How Much Filler Volume is Too Much?

A common concern patients have about fillers is that they will end up looking puffy, stretched out and not like themselves if too much is used. Whether it's the request of the patient, or a doctor that has a heavy hand, excessive volume causes the face to exhibit an unnatural fullness.

“If you add too much to the face, you’ll look unnatural and like a comic book character,” says New York plastic surgeon Robert M. Tornambe, MD. “Some areas, like the nasolabial folds, shouldn’t be completely corrected because they will lead to a distorted look.” If you are best suited for a facelift, but choose fillers instead, an abnormal appearance can result if the loose tissues are attempted to be lifted and filled.

The Fix: Hyaluronidase
If too much volume is injected into the face, the result can be reversed, but only with the use of hyaluronic acid fillers. Hyaluronidase is an enzyme that breaks up hyaluronic acid gel and takes down the undesired effects. “One of the advantages of off-the-shelf fillers is that some of them can be dissolved, which is huge,” says Newport Beach, CA, plastic surgeon Val Lambros, MD. With other revolumizing techniques, like fat or collagen-stimulating fillers, hyaluronidase does not work as an antidote, and excision of the product or microsuction of the fat is the only option.

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