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What to Do About Botched Cheek Filler Treatments 

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While generally a simple and straightforward cosmetic procedure, cheek filler treatments involve careful and precise injections to the area needing plumping or rejuvenation. When done skillfully, the risks of adverse events like infections or bad cheek filler results are very minimal. But even if you think your cheek filler treatments have gone wrong, there’s no need to worry that their effects will be permanent. 

So how can you reverse botched cheek filler results? If a hyaluronic acid-based filler were used for cheek enhancement, it can be easily removed with a hyaluronidase injection or simply wait for the material to be dissolved since the effects of HA are usually temporary. Non-hyaluronic acid fillers may be corrected with steroid or saline injections to the treated area. In cases of uneven or asymmetrical cheeks, they can be fixed with additional injections on the other side. 

How to Undo Botched Cheek Filler Injections  

Cheek fillers are one of the most popular cosmetic treatments that can help reverse the signs of facial aging and volume loss. It’s especially great for restoring your cheek shape and fullness and reducing the appearance of wrinkles and nasolabial folds. This injectable can also improve your cheek contour for a more attractive facial profile

Over the years, many patients have received cheek fillers and about 95% reported being satisfied with their facial volume improvements. The treatment itself is also safe and it’s uncommon for serious complications or long-term side effects to occur. 

But some patients who are in pursuit of higher and rounder cheeks may experience botched results. This could be due to overfilling of the cheek area or the use of the wrong injectable material which results in persistent puffiness, facial asymmetry, lumps and bumps, or an unnatural-looking appearance. 

The good thing is that these unwanted cheek filler results can be corrected. Here are some ways you can reverse unwanted results from your cheek fillers: 

1) Hyaluronidase Treatment for Hyaluronic Acid Fillers 

Most dermal filler injectables that are used for cheek enhancement are made of hyaluronic acid. What makes it popular for cheek injections is that it’s made of a naturally-occurring substance and has a soft, smooth injectable texture. When administered into the cheek area, it can integrate smoothly with the skin and tissues and provide natural-looking results. 

Botched results or unwanted complications, like allergic reactions, are rare when it comes to hyaluronic acid cheek filler injections. But on the off chance that it happens, they can be easily corrected with hyaluronidase injections. 

Hyaluronidase is a liquid substance used to increase fluid intake, improve absorption of medications, or treat certain conditions. Like hyaluronic acid, this enzyme is naturally found in the body and it can be a good solution to dissolve HA-based fillers that have produced botched results. 

To fix your unwanted cheek treatment results, your cosmetic provider can administer the hyaluronidase enzyme directly into the previously injected filler. Upon injection, this will stimulate the breakdown of the hyaluronic acid molecules and the filler will be completely dissolved within 24 to 48 hours. 

Some of the common cases where hyaluronidase injections can be used are:

  • Cheek filler migration or misplacement
  • Lumpy cheek fillers 
  • Over-injection of cheek filler material
  • Occurrence of the Tyndall effect or discoloration of the skin due to superficial dermal filler placement 

2) Steroid or Sodium Thiosulfate Injections for Non-Hyaluronic Acid Fillers

Aside from hyaluronic acid fillers, there are also other injectable materials that can be used for cheek augmentation. For example, if you want to contour or sculpt your cheeks, providers may use thicker injectables like Radiesse (CaHa-based filler) or Sculptra (PLLA filler). 

Steroid injections may be a potential reversal agent for the effects of certain fillers that can’t be dissolved by hyaluronidase. For one, this can be helpful if there’s persistent inflammation or granuloma formulation along with your botched cheek filler results. 

The injections of steroids can help address delayed inflammatory reactions to the fillers. However, it may not have a direct reversal effect on the filler material itself and you may need to wait months for Sculptra or Radiesse to be fully dissolved. 

Another possible solution for botched results of non-HA cheek fillers is sodium thiosulfate. There are some studies suggesting that this solution can help dissolve Radiesse injectables in a similar way that hyaluronidase reverses HA fillers. 

3) Additional Cheek Filler Injections  

Some cheek filler treatments may end up looking unnatural or asymmetrical. In these cases, your cosmetic provider may recommend placing additional small amounts of filler on one side of the cheeks to even out the asymmetry, correct irregularities, and achieve facial balance

Why Do Botched Cheek Filler Results Happen?

