Up until recently the only, and preferred, method for delivery of soft tissue fillers, such as collagen, hyaluronic acid, or autologous fat, to the face and hands has been via a sharp tipped hypodermic needle. However, recent advancements in the production of blunt tipped cannulas, and more specifically micro-cannulas, has set the cat amongst the pigeons and changed this landscape, forever.
Options including STERiGLIDE™ from TSK Laboratories provide the next generation in micro-cannulas for the cosmetic sector. Both clinical practitioners and patients are embracing the benefits that blunt micro-cannulas have over their sharper cousins – marking them out as a true ‘game-changer’. The decision to use a cannula over a needle for an aesthetic treatment is still very much down to personal choice, but the advantages presented by cannulas makes them an option that more and more practitioners are choosing.
Needle flexibility and control
While sharp tipped needles are rigid in nature, cannulas are a more flexible option as this means that they can move more freely and easily when delivering precise aesthetic enhancements. But too much flexibility can be a bad thing. To overcome this, the STERiGLIDE micro-cannulas offer a solution which is more rigid than many other cannula products, yet still more flexible than a needle – this allows practitioners to control their movements in a more predictable, yet flexible fashion.
Number of entry points
Sharp needles require multiple entry points to deposit the chosen product in a bolus or linear fashion across a given area. Cannulas can be used through fewer entry points to deposit filler in a fan-like or matrix pattern. This is because they can be pushed through the tissue freely and easily, without cutting. This makes treatment quicker and less painful, without repeated needle entry. Similarly, it causes less swelling and bruising thanks to the reduction in tissue subcision. For treatments in more sensitive areas, such as the tear trough, there are many who note that using blunt tipped micro-cannulas is the ONLY sensible option.
Patient comfort and down-time
In a competitive marketplace, where patients are demanding less downtime, the need to deliver more comfortable and less traumatic treatments becomes imperative for practitioners. One clinical study by American Plastic Surgeon Sam Sukkar M.D. sought to compare the swelling, pain and bruising experienced with a blunt tipped micro-cannula and a sharp tipped needle for the injection of dermal filler into naso-labial folds. The study of 11 patients concluded that blunt tipped micro-cannulas showed more rapid patient recovery than sharp tipped needles. Pain scales scored at the point of injection were slightly less with the cannula, and swelling was significantly reduced compared to the use of a sharp needle.
Different cannula types
When thinking about investing in blunt tipped micro-cannulas for your cosmetic practice, it’s important to realise that they are not all the same. There are many aspects to consider which will affect the reliability of the device itself and optimum product placement. From the position of the side port, through which product is extruded, to the shape of the tip, the thinness of the cannula walls, and its external composition which will affect the free movement of the cannula; there is much to take into account.
STERiGLIDE – The number 1 cannula in Europe
STERiGLIDE micro-cannulas feature ultra-thin walls to decrease the required extrusion force, even with highly viscous products. PRC technology is employed in the hub of the cannula to prevent any ‘popping off’ during delivery. You can clearly see the placement of the side port thanks to position markings, and clinicians can be confident that product is exiting in a similar way to a traditional needle. This is thanks to the side port being closer to the tip of the cannula than many competitor options. A special ‘minaret’ shaped tip reduces the penetration forces needed for introduction of the cannula, and proprietary external wall technology, means that STERiGLIDE micro-cannulas from TSK truly do glide.