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Plastic Surgery in Santa Barbara – Cosmetic, Dermal and Injectable Fillers Are Interchangeable, But They Are Not All the Same

Injectable fillers are popular minimally invasive procedures use to contour the face, fill in wrinkles and add volume. The most common areas treated with injectable fillers are the eye area, the mouth area, cheeks and the nose. Dermal fillers in Santa Barbara are very popular because they are highly cost-effective and can offer immediate results with minimum recovery time.

You should consider injectable fillers if you have intense lines and/or wrinkles around your eyes, forehead or mouth areas, if you would like to sculpt your facial structure, you want to enhance the volume of your jaws or cheeks or if you have scars from injury or acne.  In addition learning more about injectable fillers, choosing the right plastic surgeon in Santa Barbara is critical.




In the world of injectable fillers there are a number of choices. Which one your doctor chooses will depend on the specific application, your desired results, your budget and a number of other deciding factors. Before you choose which dermal filler in Santa Barbara is right for you, find out more about cosmetic fillers.  In general, here are the types of fillers available:

Juvederm, Juvederm Ultra, Juvederm Ultra XC. This is a hyaluronic acid that is FDA approved. This injectable filler is for the fine lines of the face, including wrinkles. Juvederm also can add volume and can be injected into the lips. It works by absorbing water and plumping up the areas of the face. In general it will last anywhere from 6-months to up to one year. The XC version adds lidocaine within its composition and that can cut down on pain during injection.
Juvederm fillers for face before and after

juvederm-injectable fillers before and after

Juvederm Voluma XC. This is another hyaluronic acid that is used to add volume and contour the cheek area. It absorbs water and changes the area that it is injected into. It can last up to two years post treatment.
Voluma fillers for face before and after

voluma-injectable fillers before and after


• Radiesse. The main active ingredient is calcium hydroxylapatite. It is used to treat more severe wrinkles and folds, including the nasolabial area. It is able to replicate the collagen within the body and produces longer-lasting results. Typically it lasts up to about one year.

Radiesse fillers for face before and after

radiesse-injectable fillers before and after

• Sculptra. The main ingredient here is Poly-L-Lactic acid. It is used to build up the cheeks and can treat sunken areas or hollows. It encourages the formation of new collagen and effects are not immediate as a result. Usually more than one treatment is required to achieve desired results. Once treatment is completed, however, it can last up to 2 years.

Related: Will Dermal Fillers Ever Replace Surgical Procedures?

Sculptra fillers for face before and after


sculptra-injectable fillers before and after

Restylane Silk/Restylane/Restylane Lyft. This is another injectable filler made of hyaluronic acid. It is used for lip enhancement, cheek volume, wrinkles and folds and has smaller particles within it. It is able to absorb water and thus make areas look plumper. It lasts up to about 6 months.

Restlyane fillers for face before and after

restylane-injectable fillers before and after


Belotero Balance. This is a hyaluronic acid (HA) injectable filler best used in all areas of the face with superficial injections. Belotero helps to sill and smooth facial lines and wrinkles. This injectable filler works best for nasolabial folds, vertical lip lines, smile lines and chin wrinkles. Belotero lasts about 6 months until maintenance injections are needed and requires very little downtime.

Related: Causes Of Wrinkled Lips and Effective Treatment Options

Belotero fillers for face before and after

belotero-injectable fillers before and after


These are injectable fillers that are generally made of thicker substances such as poly-L-lactic acid, a biodegradable synthetic. This is a type of treatment appropriate for soft tissues of the face. They are used to soften deep lines around the mouth and lips.  The best types of injectable fillers in Santa Barbara for the face are:
Bellafill. These include fillers made of PMMA, or polymethylmethacrylate, which is a microsphere that is not absorbed into the body. They contain collagen and are recommended for thicker-skinned areas such as the folds around the nose. An example of this is ArteFill (also Bellafill). It is not recommended for softer-skinned areas.
• There are quite a few soft-tissue-fill products on the market. Some of the most common ones you’ll hear about are Hyaluronic Acid-Based fillers such as Restylane LYFT and Restylane, Juvederm, Belotero and Hydrelle. Collagen-based fillers are Evolence, Cosmoplast and Cosmoderm. Some fillers are Radiesse and Sculptra.
• Restylane-versus-Juvederm. Both are FDA approved fillers that are hyaluronic acids. The difference is that Juvederm is less likely to show any “bumping” whereas Restylane may need to be molded after injection. A qualified and experience physician can work with both easily.
• Juvederm XC-versus-VS Voluma. The main differences between two can be broken down into three areas: 1) placement, 2) texture and 3) longevity. Voluma is designed for deep-tissue application and lays on top of the facial bones. The texture of Juvederm is a lot like Jell-O which can be perfect to appropriately fill areas within the skin. Voluma on the other hand, can last much longer than Juvederm.
• Sculptra-versus-Radiesse. In general Radiesse can last up to one year and is best for the nose, chin and flat cheek areas. Sculptra on the other hand can last up to two years and is most commonly used for facial volume.


