Facial Fillers


As the face ages, the skin loses some of its natural elasticity and develops more prominent lines in areas which are frequently creased by muscle action or where tissue laxity and droop can lead to folds forming (e.g. between the nose and the corner of the mouth).

Facial fillers can be very useful in softening lines around the lips and the cheek close to the nose. In addition, fillers can be used to increase the definition of the lip lines and to add volume to the lips. Mr Hamilton uses non-permanent fillers such as hyaluronic acid (Restylane) which have a proven safety record and do not lead to some of the difficult problems which have been seen with permanent fillers. 

Fillers restylane collagen with plastic surgeon Stephen (Steve) Hamilton in London UK

Restylane is the brand name of a hyaluronic acid filler. Hyaluronic acid is a natural sugar occurring in the skin which, together with collagen, gives most of the support to the important dermal layer of the skin. Fillers can be used alone or together with Botox or surgery.


Frequently asked questions about facial fillers such as Restylane

What areas can be treated by facial fillers?
What should I expect during facial filler treatment?

What should I expect after facial filler treatment?
Are there any alternatives to facial filler treatment?
Is facial filler treatment safe?
How do I arrange a consultation about facial fillers with Mr Hamilton in London, UK?

What areas can be treated by facial fillers?

Typically, dermal fillers are used to enhance the lip line, perhaps to add volume to the lip, to soften lines around the angle of the mouth and to smooth the line running from the outer lower portion of the nose down past the angle of the mouth (the naso-labial crease). Hyaluronic acid fillers may also be used to soften deep lines running vertically on the lip. Whilst such fillers are sometimes used on the forehead or top of the nose, this type of line is often better addressed using Botox. Dermal fillers are not usually suitable for very deep lines and wrinkles and in those cases surgery may be a more appropriate option.

Top of page

What should I expect during facial filler treatment? Is it painful?

Injectable fillers are applied using very fine needles in an outpatient treatment setting. A careful plan of the areas to be filled will be made before treatment. Whilst some areas can be treated without anaesthetic, Mr Hamilton usually prefers to administer a local anaesthetic to ensure that the treated area is completely numb before starting any filler injections. Though the filling effect is immediate, the treated area is usually a little swollen and the final result will not be seen until the swelling settles (typically after 24 to 48 hours).

Top of page

What should I expect after facial filler treatment?

There is usually a little swelling after treatment which settles quickly. Bruising is less common but can occasionally occur, particularly in patients taking aspirin or other blood-thinning medicines. These are best avoided before treatment and for a few days after treatment if possible.

Is there anything special I need to do after treatment?

We recommend that you keep in an upright position for 3 to 4 hours after treatment to help the swelling settle. Avoid rubbing or massaging the treated are. If the area is a little swollen or reddened, it can be covered immediately with makeup.  

When can I go back to normal activities?

This is largely a personal decision and some patients choose to return the same day. Our general advice would be to take a day to let the area settle and the local anaesthetic wear off before returning to normal activities.

How long does the treatment last?

Most patients find that Restylane lasts about 9 months.

Can I have the treatment repeated?

Yes. Most patients are pleased with the results and may wish to maintain them. A further treatment is likely to be desirable at about 9 months after the initial injections.

Top of page

Are there any alternatives to facial filler treatment?

There are alternatives depending on the area treated. The best treatment will be discussed in a friendly and honest fashion at your consultation. Botox often remains the most effective treatment for forehead wrinkles, laughter lines and frown lines. In some patients wishing a more permanent filler increase in lip volume, fat injections are a reasonable and safe alternative. Mr Hamilton does not use commercially available permanent fillers in cosmetic patients. Chemical peels can also be effective for fine lines on the face. In patients with more pronounced aging changes on the skin, surgical correction by lifting the brow, eyelid surgery or face-lifting techniques may be more appropriate.

Top of page

Is facial filler treatment safe? What are the potential risks?

Is it safe?

Hyaluronic acid fillers such as Restylane have been shown to be very safe. Since the product occurs naturally in the skin and is not derived from animal tissue, allergic reactions are very rare and no pre-testing is required. Its non-permanent nature means that it will very slowly disappear and does not have the difficulties seen in permanent fillers which can be almost impossible to remove.

What are the risks?

As already mentioned, a minor degree of swelling typically occurs and can be more pronounced in some patients. If it does occur it usually settles very rapidly within a few days. Whilst the nature of hyaluronic acid fillers makes allergic reactions unlikely, they have very occasionally been reported and, should this occur, some treatment with anti-inflammatory medication may be required to encourage it to settle down.

Many patients worry about producing an unusual appearance with over-treatment. Most of the commonly reported cases in the media relate to allergic reactions to permanent fillers which Mr Hamilton does not use. In our management of patients, we are very careful to assess the patient’s needs and avoid over-treatment.

Top of page


In appropriately selected cases, non-permanent fillers can give a very rapid improvement in facial lines and wrinkles and can return definition and fullness to tissues such as the lips. The safety and relatively simple nature of the procedure can be very attractive to patients who are keen to minimise their "down time".

Top of page

Disclaimer | Useful Links | Resources | Contact Us | ©2015 Stephen Hamilton Trading as Capital Plastic Surgery Ltd