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What Is Cannula for Fillers and Why We Love This Technique

August 19, 2021

Dermal fillers enhance natural facial features while returning volume to the face where it’s been lost over time. They’re popular for those seeking to plump up their lips or fill in laugh lines and have traditionally been injected using needles.

There is a different technique used to inject the hyaluronic acid used in dermal fillers: the cannula.
What is a cannula for fillers?

We’ll go into more detail, but generally, a cannula is a blunt, round-tipped tool that has become an alternative to needles in dermal filler treatments. Many doctors now prefer the method and are excited about the benefits of the cannula technique for patients seeking a non-invasive treatment with minimal downtime.

Cannula for Fillers vs. Needles

There are some misconceptions out there about using cannulas for dermal fillers. Patients may be worried about a lack of precision with the method, not to mention a chance for increased swelling and bruising possible with a larger tool delivering the filler injections. The videos out there certainly show a technique that looks like it could be more invasive, even more painful.

The opposite is actually true.

Doctors use the cannula method for lip fillers, tear troughs, and otherwise because most patients will only need one initial injection site for their treatment. The technique is less risky than using traditional needles and no more painful than using needles.

Cannulas for injecting dermal fillers are also FDA-approved for use in the face’s lips, cheeks, and jowls. Your jowls are the skin below your chin or jawline, by the way, often prone to sagging as we age. Dermal fillers can return some fullness to those tricky areas, and cannulas make it even easier.

Cannula needle

Benefits of the Cannula Technique

The cannula method has been revolutionary for patients interested in dermal fillers. The benefits are numerous:

  • Cannulas allow for a high degree of accuracy. Doctors are better able to control where the filler is going with a flexible cannula.
  • Precision isn’t a problem. One study showed that cannulas are even more precise regarding where doctors want those fillers to go.
  • The cannula method allows doctors to treat a larger area, as the cannula itself is larger than a needle. This means many patients will only need an initial injection point.
  • There is less pain or discomfort for the patient with fewer entry points during and after the procedure.
  • There is a decreased risk of swelling and bruising using cannulas for fillers, speeding up recovery time. Downtime is minimal regardless.
  • Cannulas reduce the already low risk of piercing any blood vessels during treatment, as doctors are working with a blunt-tipped cannula over sharp needles. Those flexible cannulas also allow doctors to work around any blood vessels during the treatment.

woman with facial filler before and after

What to Expect With the Cannula Method

Patients receiving dermal fillers using the cannula technique typically receive local anesthesia to keep the treatment relatively pain-free. Those worried about their pain threshold should talk to their provider about additional measures.
Most patients find that the treatment is no more painful than the traditional method or treatment for Botox.
Many report it is less painful as the doctors are not working with multiple entry points, typical for injections using needles. Those needles are often targeting very sensitive areas of the face, too, making fewer injection sites the better option if you’re worried about pain.

Before getting dermal fillers, no matter the method, your doctor will tell you what to avoid and how to prepare before your appointment. In brief, you’ll want to stop taking any blood-thinning medications for several weeks before your treatment and avoid scheduling any major events in the two weeks after.

After your treatment, you will receive instructions around activities to avoid and how to best care for your face. A benefit we’ve highlighted about cannulas is that swelling and bruising are less likely after your procedure. Some redness at the injection site is normal, so you should avoid touching or massaging the area in the immediate day after.
The final results are similar to that of traditional dermal filler methods. You should be able to see that desired volume within several days after your treatment. Depending on the type of filler used, results will last anywhere from 9 to 24 months.

Woman getting dermal filler injected into her tear troughs

A More Personalized Approach

There is no one-size-fits-all when it comes to the best results. Some doctors will advise the use of both needles and cannulas for the most precise results. The method may depend on what you consider your ideal to be and the areas of the face you’re targeting.

No matter where you are in your journey for voluminous skin, the doctors at SDBotox are here to help you with a personalized approach and answer any questions you may have. If you’re sold on the cannula technique, Dr. Roher and staff nurses Meri and Vika are experts in the method.

Book your dermal filler appointment online and meet with one of our trusted professionals to go over your options. Many of our services also come with discounts, particularly if you consider an SDBotox membership.

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