Bellafill Injections – Benefits, Cost & Side Effects

Bellafill is an improved version of Artecoll, which has been used in Europe and Canada on more than 400,000 patients during the past 10 years. Bellafill was FDA approved in October 2006 for the treatment of nasolabial folds (smile lines) and has also been used off-label for lip augmentation, acne scars, and other wrinkles. It is the only "permanent" dermal filler approved in the U.S.

Bellafill is a gel filler consisting of millions of synthetic microspheres (polymethylmethacrylate or PMMA) suspended in purified bovine (cow) collagen. Bellafill also contains the local anesthetic lidocaine to reduce discomfort during injection.

How Bellafill Works

Bellafill is injected directly beneath the wrinkle to add a permanent support structure and smoothen the area. The synthetic PMMA microspheres in Bellafill are "non-resorbable," which means they are not absorbed into the body or metabolized, allowing Bellafill to last significantly longer than other injectable fillers. The microspheres stimulate the body to generate its own natural collagen to encapsulate each individual microsphere, resulting in 80% of the patient's collagen and 20% microspheres (by volume) to permanently fill in the wrinkle.

As the injected bovine collagen is slowly absorbed during a few weeks, the newly generated collagen replaces it. This slow breakdown and natural replenishment process provides Bellafill with its unique and enduring results.

Best Candidates for Bellafill

Men and women of any age may receive Bellafill treatment. Ideal candidates have already tried temporary injections, are injection- and credit card-fatigued, and are sure they want a permanent result. Bellafill is not given to people with allergies to bovine collagen or with chronic skin infections. And it is not recommended for areas of thinner skin (such as crow's feet around the eyes).

Bellafill Treatment

Thirty days before treatment, your doctor will administer a simple allergy skin test for sensitivity to bovine collagen. Bellafill treatment usually requires only 15-20 minutes, but two treatment sessions may be necessary to achieve full wrinkle correction. The treatments are typically performed three to six weeks apart. Before receiving Bellafill, you may first try a temporary filler to confirm your desired result.

Be sure to seek advice and treatment only from board-certified plastic surgeons or dermatologists with sufficient experience in the Bellafill injection technique, as well as other injectable fillers.

Side Effects with Bellafill

Side effects from Bellafill are rare but may include redness, swelling, lumpiness, pain, or sensitivity at the injection site. Some patients may feel a slight firmness after injection, which usually resolves over time.

Cost of Bellafill

Bellafill treatment now costs $1,000 per syringe. You may want to ask your doctor about payment plan options.

Suneva Medical, Inc.'s ArteFill® has been rebranded as Bellafill® in the U.S. Only the name has changed. The filler is still FDA-approved for the correction of smile lines.