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Ask a Cosmetic Surgeon: What Is Bellafill?

Dermatologic Cosmetic Surgeon Dr. Howard Sobel on the popular injectable

Bellafill has recently had a resurgence in the world of injectable fillers. Dr. Howard Sobel felt confident enough in the new, improved products to incorporate it into his aesthetic dermatologic practice.

Prior to the product release, Suneva Medical Inc. conducted the largest dermal filler study, stretching out over a span of five years with 1,008 participants. The company announced in September 2015 that Bellafill is the only standing dermal filler approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Association to be established as safe and effective up to a period of five years. The study showed an 87% retention rate, leaving majority of participants satisfied with their results. Important to point out are the allergy precautions not necessary with other injections. All consumers require a mandatory skin test one month prior to receiving Bellafill injections to be cleared of allergy concerns to lidocaine and/or bovine collagen.

What does that mean? Bellafill is made up of 80 percent bovine collagen and 20 percent PMMA (polymethylmethacrylat microspheres), which is injected directly into one’s skin. “You volumize the areas with as much [Bellafill] as you think they need; with one syringe or two syringes… maybe even three syringes. I inject just enough to give the patient back as much volume as they have lost, ” advised Dr. Sobel. Each of the troubled facial areas are injected and volumized with collagen that your body then absorbs and metabolizes, the amount of filler varying between each consumer. In Dr. Sobel’s office, he chooses to give a healthy dose of filler – enough to see instant results without an over-dose of injection. Dr. Sobel perfers to have his patients return to the office in six to eight months to see if they require a little “maintenance therapy.”

“I don’t believe in putting so much that you make someone look like a cabbage patch doll,” he said. “You should be able to make someone look as young as they can look for them but not make them look like they had work done.”

The injected collagen lasts roughly three months. As it wears out, however, natural collagen in your body begins to react with the microspheres, then forming brand new collagen. This “everlasting” process continues in your body up to five years, in comparison to the six months to one year of results from other fillers. Even with its five year potential, it is likely patients will choose to “fill-up” again after one, two or three years due to aging effects. Factors including genetics and sunlight exposure to the skin affect how each one of us ages. “As we age, you start to lose the amount of collagen that your body makes, that’s why we get fine lines and wrinkles,” stated Dr. Sobel. “At the same time, we are losing body fat, we sag, we start to get hollows.” Although officially approved to correct nasolabial folds and acne scars, doctors can also use Bellafill in other troubled areas or pair it with products such as Botox where injections cannot be used to counteract aging.

Dr. Sobel proudly owns and operates one of the first medi-spa offices in New York, The New York Institute of Aesthetic dermatology and laser surgery, intended to combine skin needs along with cosmetic dermatology all under one roof.