If a filler is injected a short time before a "drains -requiring- Facelift" wouldn't the filler ooze out with the plasma too?

My Mom will have a facelift surgery in two months. Her Surgeon is also urging her to have a 3 syringes application of the facial filler "Voluma" BEFORE her facelift, as there is a promotion of Voluma by Allergen, that will end soon. When my Mom told me that her immediate status post-facelift will have "drainage", my immediate concern was that the "Voluma" filler would actually be wasted as it would ooze out with the fluids & plasma once the drains are placed after her facelift! Am I wrong?

Doctor Answers 9

Fillers and Facelifts

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I usually recommend waiting until healing from surgery is complete before placing fillers.  The improvements achieved by a facelift often reduces the need for fillers.  It can also change the emphasis for where they may be most effective.

New York Plastic Surgeon

Drains, face lift and Voluma

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Thank you for your face lift and Voluma question.
  • Voluma is typically injected along the cheek bone, inner eye and cheek hollow.
  • It is thick and stable and should not drain out with post-face lift drains.
  • But - the plan is fine, IF the Voluma is being injected in areas where the facelift will not be done.
  • If the face lift is being done in the same areas - I would be inclined to wait. Best wishes.

Face lift and fillers

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When performing a facelift there is a subcutaneous dissection that occurs into the cheek area and due to surgery in the area, some of the filler substance may dissipate. A properly  performed face lift will also give a small augmentation to the malar mound area. When patients are performing a facelift, and desire more augmentation in the mid-face area, we recommend permanent cheek implants placed through an intra-oral approach at the same time as the facelift procedure. Filler injections will not be required afterwards. For many examples, please see  the link below

William Portuese, MD
Seattle Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 158 reviews

Face Lift and Fillers - Which first?

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Within several days to a few weeks the fillers should be "fixed" in their place so should not be a problem. However unless they are being placed in areas not affected by the facelift it would make more sense to place the fillers after healing takes place from the facelift. More areas would be affected with a traditional facelift as it involves more undermining that a mini facelift like a Lite Lift.

Voluma and facelift surgery

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Any fillers placed before surgery are very unlikely come out through the drainage tubes. The fillers are usually placed in very strategic places within the tissues, and is often away from where one would dissect during a facelift procedure.

Having said that, I would definitely wait several weeks after the filler treatment, or even better wait until she is fully recovered from the facelift procedure, before placing the fillers.

Facial fillers

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The short answer to your question is No, however as others have stated, it assumes that the filler is not being injected in the same area that is being operated on. Voluma is FDA approved for filing the cheeks and under eyelid area and can be a good adjunct to a facelift. In my opinion, if she would benefit from fillers in that area, they she should consider getting fat transfer at same time as her facelift.

If a filler is injected a short time before a "drains -requiring- Facelift" wouldn't the filler ooze out with the plasma too?

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Voluma should not drain out after a facelift as it is placed deeper than most other fillers. This does depend upon where Voluma is placed and what type of facelift is performed. However, the filler would typically be placed in an area that will not be operated if your plastic surgeon is planning a facelift in the hear future. I hope this information is helpful for you.

Stephen Weber MD, FACS
Denver Facial Plastic Surgeon

Voluma in the Setting of a Facelift

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First of all a facelift, when appropriate SMAS techniques are utilized, is a "self volumizing" procedure.  The descended SMAS/soft tissue is elevated back to its previous position, leading to augmentation of the cheeks.  In some patients, this will be insufficient to meet aesthetic expectations, and additional volume is planned at the time of the procedure.  For this purpose, I generally use either Sculptra or Voluma, both of which are injected in very deep tissue planes and will not ooze out with subcutaneous or sub-SMAS drainage. The difference between the two is that Sculptra has a gradual/ incremental effect, as opposed to the immediate effect offered by Voluma.  I have placed a link below to a patient who had concurrent facelift and Sculptra.

Stephen Prendiville, MD
Fort Myers Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 104 reviews

Fillers are placed in an area that is not elevated and not drained

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That is a very good question and I know you would be concerned about losing the injectibles that were placed in the drain. Usually the fillers are placed in an area that is not elevated and not drained, so they, in the vast majority of cases stay put and would not come out with the drains. Good question, but I think you are safe.

Joseph Hunstad, MD
Charlotte Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 56 reviews

These answers are for educational purposes and should not be relied upon as a substitute for medical advice you may receive from your physician. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911. These answers do not constitute or initiate a patient/doctor relationship.