A woman getting cheek filler treatment

Although cheek fillers aren’t a surgical procedure, they still need to be administered by board-certified cosmetic doctors and dermatologists or highly-trained injectors. Under the hands of the wrong providers, there’s a slightly higher risk of getting botched results or uncommon side effects. 

Here are some reasons why bad cheek filler results happen: 

1) Poor injection technique 

As with any treatment area, injecting the cheeks with dermal fillers requires skill and precision. One mistake from your cosmetic provider could cost you your time and money and result in botched results. Here are some common injection mistakes that inexperienced providers do:

  • Placing too many fillers in the cheek area
  • Filling in only the wrinkles and lines in the cheeks without addressing the surrounding area
  • Focusing on one area and correcting volume loss on only one side of the cheeks 
  • Forgetting to mark the areas that require cheek filler placement

2) Injector’s inexperience and lack of training

Your cosmetic provider or injector should also be able to demonstrate expertise and knowledge in cheek enhancement. They should have appropriate training and certifications to showcase that they’re experts in administering cheek fillers.

Lack of experience and training may compromise the procedure and affect your desired results. For example, an inexperienced provider may fail to show an understanding of the facial anatomy and inject the fillers in the wrong areas. They may also conduct the procedure in a non-sterile environment which can increase the risks of infections and other side effects. 

3) Using the wrong cheek filler injectable 

Botched cheek filler results may also happen as a result of using the wrong injectable material. There are cases when the provider mistakenly uses an injectable that’s incompatible with your skin or contains substances that you’re allergic to. Alternatively, they may use a thicker dermal filler product which could result in overfilling or visible lumps and bumps after the procedure. 

4) Not following aftercare instructions 

Unwanted side effects or bad results from cheek fillers may also be a consequence of not following aftercare instructions. After receiving the injections, providers usually give a list of things to do and what to avoid to help you recover and allow the filler material to settle in smoothly.

Neglecting to observe the critical aftercare reminders may result in prolonged side effects, such as swelling or bruising. These may also delay the appearance of the initial improvements of your cheek filler results. 

How to Avoid Botched Cheek Filler Results 

To prevent getting bad cheek filler results, you need to choose a reliable med spa or qualified provider to administer the procedure. You should also follow the post-treatment reminders and take care of your treated area to avoid unwanted complications. Here are some of the common practices to avoid botched cheek fillers: 

  • Stay out of the sun and minimize exposure to other heat sources to prevent excessive swelling or bruising. 
  • Avoid massaging, rubbing, or touching the cheeks to avoid dermal filler migration. 
  • Avoid lying on your side to prevent putting pressure on the treated area. 
  • Postpone getting other facial treatments, such as massages, chemical peels, or lasers, to avoid irritation. 
  • Communicate with your provider and let them know if you have existing allergies or conditions that may affect the results of your cheek fillers. 
  • Discuss your desired aesthetic outcomes and manage expectations with your cosmetic provider.  

What to Look for in a Cheek Filler Provider 

It’s crucial to choose the best provider who can perform the cheek filler procedure safely and effectively. That said, here are some of the factors that you need to consider when looking for a med spa for cheek filler treatments:

  • Their training and qualifications: Before reaching out to an aesthetic clinic, make sure to research their background and get to know their team who performs cheek filler injections. Check if their providers have undergone dermal filler training and received the certifications necessary to administer the procedure.
  • Their experience and reputation in the industry: You should also research how long they’ve been in the aesthetic industry and how well-known they are in the med spa community.  You can ask how many successful cheek filler procedures they’ve done and read online reviews about their clinic from previous clients.
  • The injectable products they use: You should also make sure that your provider uses high-quality injectables for cheek filler procedures. It’s also important that they have a sterile storage facility for the injectables and a clean procedure room where they’ll administer the treatment.

Achieve Your Desired Cheek Filler Results at Dr. Lanna Aesthetics  

Botched cheek fillers rarely happen as long as you received your injections from a highly qualified cosmetic provider. But if you ever notice anything unusual with your fillers after the procedure, it’s best to consult again with your injector. Overfilled cheeks may be fixed with hyaluronidase or steroid injections, while asymmetry can be solved with additional injections in the affected area. 

At Dr. Lanna Aesthetics, we have a team of trained injectors who can administer cheek fillers safely and effectively. We provide customized injectable treatment plans to help patients with their specific concerns and achieve their desired outcomes. Call us today to know more about our cheek filler injections or schedule a consultation with one of our reliable providers.

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