What is Bellafill (Artefill)?
Bellafill, (previously branded as Artefill) is the third generation product containing PMMA microspheres in a bovine collagen matrix. This patented formula contains very precise ratios of 20% non-resorbable microspheres and 80% bovine collagen matrix with lidocaine added for patient comfort. This specific ratio and the use of the bovine collagen as the matrix allows the PMMA microspheres to be separated in a precise manner that allows your own collagen to replace the bovine collagen over the next few months.
The permanent microspheres then lend the support needed for continued efficacy without clumping together. In addition, this third generation product is manufactured to exact standards that ensure even particle size and maximum smoothness of the microspheres. Thus the reactions seen in the first generation (Arteplast) and second generation (Artecoll) products have not been reported with Bellafill. PMMA has been used in medical implants for over 50 years.
What are the benefits of Bellafill?
Over time your skin loses its ability to repair itself and more collagen and elastin is lost due to degradation than can be produced. Treatment with Bellafill helps restore the normal architecture and collagen that is present in the skin. Since there is bovine collagen present in Bellafill, an immediate correction is present after treatment. This temporary correction is then replaced by your own collagen with the permanent microspheres supporting your skin thus leading to the enduring benefits seen with Bellafill. Currently, patients have been followed for over 5 years with continued benefit. However, although the PMMA microspheres are permanent, the body continues to age and be exposed to UV radiation and repeated facial muscle movement which together may add up to the need for additional treatment at some future point in time.
What areas can be treated with Bellafill?
Bellafill should not be used in the lips. Its use under the eye is not recommended either except in specific situations. Dr Mest can discuss with you if you are a candidate. Bellafill is ideal for those patients who have tried temporary wrinkle treatments and like the results they have obtained. Treatment of the nasolabial folds and marionette lines are the most common areas treated with Bellafill. Larger volumes have been used for mid face enhancement. Although more expensive in the short term, the long term correction seen with Bellafill is seen as a benefit for some patients.
What is an Bellafill treatment like?
Since Bellafill contains Bovine collagen, a skin test is required at least one month prior to treatment. Of note, the collagen for this product comes from a separate herd that is isolated from one farm in Pennsylvania. It is processed significantly prior to its use in Bellafill and to date, no allergies have been reported. However, a skin test is still required prior to use. Bellafill treatment is done slowly over time. Depending on the depth of the wrinkle to be treated, 1-3 treatments may be needed for full correction. Dr Mest will individualize your treatment plan to optimize your results. Since this material is permanent and can only be removed surgically, correct placement is mandatory. Since the product contains lidocaine, placement is very well tolerated.
Finally, as with any injection, bruising may occur. This can be minimized by the avoidance of anti-inflammatory medication such as Advil/Aleve/Aspirin for several days before your procedure. In addition, vitamin E, some herbal medications such as Ginko and Ginseng and Red wine may also increase the risk of bruising after the procedure. Please check with Dr Mest before stopping any medication prior to your planned procedure. Avoiding strenuous exercise and excessive heat for 4 hours after the procedure will also help to decrease potential bruising.
Before and after Bellafill: patient testimonials
Click on each photo to watch a video of the patient’s success story with Bellafill.