• Why are some types of dermal fillers are used and not others?

It is important to understand why some types of dermal fillers are appropriate for some areas and other are not. It is important to be aware of thin-skinned areas such as the areas around the mouth and in particular around the eyes. This skin is much more fragile and has to be carefully worked with.

• Why not use an injectable filler in specific areas?

There are dangers to using the inappropriate injectable filler for the wrong area. If you’re doing research on fillers, you likely have heard of horror stories about ill-informed doctors who not only failed to produce the look the client requested, but damaged them in the process. Some of the worst issues have been for patients who ended up with drastically unnatural results post-treatment. The results of using the incorrect types of dermal fillers can be visually damaging and even life-altering if not corrected immediately.  If you are looking for the best results from using injectable fillers in Santa Barbara be sure to consult a plastic surgeon.



injectable fillers 3

As stated, it is important to use the appropriate dermal fillers in Santa Barbara in aesthetic medicine for the appropriate area. The most common areas treated and the injectable fillers most often used effectively to treat them:

• Facial Fillers (Marionettes lines and nasolabial folds). The marionette lines are the lines that extend from the corner of the mouth to the chin. The term can also include the nasolabial folds around the top portion of the mouth. Treatment for this area is with Restylane or Juvederm Ultra Plus. Because of the heavier tissues within this area and intense muscle activity, they require added support.
• Cheek Fillers. Many people experience loss of fullness as they age. This can be most prominent in the cheek area. Sculptra, commonly used because of how well it restores volume to the area. It can even create a filling effect for the temple-area and the jowl-area. Cheek fillers such as Juvederm, Restylane and Sculptra are often used in minimally invasive cheek enhancement procedures.
• Tear Trough Fillers (Under eye), injectable fillers under eyes and injectable fillers for tear trough.  This is one of those areas that is very delicate and requires special treatment tools. Because the skin is so thin, “lumping” can occur without care. The most common products used for this area in under eye treatments are Juvederm or Restylane. These fillers, made from hyaluronic acid gel, very closely resembles natural tissue of the skin and is biodegradable.
• Chin Fillers (weak or short chin). Chin fullness and symmetry are important to patients. Chin augmentation using Radiesse, Restylane or Juvederm is appropriate, depending on the specifics of the patient and desired results.
• Lip Fillers (Lips, Lip Lines), injectable fillers for lips. Many people are unhappy with the lines that appear around lips as they age. We inject this area with hyaluronic acid fillers such as Restylane or Juvederm. Lip enhancement and the filling of lip lines are quick and simple procedures that restore and enhance the beauty of the smile.
• Nose Fillers (Reshaping), injectable fillers for nose. Various fillers are useful to reshape the nose. One that is common for this purpose is Juvederm. What people like about it is that it’s temporary. If the results are positive, the patient can move to other solutions such as Radiesse. Non-surgical rhinoplasty is safe, less expensive and requires much less downtime compared to it’s surgical alternative.


One of the most critical components of non-surgical plastic surgery and injectable fillers in Santa Barbara is finding the right surgeon. Here are some tips to locating the perfect one:
• Board Certification. This is the most important aspect of choosing a plastic surgeon in Santa Barbara. The chosen doctor needs to be qualified by the state in order to perform the procedure you desire. Remember though that the state doesn’t have requirements on specific procedures. That’s why you should go a step beyond checking Board Certification and check for American Board of Medical Specialties.
• Aesthetics. Be sure to look at examples of what your physician has done with other patients. Every doctor has a “brag book”, but be sure to ask for more than just that. Yes- there may be numerous outstanding results but you also want to see the everyday results.
• Experience. Also, ask your physician to show you your desired procedure on other patients. Here is where you can even ask to speak with some patients who went through the same thing. Additionally, find out the number of completed procedures for your specific procedure. Long-term experience can go a long way.
• Emotional Connections. Be sure that your plastic surgeon in Santa Barbara is someone who identifies with what you truly want. In addition to good technique and reliability, you want an injection specialist who empathizes with your desired outcome and provides emotional support. You likely will have a long-term relationship with your plastic surgeon in Santa Barbara. If you like the results of one procedure, you likely will want more. If you have issues, then you’ll work with them to resolve them. Be sure you feel a connection.
• Operating Facility. Take a tour of the location where your procedure is going to take place. You want an accredited location and you also want an operating room equipped with life support systems if the need arises. Hopefully you won’t need anything of that magnitude, but if you do you want to be sure it is ready for you. Also look for AAHC, JCAHO or AAAASF certification within the operating facility.
• Safety. Ask about the presence of a board certified Nurse Anesthetist or Anesthesiologist on staff throughout your procedure.
• General Customer Service. Assess the staff within the office too. Remember that you are going to have to work with them so you want the experience to be as pleasant as possible.


