When we think of cosmetic filler, we often think of it for filling wrinkles and changing the look of lips.  Cosmetic filler in the midface is uncommonly discussed but is crucial is restoring a more youthful and rested appearance to the face as we age.  We decided to ask Dr. Nicole Norris of Nicole Norris MD Medical Spa in Peru, IL to “fill” us in on filler for the midface.

First, what is cosmetic filler? “Cosmetic dermal filler is a clear gel-like substance made of hyaluronic acid.  It is injected with a needle or placed strategically with a cannula to lift the skin where there is drooping in the face, fill lines in the skin, or change the shape and contour of the lips.  Hyaluronic acid is what our own collagen is made of so our bodies tend to be accepting of it and even will crosslink our own collagen with it”, explains Dr. Norris.

How is filler used in the midface?  “When a patient’s main concern is the changes in their face related to aging, one of the first things I do is assess the middle of their face. When we meet another person, the midface is our eyes’ focus.  When the middle of the face is wider and fuller than the lower part of the face, our brain says that person appears younger and more pleasing to the eye.  I love to give patients lift in their face by placing filler in the lateral cheek and a more rested appearance by lifting the anterior cheek which reflects more light under the eye.  Sometimes patients also have what I call a tear trough, which is genetic and can cause them to appear very tired.  It is a comma-shaped depression under the eye that is caused by thin skin sitting on a bony rim under the eye.  It causes a dark shadow.  Filling tear troughs with filler is one of the most rewarding procedures that I do because it very quickly takes away that tired look!” describes Dr. Norris.

What is the procedure like to have filler injected in the midface and will patients have down time?

“This filler procedure is relatively painless using my injection method.  I have been injecting filler for 9 years and have really got to a point where even patients with needle phobia do great with the procedure!  I utilize many different modalities to keep the needle sticks and discomfort to a bare minimum.  It is still possible to get a bruise during the procedure, so patients should be aware of this, so they do not plan the procedure right before a big event. Bruises can be hard to cover unless you are a make-up artist, and they typically take 7-14 days to resolve.  It is also possible to have a little swelling post-procedure, but nothing that would cause down-time from work”, adds Dr. Norris.

How long does the procedure take and how long with the results last?

Dr. Norris continues, “In my office, the procedure takes about thirty minutes depending on the amount of filler needed to correct the volume loss of the cheeks and how deep the tear troughs are.  Prior to the procedure, I take pictures of the patient’s face and discuss the procedure with the patient to make sure we are on the same page as far as the results they are seeking. I apply a topical numbing cream to the areas we are going to treat, and the patient usually sits with this cream on for ten to twenty minutes.  The total time in the office is 60-90 minutes.  Considering the results will last at least one year, that is a great use of an hour of a patient’s time to look younger and more rested!  There is an immediate improvement seen on the day of the procedure, but the final result is two to four weeks away as the filler will expand a little more and any bruising or swelling will resolve over that time.  I always ask my patients to come back two weeks after the procedure to assess their results and decide if any more is needed.  I always prefer to error on the side of “underfilling” as I never want my patients to look overdone and we can always tweak their result with a little more filler.  My midface filler patients are amongst the happiest when they leave.  Can you imagine hearing “you look tired” every day of your life and then suddenly not anymore!”

If you are interested in learning more, contact Nicole Norris MD Medical Spa for a consultation with their experienced cosmetic physician injector to plan your own midface rejuvenation at 815-780-8264.  Follow them on Instagram @nicolenorrismd or Facebook to see before and after pictures of this procedure.