.

Results: As stated earlier, the duration of results from collagen injections is variable. Collagen's longevity depends on the patient's lifestyle and physical characteristics as well as the part of the body treated. In general, the injected material is likely to disappear faster in areas that are more affected by muscle movement.

Your doctor can help you determine how long you can go between treatments to best maintain your results.

Your New Look

If you're like most patients, you'll be very satisfied with the results of your injectable collagen treatments. You may be surprised at the pleasing results that can be gained from this procedure.

 
American Society of Plastic Surgeons American Board of Plastic Surgery Fellow, American College of Surgeons Patients' Choice Portland Monthly Magazine - Top Doctors Oregon Medical Association Medical Society of Metropolitan Portland http://www.carecredit.com/