Filler Migration

Nurse Amy discusses filler migration

Nurse Amy Discusses filler migration below:

I’m worried about migration of filler, what should I do?

Firstly, attached to any medical procedure are risks and adverse events as well as the benefits. Filler migration is a rare adverse event but can happen after any dermal filler procedure shortly after or months to even years later. the term refers to the process by which filler that has been injected into a certain area of the face ‘migrates’ or moves into another area usually within millimetres within the same region of where it was initially placed.

So why does it happen? 

Unfortunately there’s no one size fits all answer to this. Filler can migrate due to an inflammatory response by your body that can happen after a procedure, inflammation causes swelling which results in the movement of intracellular fluids which cause the filler that was injected to migrate. There is no way to predict if this will happen but you may be at higher risk if you’re suffering from an illness or injury.

Migration may occur due to poor placement, wrong product and technique from an inexperienced injector. If a moderate amount of soft filler is injected into an area that needs a more thicker filler (for e.g. cheek filler to mimic bone structure) the soft filler is unable to create that strong structure so, it settles and migrates around the area where is was supposed to adhere to. additionally, if it is placed at the incorrect depth and location it will migrate. a good example of this is tear trough filler – if filler is placed too superficially in this region, it will create a island of clumped filler and be most noticeable when a person smiles.

It may also occur due to not being patient with a treatment plan and getting dermal filler in the same area too often or over a short period of time – whether it is from the same injector or seeing different injectors too close together. The most famous example of this the ‘duck lips’ or ‘shelf’. While this can also be caused by poor technique, it can also befrom this delicate area being filled beyond its anatomic capacity forcing filler to migrate to areas around the lips, mainly above the top lip as it is smaller than the bottom.

You may also get migration due to too much filler injected in one treatment or too much over time. 

The best way to help lessen the worry and anxiety of this happening is education and a thorough consultation from an experienced injector. The reason we have consultations is because it is a way of taking important medical history, to gain knowledge of previous cosmetic treatments and when they were performed and most importantly, to gain trust and to build a relationship where you are comfortable asking questions and getting to know the injector and their experience. Don’t be afraid to ask us about our training! A trained, knowledgeable injector will be able to provide insight into whether you are the right candidate for a procedure through your medical history, assessing your face and your presenting concerns. 

If you have had filler migration, seeing a skilled injector is still the best course of action as they will be able to assess the tissue where it has been injected and the best course of action. Your body does metabolise filler over time but sometimes it is not enough and you may need to have the filler dissolved by the injector. By having a skilled injector not only assess the area and shed insight into why it has migrated but they are able to perform the dissolving procedure accurately to ensure you get the best outcome and education on future treatments so it doesn’t happen again. 

Diagnosing Migration

Migration can be seen and felt by your injector. There are some cases where the injector and patient may not be sure that it is filler in an area. In this circumstance, you should book with a clinic with practitioners experienced in ultrasound. The Manse offers this service.

Treatment for Migration

There are multiple options for those who have experienced migration with filler.

  • You may decide not to treat the migration.
  • You may decide to massage
  • You may decide to dissolve the filler and refill using a different product/technique/placement
  • You may decide to dissolve the filler.