Cannula vs. Needle: Dermal Fillers Dilemma | SkinViva Training

Cannula vs. Needle: Dermal Fillers Dilemma

Cannula for dermal fillers

While there are various techniques and tools available for administering dermal fillers, one method gaining popularity among both practitioners and the more discerning patients is the use of cannulas.

Needles are the traditional injection device for dermal fillers. A needle is sharp and precise and can be used to place filler in specific areas of the face.

It is the obvious choice for anyone who has used a needle in other areas of medical practice (i.e. as a doctor/nurse/dentist).

However, the cannula technique is considered the best method for injecting fillers by most experts in the industry.

Where the needle is by necessity stiff and rigid, a cannula is a thin, flexible, blunt-tipped tube that is inserted into the skin to deliver the filler with less intrusion on the skin tissues.

Advantages of Cannula vs Needle

Cannula, a flexible blunt-tipped tube, has gained popularity among practitioners due to its numerous advantages. There are a number of advantages to using cannulas for those prepared to expand their skills.

The key advantage lies in the decreased risk of damage to blood vessels and nerves, resulting in significantly lower chances of bruising, swelling, or other complications. The tip of the cannula is rounded, making it less likely to cause trauma to tissues. Furthermore, the cannula allows for smooth and controlled product distribution, reducing the need for multiple entry points in a single session.

Additionally, the cannula technique offers enhanced patient comfort, as it requires fewer puncture sites, resulting in minimal pain, bleeding, and downtime. With fewer entry points, the risk of infection is also reduced, promoting faster healing. This technique is particularly effective in treating larger areas such as the cheeks, jawline, and temples.

Being able to offer cannula technique treatments to your patients sets you apart from competitors with more limited offerings.

It is considered the best method for injecting fillers by most experts in the industry.

Does the cannula replace needles?

While there are tremendous benefits to cannulas, it is worth noting that cannulas have limitations in precision when injecting small, specific areas. As the cannula is not as sharp as a needle, it may not be the ideal choice for certain areas that require detailed contouring or correcting fine lines.

Needles are sharper, allowing for greater accuracy and precision when targeting specific areas such as nasolabial folds, marionette lines, or vertical lip lines. The fine tip of a needle allows for precise product placement and depth control.

Moreover, needles have a shorter learning curve, making them more easily accessible for all practitioners. The versatility of needles allows for greater creativity and customisation, as they can be used with various dermal fillers of different viscosities.

However, one of the major downsides of using a needle is the higher risk of bruising, swelling, and possible injury to blood vessels and nerves. Due to the nature of the needle’s sharp tip, inadvertent damage is more likely, especially for practitioners with less experience.

Needles vs cannulas for dermal fillers – quick comparison

Characteristic Needle Cannula
Sharpness Sharp Blunt
Precision More precise Less precise
Pain More painful Less painful
Bruising More likely to cause bruising Less likely to cause bruising
Control Easier to control More difficult to control

Needle vs Cannula Debate

Whether you are a seasoned practitioner or a beginner, understanding when and how to effectively use cannulas can greatly enhance your dermal filler procedures.

While the cannula vs. needle debate rages on, many skilled practitioners have found a middle ground by combining both techniques. This hybrid approach takes advantage of the benefits offered by each method. For instance, using a cannula for larger areas and then switching to a needle for precise detailing can provide optimal results.

Moreover, the specific choice between cannula and needle depends on various factors, including the patient’s treatment area and goals, the level of experience of the practitioner, and the preference based on previous successful outcomes.

Ultimately, whether using a cannula or a needle, the selection should be based on the patient’s individual needs and the expertise of the practitioner. Both techniques have their own advantages and limitations, and it’s essential to weigh these factors before making a decision.

A good, well-trained and experienced aesthetic clinician can expect to be able to determine the most suitable approach to achieve the desired outcomes with minimal risks and optimal patient comfort.

Remember, the most critical factor in any cosmetic treatment is the skill, knowledge, and experience of the practitioner. By staying informed about the latest advancements and techniques, patients and practitioners can work together to achieve beautiful, natural-looking results with dermal fillers.

SkinViva Training Academy include cannula training in a number of courses, including the following:

BOTOX and Fillers Training Manchester

SkinViva Training Academy offers a comprehensive range of aesthetic treatment training courses for medical professionals such as suitably qualified and registered medical professionals who wish to learn and build on their skills in delivering these procedures. For more information, please feel to browse our latest availability.

SkinViva Training Academy was established by Dr Tim Pearce MBChB BSc (Hons) MRCGP in 2013 after he set up SkinViva in 2008 – an aesthetic treatment business which now covers the North West of England.

For further information, to discuss which course is right for you, to enquire about availability or to book a training course please call 0161 850 2491, or email

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