Looking for a crash course in injectable dermal fillers? San Francisco facial plastic surgeon Dr. David Mabrie practically wrote the book on using these remarkable injectable products to sculpt Your Perfect Face—from every angle, in any light.

Facial dermal fillers represent a dramatic shift in the practice of facial plastic surgery. With dermal fillers, a hospital or surgery center has been replaced with a comfortable in-office setting, and a scalpel has been replaced with a microcannula. Without a single incision, dermal fillers take years off your appearance, and in the hands of a filler artist such as Dr. Mabrie, they can also sculpt and contour facial features for a look that is balanced and beautiful, as well as youthful.

What Are Dermal Fillers?

Dermal fillers are injectable gel formulations that physically add volume within the skin, enabling Dr. Mabrie to shape and sculpt the contours of your face. These are synthetic versions of substances that are produced naturally in your body, and they are gradually and harmlessly absorbed over time, so results are not permanent. However, as part of Dr. Mabrie’s Illumination 360° process, periodic touch-ups ensure long-lasting improvement.

Using dermal fillers as his medium, Dr. Mabrie enhances the attractiveness of your face in a way that is both subtle and significant. These products allow him to make full-face enhancements not possible through surgery alone. And since fillers are easily reversible with Hylenex, your satisfaction is ensured.

What’s the Difference Between Fillers and BOTOX?

Dermal Fillers vs. BOTOX Cosmetic

Quick Facts About Our Fillers

Safety - All of the fillers used at our practice are FDA-approved and have a proven safety record.
Ingredients - Most of the fillers Dr. Mabrie uses are made of hyaluronic acid (HA), a naturally occurring substance in skin that keeps it plump, hydrated, and youthful by binding water to your cells.
Allergy Testing - None of the fillers Dr. Mabrie uses require allergy testing because they are biocompatible, meaning they are not harmful to the human body.
Comfort - All of the fillers Dr. Mabrie offers come pre-mixed with lidocaine—a local anesthetic—so all you feel is the tiny pinch of the injection. He also uses a fine, flexible microcannula instead of a sharp, rigid needle, for improved comfort.
Side Effects - The most common side effects are swelling, redness, and bruising that typically resolve within 24 to 48 hours. Learn how to minimize these on our 6 Tips for Bruising page.

What Can Fillers Do?

In the right hands, dermal fillers have amazing potential for improving the youthfulnessshape, symmetry, and proportionality of the face. There is virtually no area of the face that cannot be enhanced with fillers.



To turn back the hands of time, Dr. Mabrie uses fillers to:

  • Reduce shadows under the eyes
  • Restore volume loss around the mouth
  • Smooth lines that make you look older


To turn up the voltage on your appearance, Dr. Mabrie uses fillers to highlight the defining points of the face by:

  • Enhancing the cheekbones
  • Creating a balanced chin
  • Refining and contouring the nose

For more information about where and how Dr. Mabrie uses fillers, check out our Treatment Areas.

How Much Do Filler Injections Cost?

Dr. Mabrie provides detailed information about the cost of treatment on his Fees & Financing page.

Are Filler Injections Painful?

The only discomfort you should feel during your treatment is the initial tiny pinch of the injection. All the fillers Dr. Mabrie uses contain a local anesthetic which numbs the area as the filler eases under the skin. And since Dr. Mabrie uses a flexible, blunt-tipped microcannula, you’ll be more comfortable during and after your treatment.
Filler Injections options
Unlike needles, which can pierce blood vessels and cause bruising and swelling, the soft, blunt-tipped cannula moves around blood vessels with ease, leaving them unharmed. The microcannula is much safer, since fillers flow out of its side port, and it is very unlikely to penetrate an artery.

How Long Do Fillers Last?

There are many FDA-approved dermal fillers to choose from; Dr. Mabrie offers RADIESSE®, JUVÉDERM®, and Restylane® products at his downtown San Francisco practice. He will determine which filler options are best for you based on your treatment concern and his expertise and experience. Each filler has its own unique characteristics and applications, and results last from 12 to 24 months.

Learn more about how long fillers last in different treatment areas by visiting Our Guide to the Longevity of Fillers.

Filler areas

Can Fillers Be Reversed?

Most fillers—specifically hyaluronic acid-based fillers—can be reversed with injections of a substance called Hylenex. Hylenex dissolves fillers such as JUVÉDERM and Restylane products for individuals who are unhappy with their results or simply want less volume. Because Dr. Mabrie “layers” fillers over the course of 2 appointments, it is rare that his patients want or need to have their fillers reversed.

Before and After Hylenex



This formulation features smaller HA molecules suspended in a smooth gel carrier. It is well-suited for use on superficial lines and wrinkles and more delicate refinements. Its high concentration of HA makes it very hydrophilic, meaning it attracts more water. Dr. Mabrie uses JUVÉDERM Ultra for lines at the corners of the mouth, such as nasolabial folds and marionette lines, as well as to enhance the lips.

Results typically last around 12 months.


This version of JUVÉDERM is thicker than the original, and its properties make it an excellent choice for adding structure. Dr. Mabrie uses this filler in the jawline to create definition and reduce the appearance of jowls.

Results typically last around 12 months.


VOLLURE’s formulation combines HA particles of different sizes to produce a formulation that is both durable and spreadable. It is used to treat nasolabial folds and lines on the lower face while allowing for softness and natural expression.

Results typically last around 18 months.


VOLUMA is the thickest, strongest gel in the JUVÉDERM family. Its larger molecule size makes it more durable and ideal for deeper injection. Its primary use is to add shape and lift to the cheeks, but Dr. Mabrie also uses it to augment the chin.

Results typically last around 24 months.

Learn more about the JUVÉDERM family of fillers.

Restylane® Family


Restylane is another HA filler that is similar to JUVÉDERM, but also features some key differences. The concentration of HA is slightly lower in Restylane, which means it attracts less water. This is why Restylane is Dr. Mabrie’s choice for the under-eye area. He prefers Restylane’s slightly firmer consistency for refining the contours of the nose and filling wrinkles and hollows in the mid and lower face, such as nasolabial folds. He sometimes uses Restylane for adding volume and shape to the lips.

Results typically last around 12 months.

Restylane® Lyft

Lyft is Restylane’s “sister” product and is somewhat comparable to JUVÉDERM VOLUMA in that it features a larger HA molecule. It is designed for injection into the deeper tissues to volumize and lift the cheeks. It is slightly firmer than VOLUMA, and Dr. Mabrie uses it for nonsurgical rhinoplasty, restoring volume in the mid and lower face, and lip augmentation.

Results typically last around 12 months.

Learn more about the Restylane family of fillers.

Other Dermal Fillers


RADIESSE is different from JUVÉDERM and Restylane in that it is not a hyaluronic acid filler. It is made of smooth calcium hydroxylapatite (CaHA) microspheres. These tiny particles form a scaffold, stimulating your body to produce collagen around it. This enables RADIESSE to provide both immediate and sustained results. Since RADIESSE is not hyaluronic acid-based, it is not reversible with Hylenex. Dr. Mabrie uses RADIESSE for defining areas like the cheeks and chin, creating contours with less volume addition.

Results typically last up to 15 months.

Learn more about RADIESSE.

Next Steps

Visit our What to Expect page to learn about your filler treatment and aftercare. If you’d like to discuss your options in person, request a consultation online or call our office at (415) 445-9513 to schedule your appointment.

If you live outside the Bay Area and are considering traveling to Dr. Mabrie for treatment, our Virtual Assessment is a great way to get started.