Microcannulas vs. Needles: How to Get the Best Results with Your Filler Treatment

Today’s dermal fillers have proven to be powerful skin rejuvenating tools that make aging and surgery optional. As filler formulas evolve, so do the techniques that providers use in administering them. And when it comes to injections, size matters.

Currently, there are two ways to inject fillers; needles and microcannulas. At Carolina Facial Plastics, we prefer the latter for most of our patients. Because we dedicate 100% of our services to cosmetic treatments for the face, my team of aesthetic specialists and I have the knowledge and expertise to produce exceptional results in facial enhancement. In our Charlotte, NC medical spa, we recognize microcannula use as a superior method for dermal filler injections. Below, we explain why.

What is a Microcannula?

Typically finer and longer than needles, microcannulas are hollow, flexible tubes that bend with pressure. But rather than having a sharp tip like traditional hypodermic needles used in most injection treatments, microcannulas have a blunt end that allows for precise fluid insertions while minimizing tissue damage.

Benefits and Drawbacks of Needles

Traditional needles are more rigid with a sharp tip. It’s those features that make the needle an exact instrument, allowing providers to target and deliver substances into specific anatomic planes. Since it’s a conventional method, it’s also an easier learning curve for doctors who have been using needles for injection treatments.

However, the sharp end can be traumatic for the skin, causing significant bruising or swelling. Needles can also penetrate blood vessels, especially arteries. Injecting filler into arteries can result in blindness, stroke, or skin death in the treatment areas.

Benefits of Microcannulas 

A microcannula’s blunt tip, along with its flexible technique, provide several advantages over traditional needles:

  • facial filler treatment before and after results in Charlotte High Maneuverability: Because of its flexibility, microcannulas allow providers to perform procedures quickly and painlessly. 
  • Fewer Points of Entry – The microcannula’s longer length allows it to reach more areas of the face without creating multiple entry points. Blunt-tipped microcannulas can use the same entry point to treat a larger area without additional needle pricks. This reduction in entry points greatly minimizes discomfort and ensures continuous filler distribution in areas that are difficult to reach, such as the jaw.
  • More Control During Injections: A sharp-tipped needle quickly squeezes out filler during the injection. A blunt tip microcannula is inserted at an oblique angle to confine the filler into the desired area. It can also be kept under the dermal layer longer, allowing the provider more control over the filler material distribution under the skin. This advantage is beneficial for specific target areas such as nasolabial folds. Providers can feel any “resistance” while using microcannulas as well, allowing them to avoid unnecessary damage to the skin’s underlying structures. This approach creates precise and natural-looking results.
  • Minimal Pain: Repeated shots with sharp needles can be uncomfortable. Microcannula injections tend to be less painful, with patients describing the experience as “pressure” rather than “pain.”
  • Less Downtime and Fewer Side Effects: Since there are fewer entry points when using the microcannula, patients have less bruising and swelling than they might experience with needle injections.
  • Compatibility with Most Fillers: Most facial fillers manufactured today are compatible with microcannulas. This technique ensures that essential compounds like hyaluronic acid are precisely injected without compromising patient comfort.

How are Microcannulas Used? 

dermal filler treatment results in Charlotte, NC The injectors at Carolina Facial Plastics use microcannulas, including Heather Bryant, MPAS, PA-C, Amanda Piligian, PA-C, and Courtney Whitley, FNP-C. At our medical spa, we use a fine needle to make a small entry point in your skin (because a blunt tip microcannula cannot pierce the skin). The entry point is tiny and shallow and should not cause much pain or bleeding. Next, we insert the microcannula through the small opening and guide it under your skin to reach the treatment sites. The microcannula’s flexibility allows it to naturally slide through spaces present between the tissues (similar to how you could slide your fingers through a stack of paper) without causing any injuries to the tissues.  

The microcannula’s long needle also allows us to perform the injections from single entry points in multiple locations. The most common areas I treat include the cheeks, tear troughs, nasolabial folds, marionette lines, temples, lips, and the pre-jowl regions.

Choose an Expert for Your Microcannula Treatment

Only skilled injectors should perform your non-surgical filler treatments to ensure the safest and most natural-looking skin rejuvenation results. Not every injector will have the same level of experience and expertise to achieve comparable results. If not properly administered, injectables in sensitive areas such as the tear troughs can cause scarring, infection, and even blindness. 

We have extensive training and experience working with dermal fillers at Carolina Facial Plastics. We can achieve outstanding, natural-looking results for our patients. I even coined the term “needle-less injection technique,” perfecting the process to create a more comfortable experience for my patients. We also use numbing creams, nerve blocks, or numbing medicine in the filler itself to decrease discomfort.

Schedule A Dermal Filler Treatment at Our Medical Spa Today

Facial rejuvenation through dermal fillers need not be an uncomfortable experience. Schedule an appointment with us to discover how the revolutionary microcannula technique can raise the bar on your filler experience. Contact Carolina Facial Plastics in Charlotte for a consultation. 

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