How Much Filler Do I Need?

A conversational blog with Sarah Burchett, PA-C

 

One of the biggest reasons that patients are underwhelmed with the results of dermal fillers is that they simply don’t use enough.  Sometimes, this is the fault of the injector for not recommending the amount of filler required to achieve the patient’s goals.  Other times, patients are trying to be economical and choose to do a smaller amount of filler than what is recommended.  In my practice, there have been several patients who decided to start with fewer syringes than what was recommended, and they end up liking the result but wanting to add more because they have now have confidence in the outcome and reassurance that they will not “look fake.”  I almost never have a patient say they feel like too much filler was injected.  I’d like to share with you some of the tips I tell my patients during a filler consultation.

 

  1. Most syringes of filler are 1 mL of volume, which is equal to 1/5 of a teaspoon.  Hyaluronic acid fillers do have the capacity to bind and attract water, so they will plump and create a bit more volume as they integrate into the skin, but if you think about how many teaspoons you could spread around your face to soften lines and restore lost volume, you quickly start to realize that multiple syringes are often needed to give you a result you will love. 
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2.The Rule of Decades:  In the industry, we are taught a general guideline for the amount of filler most women will need for an appreciable result.  It goes like this…

20s…2 mL

30s…3 mL

40s…4 mL

50s…5 mL

60s…6 mL

I have found this rule to be an accurate guideline for most women.  Of course, there will be some variation based upon your anatomy (shape of your bone structure, muscles and fat tissue), your aesthetic preferences, and the amount of collagen damage to your skin from sun exposure over your lifetime.

3. .Be honest and realistic about what will make you happy.  If you are beyond your mid-60s, have advanced skin laxity, and want to take 20 years off your appearance, the procedure that can get you there is a facelift.  If you are in your 30s, 40s, or 50s with early to moderate skin laxity, dermal fillers are a great option for you!  Think of dermal fillers as being able to soften lines and restore lost volume.  Do not expect them to tighten sagging skin or eliminate lines all together.  Getting a good outcome starts with a good consultation, so make a plan with your injector today!   

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