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Bellafill Injections in NYC

Originally approved for nasolabial folds (smile lines) and indented acne scars, Bellafill can also be used for cheeks.

Bellafill® is an FDA-approved injectable dermal filler for the long term correction of distensible facial acne scars and nasolabial folds (also known as smile lines). In addition to providing immediate volume replacement, one of the key benefits of Bellafill is its longevity in treating patients who suffer from acne scarring. Bellafill lasts much longer than the other traditional hyaluronic acid injectable fillers that are currently on the market for facial rejuvenation. Many patients suffer from depressed, atrophic acne scars and need to replace this lost volume, and with Bellafill they can see immediate results.

Bellafill, made by Suneva Medical, Inc., was FDA-approved in 2006. It is currently the longest lasting dermal filler on the market in the United States. Bellafill injections were originally FDA approved to correct nasolabial lines, and more recently Bellafill injections were approved to treat acne scar patients. Bellafill offers longer term correction than traditional hyaluronic acid fillers, and is indicated for the correction of moderate to severe acne scars in patients over 21 years of age. Bellafill, unlike traditional hyaluronic dermal fillers, can last more than one year for depressed acne scars. Bellafill can also be used in other areas of the face, such as the chin and cheeks, to replace lost facial volume.

Dr. Michele Green is a board-certified cosmetic dermatologist in NYC. Dr. Green is an expert in non-surgical facial rejuvenation and treating acne scars, and was one of the first dermatologists in New York to utilize Bellafill for patients with acne scars. Dr. Green is an international expert in treating acne scars and utilizes a combination of dermal fillers, cutting edge lasers, chemical peels, subcision, TCA Cross, microneedling, PRP, and the best skin care to rejuvenate your skin.

What is Bellafill?

Bellafill is an FDA approved, long-term filler that treats distensible acne scars for up to one year. Bellafill is an improved version of Artefill, which has been used in Europe for over a decade. Bellafill is manufactured by Suneva Medical, Inc. and comes in the form of a smooth gel. It is composed of synthetic microspheres of polymethyl methacrylate (or PMMA), suspended in purified bovine (cow) collagen gel. The PMMA microspheres create a matrix which supports your body’s own natural collagen production. While it was originally approved for nasolabial folds (commonly known as “smile lines”), Dr. Green now utilizes Bellafill for atrophic acne scars. Bellafill can also be used in other areas of the face, to restore volume loss, such as the temple, cheeks and chin.

How does Bellafill work?

Bellafill is composed of 80% purified bovine collagen and 20% polymethyl methacrylate (PMMA) microspheres. The collagen immediately adds volume to the skin in order to plump up wrinkles and scars, bringing them up to the level of the surrounding skin. The 20% PMMA is non-resorbable, which means that unlike the collagen, your body won’t absorb it over time. The PMMA then acts as a biostimulant, encouraging your body to generate its own natural collagen; after Bellafill is injected into the treated area, new collagen growth will be stimulated. Most patients will notice a difference after the first treatment. The full effect takes months, as over time new collagen tissue forms around the PMMA. For patients with indented acne scars, Bellafill injections stimulates the body to produce its own collagen, replacing volume loss and collagen in these acne scars. Most patients require two or more treatments to have full correction and the best cosmetic results.

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What is the process of Bellafill Treatment?

The process of Bellafill treatment is similar to other injections with dermal fillers for acne scarring. In order to make sure that Bellafill is a suitable choice for you, a skin test will be performed to identify any patients who are allergic to bovine collagen or lidocaine. During your consultation, photos will be taken of the treatment area, and then a skin test with a small amount of the collagen gel is placed in your forearm. The skin test is performed to make sure that you are not allergic to any of the components of Bellafill. It is advised that patients refrain from any blood thinners, aspirin, Aleve, Motrin, multivitamins, alcohol, or herbal supplements, like fish oil, for about one week before your Bellafill injections, in order to minimize bruising. 

Your second visit will happen four weeks later. Provided there is no adverse reaction to the skin test, you can then have the first round of Bellafill injections. A topical numbing cream is applied one hour before the injections to make you feel more comfortable. For acne scars, Dr. Green combines Bellafill with subcision in order to effectively replace lost collagen and create the best environment for new collagen formation. After the injection, ice is applied to minimize any bruising and you can apply makeup afterwards. While you should be able to return to your normal, day-to-day activities immediately, it is advised that you refrain from intense exercise, hot tubs, saunas and hot yoga for several days after your procedure; this should help minimize swelling and bruising. Following these guidelines will help ensure that any downtime from your Bellafill injections is minimized. A third visit to have a touch-up of Bellafill injections is typically scheduled 4 to 6 weeks later, as one or more follow-up sessions may be needed to achieve full wrinkle correction or restore lost volume.

