Suppose you’ve walked by a mirror lately and been a little unhappy that your reflection has more wrinkles and lines than you would like. In that case, you may be considering seeing a medical expert in aesthetic medicine for a facial filler treatment, microneedling, laser, and more.
You are not alone.
What Are Dermal Fillers?
Over 1.85 million dermal filler procedures were performed just in 2021, according to the Aesthetic Society.
Dermal fillers are nonsurgical, minimally-invasive injectable treatments that can help soften facial creases, improve lost volume, and smooth fine lines and wrinkles. They require little downtime and deliver fast results, making them extremely popular.
Hyaluronic acid (under the brand names Restylane, Juvederm, etc.) is the most common filler used to add fullness to your skin, help reverse the signs of aging, and bring back a more youthful complexion. You may also know about Dysport (abobotulinumtoxinA), used as an injectable to help reduce signs of aging and smooth facial lines.
These and other dermal fillers are ideal for wrinkles and deep fold lines that are visible when your face is relaxed. They can work to almost instantly smooth out these unwanted lines.
Dermal fillers are usually safe, but let’s face it (no pun intended), you want to be as careful as possible with any medical process. The truth is that these cosmetic products and procedures can have some serious adverse consequences if they are not administered properly.
That’s where ultrasound in aesthetic medicine comes in.
The Basics of Ultrasound
Ultrasound technology has been around for decades. It is a simple, non-invasive way to visualize tissue beneath the skin and identify anatomical structures. In addition, ultrasound is used to diagnose certain diseases.
This medical process utilizes high-frequency sound waves to produce images of structures within the body. The device is frequently used in pregnancy, cardiovascular medicine, all types of surgeries, and in various medical conditions.
However, ultrasound uses go far beyond these well-known applications.
Ultrasound is also a valuable tool in cosmetic medicine and aesthetics. With the proper training and experience, ultrasound can help make cosmetic procedures safer and more effective.
Ultrasound for Guiding Injections
At Source of Health, we can use ultrasound technology when injecting facial fillers. This helps us map vascular structures as well as minimize complications. We can also use an ultrasound to locate where fillers are that were injected incorrectly elsewhere and then we can dissolve them more easily.
Ultrasound that Heats Tissue
This type of procedure is also known as Ultherapy or Sofwave. While we don’t offer this at Source of Health, it’s an effective treatment in Medical Aesthetics where areas like the chin and neck can be slimmed and firmed using sound wave energy.
Ultrasound in Aesthetic Medicine
When you decide to have a dermal filler process to enhance your appearance, an ultrasound can give you an advantage in achieving your optimum results.
According to the FDA (Food and Drug Administration), swelling, pain, and the unintentional injection into a blood vessel, are some of the most common risks of dermal fillers. Ultrasound may help with these and other side effects.
At Source of Health, your safety is our priority. Not all injectors have this tool and if they do, it may not be the best quality. However, we are a flagship in Arizona and are one of the only practices in the area that offer this. Additionally, our founder and medical director, Dr. Sorr, trains around the country on this topic as well as many others in the industry. Rest assured, you’ll be in great hands as our entire Source of Health staff is experienced and ready to help you look better and feel younger.
The Benefits of Ultrasound in Aesthetic Medicine
The facts are straightforward:
- Your face is full of blood vessels
- The dermal filler is injected into the tissues where the vessels lie to help enhance your appearance
- This process presents a risk of unintentionally hitting a blood vessel and potential problems
However, there is a simple solution.
When your doctor uses ultrasound technology, they have a significant advantage. Ultrasound makes the skin and the underlying tissue (including muscles, veins, and arteries) easily visible for more accurate administration of the cosmetic filler.
Using ultrasound imaging offers the highest possible standard in facial rejuvenation injection techniques. It is the safest way to get filler and all aesthetic medicine procedures and the best way to avoid complications.
Dissolving Hyaluronic Acid Filler
This is the most important aspect of using ultrasound in medical aesthetics. Hyaluronic acid fillers are generally well tolerated. However, when an injector goes too deep or injects filler into the wrong spot, an adverse vascular event can occur. These vascular complications can cause a stroke, vision loss, and skin necrosis.
In the event that you have a vascular emergency, ultrasound technology can be used to dissolve hyaluronic acid filler quickly and effectively. It is more precise than manual injections and achieves faster results in the case of an adverse vascular event.
We want you to be happy in your skin and you don’t have to live with complications from injections you’ve had at other practices, especially life-threatening complications.
