Cannula vs. Needle

“The best wrinkle is the one you never get.” ~ Anonymous

One of the most common questions asked of us – Cannula versus Needle for dermal fillers?

Traditionally dermal fillers have been injected with a sharp needle, and in fact most fillers come packaged with needles.  Now we have another option; blunt tipped cannulas are being used to deliver fillers and the benefits are great, but is the needle still the right choice? 

What is a cannula?

A cannula is a thin tube like a needle, but longer, and instead of a sharp edge to pierce the skin, it has a blunt tip.  Since a cannula cannot puncture the skin, a needle is used first to make a puncture hole in the skin that the cannula can then be inserted through.

Benefits of a cannula …

  • Since a cannula is much longer than a needle it can reach further and fill several areas of the face with only one entry point (less needle pokes).
  • The blunt tip on the cannula allows it to push through facial tissue and move structures such as blood vessels away with decreased risk of piercing them.  This results in decreased trauma and less bruising and swelling, which results in less downtime.  In addition, there is less chance of inadvertently injecting filler into a blood vessel which is a serious complication.
  • A cannula follows a plane of the face and does not cross planes and therefore it lays filler flat which is great for contouring areas such as jawline.

Benefits of a needle …

  • The needle punctures the skin and as many tissue planes of the face as required to get to exactly where you want the filler to be laid.
  • With a needle, the filler does not lay flat and therefore you can get better projection and lift than with a cannula.
  • A needle is more precise than a cannula and therefore great for delicate work.

Where does this leave us?

A skilled injector will use both cannula and needle, because they work in different ways and offer unique benefits.  Both tools are advantageous in certain areas of the face and for different applications.  One is no better than the other.

If you have questions about any procedure, please come in and see us or book a free consultation! 

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