Are there any side effects to Bellafill?

It is possible you’ll experience side effects after your Bellafill treatments. Potential side effects may include swelling, redness, pain, bruising, lumps, bumps, itching, and discoloration at the injection site. Some patients have experienced lumps or bumps within the first few weeks. Less common side effects include rash and itching more than 48 hours after treatment, persistent swelling or redness, lumps, bumps, acne, infection, and increased sensitivity at the treatment site. A skin test is required to make sure that you do not have an allergic reaction to bovine collagen or to lidocaine (a local anesthetic), since both are in Bellafill. An allergic reaction can last up to five years in duration, or for the length of time that the filler lasts. If you have a history of any bleeding disorders, allergy to bovine collagen or lidocaine, severe allergies, thick scar formation (keloids) and/or excessive scarring, you would not be an appropriate candidate for Bellafill injections and alternate procedures can be discussed. Even with good results from the skin test, it is still possible for patients to develop an allergic reaction to Bellafill. A small percentage of patients may develop granulomas. Since Bellafill cannot be dissolved like traditional hyaluronic acid fillers such as Juvederm or Restylane, it is of the utmost importance to consult an experienced board-certified dermatologist like Dr. Green, or a qualified plastic surgeon, who is adept at using Bellafill. In addition, if you are prone to hypertrophic scarring or keloid formation, Bellafill may not be the best choice of dermal fillers.

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FAQs:  Frequently asked questions about Bellafill

Want to learn more about Bellafill? When patients consult our office about Bellafill treatments, these are some of their most frequently asked questions:

Who makes Bellafill?

Bellafill is manufactured by Suneva Medical, Inc. which is a privately held aesthetic based company, which specializes in minimally invasive cosmetic medical devices. In addition to Bellafill, Suneva manufactures Silhouette Instalift, Plasma IQ plasma energy device, PRP tubes, and Seru Glow System microchanneling device.

How much does a syringe of Bellafill cost?

The cost of Bellafill treatment varies depending upon on the number of syringes used. A single cosmetic syringe of Bellafill costs approximately $1,500, so the costs for a treatment plan using two syringes would begin at $3000. Some patients need multiple syringes when treating acne scars or replacing lost volume. One benefit of Bellafill when compared to traditional hyaluronic acid fillers is that it lasts longer, so you will need fewer touch-up treatments.

Which skin types can have Bellafill injections?

Bellafill injections have been shown to work with all skin colors and a variety of skin types, for both male and female patients.

How long does Bellafill last?

When used to correct acne scars, studies have shown Bellafill to be effective for a full year. When used for nasolabial folds, the effectiveness has been shown to last five years. An advantage over some other dermal fillers is that the PMMA microspheres in Bellafill remain behind after the injected collagen is absorbed by the body. The PMMA microspheres stimulate your body to produce more of its own natural collagen, and they act as a “scaffold” for its growth. This can lead to results you’ll notice and appreciate beyond the duration of the improvements initially caused by the injected collagen.

Is Bellafill safe?

Bellafill is safe and FDA approved. Prior to any procedures you will be given a skin test to make sure that you are not allergic to bovine collagen or lidocaine. Provided the results of the skin test are good, Bellafill can be an excellent choice. As with all procedures of this nature, side effects are possible. All possible side effects should be discussed with your doctor, including rare instances of granuloma formation.

Is Bellafill permanent?

Bellafill is not truly permanent, it is a long lasting injectable filler. Some patients find other, shorter-lived temporary fillers frustrating, due to the requirement of comparatively frequent return visits in order to maintain results. The results of Bellafill can last up to five years, and sometimes longer.

Where can you inject Bellafill?

Bellafill can be injected into several different areas of the face. It can be used to treat moderate to severe distensible facial acne scars, and facial wrinkles such as smile lines in the nasolabial area. It can also be injected into the temples, cheeks and chin.

Can Bellafill be used as a lip filler?

Bellafill should not be injected into the lips, as there is an added risk of complications due to the specific musculature and blood flow. There are other dermal fillers and injectable fillers such as Juvederm and Restylane which are perfect for lip augmentation.

How does Bellafill compare to Juvederm?

One notable difference between these two dermal fillers is the longevity of the results. In clinical studies the effects of Bellafill have been shown to last for up to five years. In one clinical study, 87% of patients who had been treated with Bellafill for their smile lines were still happy with their cosmetic improvement five years later. Juvederm typically lasts 4-6 months, so it requires a greater number of follow-up treatments to continue the effects.

