Dermal filler is one of our most popular treatments and it is widely considered to be our signature treatment. Dermal filler treatment can deliver profound, but at the same time subtle results.
The apparent simplicity of dermal filler treatment belies its vast complexity. It is for this reason that all dermal filler treatments at Aesthetic Harmony in Canberra are performed only by Drs Bernard and Jennifer Leung, who together have almost two decades of experience in this area. These procedures are never delegated to support staff.
The ageing process affects everyone, causing us to look more tired, sad, saggy and angry. This appearance is due to the collective changes in all four layers of the face—the skin, muscle, subcutaneous fat and bone. Much is now known about the mechanisms of facial ageing.
Using a detailed knowledge of facial anatomy, something akin to visualizing a 3D map of the face, dermal filler is used to revolumise and reposition facial tissues to bring about a refreshed and natural-looking result. This is achieved by accurate placement of dermal fillers into target facial structures, to mimic their position and volume in a previously more youthful state. Enormous progress has been made in the understanding of anatomy in recent years. Whilst Dr Bernard Leung has always had a thorough grounding in facial anatomy from the surgical skin cancer services that he has provided for over 20 years and Dr Jennifer Leung’s appreciation of the cross sectional anatomy from her ultrasound training, they are committed to keeping abreast with the latest development and they have attended ten cadaveric anatomy workshops between them within the past decade.
The placement of dermal filler is into target structures. These are structures that scientific studies have repeatedly shown to undergo remodeling (change in shape and size) with ageing. Dermal filler in general, should not be injected where ageing changes visibly manifest. This may seem counter-intuitive to patients undergoing total face dermal filler treatment for the first time, but it is an important concept to grasp as it forms the fundamental basis of why we can consistently deliver a natural looking outcome. Although there are specific indications for dermal fillers, such as around the eyes (periorbital), tear troughs, lips, and jawline, treatment of these areas form part of the total face approach. Dr Leung first started adopting the total face approach some time around 2010 and he pioneered some of the techniques that are still in use today.
‘We strongly believe that it is not just about what and how much we put in, but more importantly it is about the restraint of what we leave out.’
While dermal filler is an excellent choice in restoring structural changes of facial ageing, it can also be used to subtly improve facial proportions. This requires a high degree of judgement and artistic sensibility to avoid distortion and caricature. Both Drs Bernard and Jennifer Leung came from families of artists, with each having a parent who is a practising artist. Indeed, Dr Bernard Leung had been studying drawing since he was twelve years of age, with portraiture and life drawing being his main interests. It is their artistic backgrounds that set them apart from other practitioners in the field.
A natural looking and aesthetically pleasing outcome is highly dependent on the accuracy of placement. It is for this reason that Drs Bernard and Jennifer Leung will assess your facial anatomy before tailoring a treatment plan for you.
Dermal filler can also be used for reshaping the nose and improving the contour of depressed scars.
One of the most important aspects of having any treatment at Aesthetic Harmony is having an initial medical consultation with Drs Bernard and Jennifer Leung. They will listen to your concerns, ascertain your aesthetic goals, discuss your relevant medical history, thoroughly assess your facial anatomy and provide you with an understanding of the most effective and medically safe treatment options available to you. Drs Bernard and Jennifer Leung believe that an honest and open discussion is important before undergoing any cosmetic medical procedure. It is their strong belief in only offering treatment that is safe and appropriate to each person. If they believe a treatment will not provide a benefit or will in fact detract and provide an aesthetically suboptimal result, Drs Bernard and Jennifer Leung will not hesitate in broaching this. Our aim is to bring you ‘aesthetic harmony’.
The structural use of dermal filler as described above is well established. Recently, a major advance is the ability to use dermal filler for rejuvenation of the skin itself.
One of the reasons that the skin loses its smoothness and hydration with age, is from the natural loss of hyaluronic acid, the moisture-binding molecule in our skin. As hyaluronic acid is a large molecule, topical treatment containing hyaluronic acid does not allow it to cross the skin barrier to reach the dermis.
The approach to injectable moisturiser is to administer tiny amounts of specifically designed dermal filler at intervals throughout the entire skin surface of the area that is being treated. Dr Jennifer Leung, using her ultrasound skills, has determined the skin thickness of different parts of the face. A mechanical injection device is used to allow the precise depth to be reached.
The mode of action is via a number of mechanisms. Firstly, it replenishes the age-related loss of dermal hyaluronic acid. Secondly, the minute injections stimulate the collagen producing cells (fibroblasts), which slow down the age-related collagen loss.
The resultant improvement in skin quality can help to visibly reduce fine lines, enhance skin hydration and boost skin elasticity. This treatment is suitable for the face, neck, décolletage and hands.
An injectable moisturiser treatment should be considered as part of a medically prescribed skincare regime, alongside cosmeceutical skin care. Its effectiveness can be markedly enhanced by combining this with other treatments targeting the skin, such as vascular laser for facial redness, or picosecond laser for pigmentation. Typically the effect of the injectable moisturiser can be maintained by twice yearly treatment.