Filler Treatment: Sharp vs. Blunt Techniques

Narasimhan Plastic Surgery

When it comes to filler, there are many injection techniques. In fact, there are as many techniques as there are fillers. We all know of fillers such as Restylane, Sculptra, Radiesse, and JUVÉDERM. They’re very popular with my St. Petersburg, FL, patients because fillers can restore volume to your cheeks, add attractive plumpness to your lips, temporarily reshape the appearance of your nose, and smooth away deep lines around your mouth.

In discussing fillers with your friends or researching them online, you may have heard of filler injections using “blunt” cannulas versus “sharp” cannula needles. What is this, and why does it matter?

What Needle Do You Use for Fillers?

Traditionally filler injections have been done with sharp needles. While this technique is precise and still works very well, it can occasionally cause bruising because the sharp needle is piercing through potential blood vessels. (See diagram below.)
 Illustration showing classic needle with sharp tip vs dermasculpt with blunt tip
While we minimize the risk of this by using safe anatomic injection techniques, another way to avoid traumatizing the tissue is to use a blunt needle. This needle, or cannula, can be used in areas that are more prone to bruising. These areas include the lips and eyelids.
In our practice, we regularly utilize this new blunt cannula technique for our patients.
When blunt cannulas are used, we still have to pierce the skin with a sharp needle. Then the longer blunt cannulas are introduced through this opening. At this point, we can redirect the cannula to where it needs to go and provide injections of JUVÉDERM, Restylane, or any other hyaluronic acid filler. In the cheek area, we make a small puncture to access the eyelid. Here we can use a long blunt cannula to inject our product along the tear trough. Here is what the blunt cannula looks like, as well as a zoomed-in photo of the tip.
Blunt tip, flexible atraumatic illustration
Another advantage to blunt-tipped cannulas is that they generally do not require multiple punctures in the skin like sharp cannulas.
Sharp cannulas are still effective in the cupid’s bow of the lip, the cheeks, and the nasolabial folds. These are areas where I like to sculpt the product in a more precise fashion.

Check out this video of Dr. Narasimhan performing the blunt cannula technique:

Check out this video of Dr. Narasimhan performing the sharp technique for cupid’s bow injections…

Make sure whoever is doing the injections has expertise in sharp and blunt cannula injection techniques.
If you’re interested in dermal fillers or lip injections at our St. Petersburg, FL, practice, request a consultation using our online form or call us at (727) 289-7119 to schedule an appointment.
That’s all for now!
(Diagrams borrowed from

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