One of the most important things you can do is ask yourself if you are a good candidate for plastic surgery in Santa Barbara. The three main qualifications are:
• Do you have realistic expectations for results?
• Are you healthy?
• Do you understand the risks?
No matter who you are, you have to be realistic with your results. Be sure that your doctor explains to you what to expect and that you’re alright with that. You need to be relatively healthy. Plastic surgery in Santa Barbara can be quick and easy, but you also don’t want to put yourself at risk. Discuss with your doctor the procedure and what your specific health concerns are. Finally, know that there are risks. You can follow all the instructions, have a great doctor, and follow after-care and still have some undesirable results. Be sure that you’re aware of potential problems.


Knowing whether a procedure is right for you is important. The biggest ally you have here is your doctor. He or she should sit down with you to discuss your options and how each one will play out. They should be able to tell you what is right and what isn’t right for your specific case. Always get a second opinion too! This can help you make the appropriate decision.


When you decide to go ahead with the procedure/s be sure to understand the treatment plan. Ask your plastic surgeon how you should prepare for the treatment. Ask as many questions as you need to feel comfortable. Be sure that you understand what your post-treatment plan will be also. You should have a friend or family member help you with this. Plus, the office should set you up with clear written instructions to guide you when you get home. Finally, you also should have an emergency number you can call if you have immediate concerns that can’t wait until morning.


Here are some important questions to ask your doctor prior to surgery:
• Are you Board Certified?
• How many times have you completed the procedure I want?
• Who will be assisting you during my procedure?
• Where will you be performing my procedure?
• Do you have hospital privileges if needed?
• What type of anesthesia will be used for my procedure?
• Do you have a Board Certified Anesthetist working with you?
• What are the general risks involved with this procedure?
• What are the specific risks involved with my procedure?
• Can I see before-after pictures of patients who have had my desired procedure?
• What is the general complication risk involved with this procedure?
• Can I have 5 references from people who have had my procedure done?
• Can I have a break-down of the cost for my procedure?
• What can I expect during recovery?


Here is a pre-treatment checklist for your appointments after your initial consultation:

• Provide your doctor with a list of medications (including dosages) you use and include herbal or OTC products
• Review your medical history in depth with your doctor, including any surgeries you have had
• Discuss any medical complications you or a family member has had with anesthesia
• Ask for written directions to the facility where your procedure will occur
• Ask for a list of post-operative instructions such as showering after your procedure, elimination of certain medicines, medications you’ll take post-procedure, eating or drinking the night before and day after, list of supplies you may need and support offered by the office post-recovery.
• Provide your doctor’s office with your emergency contact numbers

Here is a week-before-surgery checklist:

• Purchase the supplies you’ll need post-surgery
• Follow instructions as directed by your doctor
• Stop smoking, if applicable
• Procure a driver to and from the procedure
• Fill your post-operative prescriptions, if needed

Here is a night-before checklist:

• Pack the items you’ll need in your bag
• Bring something to hold your eye glasses
• Plan to wear comfortable clothing
• Bring your insurance information, including insurance cards
• Follow directions regarding eating and drinking the night before

Here is a day-of checklist:

• Be sure your office provides you with post-procedure instructions in writing so you can refer to them later
• Plan for someone to stay with you post-procedure if your doctor instructs



Consider using injectable fillers in Santa Barbara if you have deep lines showing around your mouth, your eyes or your brow. You also can use it to replace areas that look gaunt, or have lost fat.  Injectable fillers in Santa Barbara can change the overall contour of your face to achieve a specific desired result.


You should discuss with your physician your recovery plan. He or she should be able to give you a general outline of what you should expect. They also should tell you when to contact them if you’re experiences are out of the ordinary. In general, injectable fillers don’t require long-term recovery time but it can take 1-2 weeks to see the true results. It also can take that time to recover from swelling or bruising.


Discuss with your doctor what to expect post-treatment. He or she should provide you with general before/after pictures of your procedure as done on other patients. Of course everyone’s results are unique, but it should give you a general idea of what to expect.


Provide your doctor with a written cost sheet. He or she will break down each cost so you know exactly what you’re paying for. Be sure to ask questions if you don’t understand something or if you want further clarification.


As with any procedure there can be cons. The best way to avoid them is to properly vet your doctor and he or her facilities. This can seriously cut back on issues. Beyond that, the biggest con is the fact that injectable fillers are temporary and you will need to repeat them to maintain the look you want. There also can be some bruising and swelling after procedures, however they usually are minimal.


Schedule a Consultation Today

Interested in injectable fillers in Santa Barbara? We can assist you! If you need cosmetic dermal fillers for wrinkles, folds, volume loss and many other common problems, get in touch with us today! Schedule a consultation and let us create a treatment plan designed for you. Call Dr. Sheffield today at our Santa Barbara location (805) 318-3280.

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