Ultrasound provides high-definition imaging. This lets your practitioner evaluate the treatment area anatomically and helps ensure the injection is appropriately and precisely placed. In addition, ultrasound helps identify the exact location and identifies vital structures that must be avoided during the treatment, which, otherwise, could result in adverse complications.
It is impossible for any medical professional to know the location of all vessels under the skin. However, using an ultrasound device and scanning the face to locate arteries and blood vessels will help your doctor target where the filler should be injected.
In other words, ultrasound can map out the precise location of the blood vessels in the face so that healthcare personnel can avoid these vessels during the treatment. This process is known as an ultrasound-guided injection.
In the unlikely event of vascular occlusion (blood vessel blockage), ultrasound technology can assist the medical professional in immediately making a correction. Again, although rare, blood vessel or vascular occlusion is a serious complication that has been linked to dermal fillers. Using an ultrasound will help avoid any side effects.
Measuring Dermal Thickness
There are certain areas of the face where underlying structures, such as facial nerves and arteries, are located. These could be “danger zones” and result in complications if hit with a needle.
Ultrasound technology helps measure dermal depth, allowing your doctor to inject the filler at the correct depth with increased confidence and avoiding vital structures. You can also see progress for collagen stimulators using dermal thickness as well as reducing fat if someone were to receive a coolsculpting or kybella treatment.
Real-Time Monitoring of Treatment
An ultrasound scan allows your practitioner to evaluate and track the effectiveness of various rejuvenating products and treatments. With this technology, increases in hydration, plumpness, collagen formation, and more can be seen early in administering the filler, even before it becomes visible to the naked eye.
Published data confirms that ultrasound examination is important in facial aesthetic procedures. It allows for:
- precise planning of the dermal filler
- complete vascular mapping of the face
- cutaneous and subcutaneous skin thickness
- enables visual guidance of fillers
- maximizes safety
The current and the future of ultrasound imaging in cosmetic dermatology are seemingly endless.
How Does Ultrasound Work in Cosmetic Procedures?
Ultrasound is an entirely non-invasive tool. Usually, a cool gel is put on the ultrasound device to glide smoothly through the area being treated. The device delivers ultrasound waves that penetrate the skin. This reveals a visual representation of the facial layers and lets your healthcare expert see the blood vessels and their blood flow.
Ultrasound Is the Gold Standard in Aesthetics
The primary purposes of using ultrasound are to improve safety, minimize risks, optimize results, and prevent complications.
Without ultrasound, all injections of dermal fillers would be done “blind.” Unfortunately, no matter how experienced your doctor is, complications can arise. In addition, not all dermatologists have success with dermal fillers, and results may be less than ideal, or even dangerous.
In these situations, ultrasound technology can identify the area of concern and allow for resolving any adverse situations, including dissolving the dermal filler that has caused the issue.
Naturally, the quicker a vessel blockage is managed, the better the outcome. However, prevention is the best, and ultrasound imaging can help.
Despite its potential to enhance safety and optimize results, ultrasound hasn’t yet become a standard tool in aesthetic practice. Always check with your medical professional to determine if they use the most advanced equipment in their practice.
Ultrasound technology is just one of the reasons you should choose Source for Health. We offer ultrasound using the Mindray TE5 as it is superior to a lower-powered hand held device.
Source for Health for Optimal Wellness
At Source for Health, we believe investing in new technology is all about enhancing patient results. As medical and health technology evolves, we are always searching for the perfect blend of modern science and technology for the ultimate patient care.
However, it doesn’t stop there.
Source of Health is a full-service medical spa facility in Scottsdale, Arizona, staffed by highly trained doctors, nurses, and licensed medical aestheticians. We utilize the highest-grade products, medical equipment, and procedures to ensure that our patients always receive the gold standard in treatment.
We pride ourselves on being a place of regeneration where you will be welcomed by a community of professionals dedicated to living in optimal health. Our team truly listens so that we can help you meet your overall wellness goals.
Whether you’re looking to reduce signs of aging or be healthier overall, Source of Health has a wide variety of personalized treatments just for you. No matter your goals, you’ll be able to talk to one of our consultants to figure out the best plan for you to feel and look like the best version of yourself.
At Source of Health, you can find four paths of healing:
- Live Better
- Heal Better
- Look Better
- Move Better
We understand that no two people are the same, and we make sure to find solutions that work specifically for you.
Led by Dr. Steven Sorr, a highly recognized Naturopathic physician in the medical field, our entire Source of Health staff is experienced and committed to helping you live the life you want to enjoy. Contact us now to book a consultation at our Scottsdale, Arizona, office today!