Needle vs. Cannula: The Great Debate


The world of facial rejuvenation is always evolving and just as in any field, doctors are constantly making advances and discoveries. This growth often results in new products and treatments that become available for patients. Once in a while, an existing process or technique is re-discovered and begins to take on a new form. This is true for the method of injecting cosmetic fillers. Needles have always been used for filler injections throughout the years, and many doctors feel most comfortable with this technique. Facial rejuvenation expert Dr. Babak Azizzadeh is one of the pioneers of the blunt cannula method of injecting fillers, in which the needle is substituted with a cannula to improve the patients experience and result. Since his prestigious training in facial plastic surgery at Harvard, Dr. Azizzadeh has gone on to become widely recognized as a leader in the field of facial rejuvenation. He is the author of five best-selling textbooks including the popular consumer guidebook Beverly Hills Beauty Secrets. He has been recognized as a Beauty Expert, and has been featured in numerous media outlets such as Entertainment Tonight, The Doctors, LA Times, and NY Times.

The Many Benefits of the Cannula Approach

In the past, needles were the only means of injecting fillers such as Juvederm, Restylane, and Voluma. Needle injections made the experience painful for patients and often resulted in tissue damage and bruising. As an alternative, doctors began using cannulas to inject fillers to provide the same great results without any of the drawbacks of needle injections.

How does the cannula approach work?

Just like needles, cannulas have a hollow bore that allows the injectable filler to pass through. The most important difference is that unlike needles, cannulas don’t have a sharp beveled tip, but rather a blunt rounded end. Blunt tip cannulas are also more flexible than a needle which results in significantly less pain during the injection and reduces post-injection bruising and swelling.

Why are cannulas better than needles?

There are many reasons why Dr. Azizzadeh prefers to use the cannula method for injecting fillers. Overall, the cannula approach to injectable fillers provides patients with a more enjoyable experience and better results. The primary advantages include:

  • Patient Comfort– patients experience significantly less pain during injections when a blunt-tip cannula is used.
  • Recovery Time– blunt-tip cannulas result in less trauma to the facial tissue which drastically minimizes bruising and swelling after injections.
  • Flexibility– cannulas allow the injecting physician to treat a larger surface area through one injection site. For example, the entire lip can be treated with just one injection.
  • Precision– fillers can be injected more accurately with blunt-tip cannulas, which also cuts down on the amount of product necessary to get the desired result.
  • Side-Effects– blunt tip cannulas reduce trauma to the facial tissue which helps decrease the chances of blood vessel rupture.
  • Major Complications– blunt tip cannulas also reduce the risk of major complications such as necrosis.

Schedule a Consultation with Facial Rejuvenation Expert Dr. Azizzadeh

If you are considering facial fillers, call The CENTER for Facial Plastic Surgery in the heart of Beverly Hills to schedule a consultation with world-renowned physician Dr. Babak Azizzadeh (310) 657-2203.