Bellafill is a bovine collagen based filler, and needs to be skin tested before administering. The collagen gel works to immediately replace lost volume in the treated area, and along with the PMMA lays the groundwork for future natural collagen growth. In contrast, Juvederm has a base of hyaluronic acid, which works by drawing water to the treated area. As with all injectable dermal fillers, both Bellafill and Juvederm can cause bruising and some swelling after treatment. 

Another difference between Bellafill and Juvederm is the feasibility of dissolving the product, should you be unhappy with the results. Since one component of Bellafill is PMMA, there is no way to dissolve the product if you are unhappy with the results or have an allergic reaction to it. With Juvederm or any other hyaluronic dermal filler, if you are unhappy with the results or have an allergic reaction you can have hyaluronidase injected into the treatment area to dissolve the product.

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How much Bellafill do I need?

The amount of Bellafill needed can vary from patient to patient. During your consultation, Dr. Green will determine how much Bellafill is required for the specific corrections you’re seeking. For acne scars, it depends on the amount of scars and the depth of your acne scars. The goal is to lift the depressed areas to the level of the surrounding skin, providing a smooth, youthful appearance.

How many syringes of Bellafill will I need injected?

The number of syringes required depends upon the amount of volume that needs to be replaced. For acne scars this is determined by factors such as the number, type, and depth of your specific acne scars.

What are the alternatives to Bellafill injections?

The main alternatives to Bellafill are hyaluronic acid dermal fillers such as Juvederm and Restylane. These more temporary fillers typically last between six and twelve months. In addition, Sculptra and Radiesse are two dermal fillers which, like Bellafill, encourage your body to produce its own collagen. 

Can Bellafill be used in the lips?

Bellafill should not be used in the lips, as there is an added risk of complications. Other dermal fillers and injectable fillers such as Juvederm and Restylane should be used instead.

Can Bellafill be combined with other cosmetic treatments like Botox?

Yes, it can. Many patients combine Bellafill wrinkle filler with other cosmetic treatments such as Botox, chemical peels, microneedling, subcision, TCA Cross, Thermage, or cosmetic resurfacing laser treatments. Consult with a qualified professional to determine which procedure or procedures best suit your unique needs.

Does Bellafill really work?

Bellafill is safe and effective for facial rejuvenation, and was a part of the world’s largest and longest dermal-filler study. The study was performed in 2014, and involved over 1,000 subjects in 23 different sites. This clinical study showed Bellafill’s long-term safety through the study’s 5-year duration. Bellafill is the only FDA approved 5-year filler which stimulates your body’s own natural collagen production. In clinical trials, patients noted visible improvement three months after treatment. Bellafill’s PMMA microspheres provide a framework upon which the body can build its own natural collagen. Because of the body’s ability to generate new collagen with Bellafill, patients notice continued improvement, even one year after Bellafill injection.

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Does Bellafill really work?

Bellafill is safe and effective for facial rejuvenation, and was a part of the world’s largest and longest dermal-filler study. The study was performed in 2014, and involved over 1,000 subjects in 23 different sites. This clinical study showed Bellafill’s long-term safety through the study’s 5-year duration. Bellafill is the only FDA approved 5-year filler which stimulates your body’s own natural collagen production. In clinical trials, patients noted visible improvement three months after treatment. Bellafill’s PMMA microspheres provide a framework upon which the body can build its own natural collagen. Because of the body’s ability to generate new collagen with Bellafill, patients notice continued improvement, even one year after Bellafill injection.

How do I choose the best Bellafill injector?

When looking for the best Bellafill injector it is important to seek out a skilled, board-certified cosmetic dermatologist like Dr. Michele Green. Not every Bellafill injector is equally qualified, and it’s important to know that you’ll be in good hands. It makes sense to choose a Bellafill injector with experience, and Dr. Green was one of the first dermatologists in New York City to offer treatment with Bellafill.

How do I get started with Bellafill injections?

The next step is to set up a consultation with Dr. Green to review your cosmetic goals and the different treatment options available to you. Please call our NYC office today at 212 535 3088 or contact us online in order to schedule an appointment with Dr. Michele Green. Dr. Green is consistently voted as one of the best cosmetic dermatologists in NYC by New York Magazine, Castle Connolly, Super Doctors, and The New York Times. An expert in acne scarring, laser treatments, skin care, Botox®, CoolSculpting®, and Bellafill, Dr. Green will design a customized treatment plan that is best for you.

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