There are two primary injecting instruments used for Dermal Filler injections for facial rejuvenation. These are BLUNT TIP CANNULAE vs NEEDLES. So is there an advantage of using cannula vs needles for cosmetic injections and dermal fillers? The data shows that the instrument CAN have an impact on your injecting risks and dermal filler results. However, some clinicians swear by the needle method and others by the cannula, and it’s very much a matter of personal preference and experience with injecting modalities. The skill of your Injecting Clinician or Injecting Physician is paramount for minimising risks and getting good results; more so than the type of equipment used. That’s why it’s so important to choose your cosmetic injecting clinician or doctor very carefully. But there are some pros and cons to using blunt-tip cannula vs needles for dermal filler injections.
Needles vs Cannulae for Dermal Fillers Injections?
Differences in injecting with blunt-tip cannula vs needles for Dermal Fillers and Cosmetic Injections
Cosmetic Injectors who prefer sharp needles vs cannulae for Dermal Fillers indicate they prefer needles because they:
- feel needles can offer more precise solution/droplet amounts or locations (other Clinicians and dermal filler studies suggest CANNULAE may offer more precision placement in certain tissue layers)
- can penetrate different dermal layers more readily including close to the bone for deeply-placed dermal filler near the skeletal structures (think CHEEK Augmentation)
- may be able to put filler precisely where they intend
Risks or complications from needles vs cannula injecting methods may include (but not be limited to):
- needles are sharper than cannulae – much sharper – hence they increase the risk of penetrating a vein/going too deep during cosmetic injections (known as intravascular injection risks and these can lead to blindness and/or fatality)
- bruising may be more pronounced after dermal fillers when needles are used vs cannulae
Injectors who prefer cannulas vs needles for cosmetic injections/dermal fillers indicate this method is preferred because:
- Cannulae are usually longer and some clinicians find them more useful with certain dermal filler injecting strategies.
- A blunt-tip cannula is different to a very sharply-pointed needle – it is less likely to penetrate a vein.
- Even for cannula insertion of dermal fillers, a sharp needle is FIRST used to make an entry point for the cannula to be inserted, but only to make an very small cannula insertion ‘hole.’
- The needle is then set aside and a cannula is used through the insertion points – which are micro-sized holes in the skin – to deliver the dermal filler solutions.
- With cannula dermal filler delivery methods, the cannula can be used at the same entry point (injection point) several times to reach other areas where filler is being placed.
- This means fewer areas of skin penetration/potentially less bruising.
- Intravascular injection risks – a blunt tip cannula will often “push” veins or arteries aside when they are passed through the tissues; contrasted to a needle that likely penetrates layers rather than moving them aside.
- Many clinicians also say they like being able to feel the resistance from the underlying dermal structures when using a cannula – whereas a needle can penetrate/bypasses layers where the clinician actually wants to place the dermal filler solution.
Risks or complications from cannula injecting methods may include (but not be limited to):
- Not all fillers can be readily injected using a cannula vs a needle: more viscous fillers may require a needle
- Some practitioners claim they have LESS filler placement precision using cannula.
- But it really depends on their instrument of choice and level of experience with a needle vs cannula and their injecting style
- The number of times they have used each injecting instrument and the number of patients they have successfully or unsuccessfully treated with each method may be another factor.
- Deeper-level dermal filler placement may be less readily achievable with a cannula.
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Recommended further reading/dermal filler injection research:
Blog References/Research Articles relating to Cannula vs Needles for Dermal Filler Injections