New Way To Inject Fillers That Doesn't Hurt

You might not put too much thought into which pointy instrument is used to inject your fillers, but chances are, your physician does. During the past year, cannulas have become more preferred over regular needles in some instances. Here's why:

A needle, which is sharp at the end, will simply pierce its way through the skin and tissue to get to its injection area. A cannula, on the other hand, has a rounded tip that allows the physician to feel his or her way through the skin and deeper tissues. With a cannula, the practitioner can feel if he or she is approaching a blood vessel, vein or artery, and maneuver around them to avoid damage that results in the bruising and swelling sometimes related to filler injections.

Because the cannula has a rounded tip, a small needle hole has to be made to insert the cannula. Yet because the cannula is longer, multiple areas can be treated at once, requiring only one insertion point rather than making additional needle holes.

Englewood, CO, dermatologist Joel L. Cohen explained which areas he prefers to use cannulas on during the South Beach Clinical Dermatology Symposium. “Cannulas have very specific roles in very specific areas,” he said. “Personally, I have found them useful in the cheek, the infraorbital area [below the eye], in the décolleté and the dorsal hands.”

In addition to less bruising and swelling, some patients experience less pain with cannulas, however, needles are still preferred in areas like nasolabial folds. Either way, it's an option that some of the nation's top dermatologists are talking about and mentioned cannulas in our video on beauty breakthroughs.

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  • Kian Karimi MD
    Posted on

    As a correction to my previous comment, I used to ask my patients to cover up bruising with make-up. Fortunately with the DermaSculpt microcannula this is no longer an issue.

  • Dr. Kian Karimi MD
    Posted on

    As a facial plastic surgeon, I perform injectable fillers almost every day in my practice. I used to use traditional sharp needles to perform injections and these would work great in common areas that we used to treat like the smile lines (nasolabial folds) and the corners of the mouth. I used to quote a 10-20% chance of having a visible bruise for several days although I would assure my patients they could cover it up with bruising. As the use of fillers expanded to filling of lips, correcting circles around the eyes and filling the depressions of the lower eyelids, filling in hollowed temples, and raising cheeks, the incidence of bruising and worrisome possible complications increased. Every since I started using the DermaSculpt blunt cannula (the first FDA approved blunt cannula in the US), I am now confidently able to tell my patients that there is virtually no chance of bruising, far less swelling, and far less pain when performing injectable fillers in any area. I usually don't even have to apply numbing cream since the injections are all done deep to the skin's surface, where all of the small blood vessels and nerves are located. I am confident that in a few years, most physician and nurse injectors will perform injectable fillers using a blunt cannula technique primarily. It just makes sense.

  • Posted on

    This article provides a very interesting approach to minimizing the discomfort with the injection of fillers. Many of my patients say the anesthetic creams used by their doctors are not always effective. Another approach to minimize the pain is using true local anesthetic injections performed intra orally as is done every day by dentists. This technique can be performed nearly painlessly to totally numb the lips and sometimes the nasolabial folds. I have worked with numerous patients for many years now that are seeing their dermatologists or plastic surgeons to avoid the pain from filler injections by pre anesthetizing the patient before they have their fillers. Injecting the softer skin or tissue inside the mouth rather than the outside skin enables a much easier injection. This anatomical location coupled with a diabetic size needle and topical anesthetic ointment beforehand can make the experience of filler injections considerably more pleasant. There are a couple of other techniques to a painless injection that can be employed as well.

  • Monica in Miami, FL
    Posted on

    If a small needle hole has to be made in order to insert the cannula, does this mean multiple injections? I don't do well with needles to begin with so the less amount of piercing and instruments, the better.

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