If you’re researching non-surgical options for facial aging, chances are you’ve come across Morpheus8 and filler – two of the most popular and powerful minimally-invasive treatments. But while there’s a wealth of information available on each treatment separately, questions about how these two procedures impact one another remain unanswered. This blog aims to shed light on the relationship between these treatments to provide guidance on when it’s best to choose one over the other and when to consider a combination approach.
Morpheus8 vs. Fillers: Which is more effective?
While both treatments effectively restore a more youthful appearance, they do so in fundamentally different ways. Labeling one as superior to the other would disregard the unique role each plays in addressing specific aspects of the multifaceted facial aging process. Morpheus8, a device that combines the benefits of microneedling with radio-frequency (RF) energy, excels in revitalizing the texture, tone, and elasticity of mature skin. By adjusting the depth of the microneedles and RF energy levels, treatments can be customized to address a wide range of aesthetic concerns, including loose skin, crepey skin, jowls, double-chin, deep lines, fine lines, and uneven pigmentation. However, what it can’t do is add or restore youthful volume to facial features. As we age, there is a natural reduction in fat, bone density, and underlying tissue in the face. The redistribution and depletion of facial fat and changes in bone structure contribute to a loss of youthful contours, making the face appear less defined and more deflated, ultimately contributing to an older appearance. Fillers are the gold-standard for counteracting these changes which manifest as hollowed temples and cheeks, more visible under-eye bags and shadows, receding chin and jawline, deepening of the nasolabial-folds (aka “Smile lines”) and mentolabial folds (aka “marionette lines”), and/or thinning lips bordered with vertical lines (aka “smokers’ lines”). Given the distinct strengths and limitations of Morpheus8 and filler, they hold great potential as interdependent – not interchangeable – interventions.
What Are The Benefits Of Combining Morpheus8 And Fillers?
When performed correctly, these two minimally-invasive treatments offer a comprehensive approach to non-surgical facial rejuvenation, addressing both surface-level skin concerns and deeper volume deficiencies. This combination of treatments can yield synergistic benefits, with Morpheus8 enhancing skin quality, making it more receptive to fillers. The improvements in skin texture also serve to help fillers blend more seamlessly for an ultra natural-look. By combining Morpheus8 and fillers, patients may experience cumulatively longer-lasting results with the regenerative properties of each treatment serving to maintain and reinforce the other.
Which is Better to Do First?
Ideally, we recommend starting with Morpheus8 and postponing filler treatment. Patients often find that they want or need less filler due to the significant correction of facial aging concerns achieved with a series of Morpheus8 treatments. But make no mistake, a history of filler treatments in no way precludes the candidacy for, or ability to benefit from, Morpheus8. In fact, as a relatively newer aesthetic treatment, we perform Morpheus8 on patients who have had injectable treatments in the past more frequently than the other way around.
Will Morpheus8 Dissolve or disrupt my Filler results?
This is a concern we understandably hear often. While the general consensus supports that Morpheus8 treatments can be performed safely by waiting two weeks after a filler treatment, we require our patients to wait a minimum of one month as an added precaution. Extending the time between treatments serves to further minimize any risk of filler migration by giving the product ample time to settle into place. Additionally, this timeframe enhances the tolerability of Morpheus8 sessions by allowing any bruising or tenderness resulting from injections to subside.
As of now, there isn’t enough conclusive data to definitively answer whether Morpheus8 has the capacity to dissolve or melt filler. With that in mind, we tell our patients that Morpheus8 treatments are not designed or intended to treat unwanted filler – that goal is better addressed with a targeted injection of Hyaluronidase or Kenalog. And while there is not direct evidence to conclusively prove that Morpheus8 can or cannot dissolve filler, third-party reports claim this rare side effect has been observed under very specific circumstances. While these reports are anecdotal in nature, we’ve used the information to implement an extra precaution – delivering a lower level of RF energy, at a fairly superficial subdermal depth, any areas of the face previously treated with filler, regardless of how long ago. Even for patients with a long history of injectable treatments, and a self-described “full face of filler”, the actual surface area of skin with product below it is typically quite small. Consequently, our acute tailoring of treatment depth and energy levels does not compromise the overall efficacy of Morpheus8 treatments. In fact, with our strategic protocols in place, we not only preserve the full efficacy of each treatment but also maximize the cumulative benefits to exceed the sum of their individual parts.
Can the Combined Effect of Minimally-Invasive Treatments Rival Surgical Results?
Drawing on over 20-years’ experience as a top board-certified plastic surgeon in Houston, TX, I recognize that surgical intervention is not always a feasible approach to address facial aging concerns. Rather than discounting any expressed concerns over things like price, downtime, anesthesia, complication risks, or scarring; I respect and relate to many of the understandable apprehensions involved in going under the knife. It’s why the services available at my onsite medical-spa have been carefully curated to cover a full spectrum of concerns and comfort levels. From completely non-invasive procedures like Evoke and Chemical Peels to more intensive treatments like FaceTite, we offer a range of options catering to diverse preferences and priorities.
While non-surgical treatments cannot replicate surgical outcomes, there are some advantages to combining multiple minimally-invasive procedures for maximum effectiveness. The facial aging process involves distinct yet interwoven changes to the bone, soft tissue, and skin. As such, attempts to rejuvenate one anatomical layer without regard for the impact on others often result in an unnatural appearance. Decades ago, facelift results often manifested in a ‘windswept’ look, attributed to relying solely on skin tightening to rejuvenate the face. With the introduction of fillers came the breakthrough ability to treat another major contributor to visible signs of aging – volume loss. Yet this too often led to subpar outcomes, especially when individuals attempted to replace a facelift by overinflating lax skin rather than tightening it. While Morpheus8 cannot replace a facelift, it has been a game-changer, offering a non-surgical solution for skin tightening without the tell-tale scar or significant downtime. When supplemented with filler, these treatments work synergistically to deliver balanced, harmonious results.
How do I know if I’m a candidate for this treatment plan?
Is this winning combination right for you? Only one way to know for certain! We invite you to schedule a one-on-one consultation where we’ll provide an in-depth assessment and answer any questions you may have. During your visit at my Houston office, you will also have the opportunity to view additional before-and-after photos of our patients results to help visualize what’s possible. To get started, click here of call us at (713) 571-0600.