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What are the Different Types of Collagen Implants?

By Harriette Halepis
Updated May 21, 2024
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There are numerous types of collagen implants available including autologen, bovine collagen, isolagen, and dermalogen. Each type of collagen filler has distinctive advantages and disadvantages, and some fillers are more expensive than others. The best way to determine what kind of collagen injection to seek is to research each type of filler properly.

Autologen is a type of collagen that is taken from one's skin. During a separate operation, a piece of skin is taken from one's body. Following this operation, the collagen inside of the surgically removed skin is extracted. Once extracted, this collagen is then turned into liquid and injected into a person's body in order to create a desired appearance. Unlike other types of collagen implants, autologen collagen does not require any kind of testing, since this substance is natural.

Bovine collagen is derived from cow skin. Collagen is extracted from cow skin, turned into liquid, and used as a filler for various cosmetic procedures. This type of filler is relatively common, and it is also inexpensive when compared to other collagen implants. Patients who opt for a bovine filler must go through an allergy test prior to this type of procedure, since some people are allergic to bovine injections.

Isolagen is a relatively new type of collagen filler. As with autologen fillers, isolagen collagen is derived from one's own body. Unlike autologen, isolagen collagen is produced through a cloning process. By extracting skin cells from behind one's ear, plastic surgeons can then clone these cells in order to produce new collagen. Since isolagen collagen is relatively natural, very few people experience any kind of allergic reaction following this type of procedure.

Dermalogen fillers are derived from donated cadavers. Donor collagen is extracted from a human body, sterilized, processed, and made into collagen filler. Studies have shown that dermalogen, isolagen, and autologen collagen implants last longer than bovine implants, though all of these procedures are more expensive than bovine implants. In addition to the types of collagen implants listed above, various hybrid fillers also exist.

Determining the right kind of collagen for one's body is a matter of budget and preference. While collagen that is derived from a human source lasts longer than bovine collagen, these fillers are expensive. During an initial consultation with a plastic surgeon, the best possible collagen option will be presented to each patient. Following an allergy test, patients can then choose from any collagen injection available.

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Discussion Comments
By Perdido — On Mar 15, 2012

My cousin had bovine collagen implants to plump up the scar in his cheek. He had been in a car accident years ago that left him with a deep scar, and he was tired of being stared at for it.

He went with the bovine filler because it was cheaper than the other kinds. It didn't totally eradicate his scar, but it made it a lot less noticeable.

Before, it looked as if a hunk of skin were missing from his face. Now, it just looks like something much less traumatic happened to him. I think he will be getting a few more injections in the future, and it may plump up even more.

By StarJo — On Mar 15, 2012

@lighth0se33 – I paid $1500 for my autologen filler. It lasted nine months, and to me, it was worth the cost.

I had a facelift done earlier in the year, and I knew that I would be wanting the collagen implant a little later. So, my doctor saved the skin he cut off during the procedure, and he sent it to a lab.

It took about a month for them to have the collagen processed and ready to go. I think the complexity of this procedure is what made it so expensive. If you don't need a facelift or other sort of surgery, then you won't have any skin to donate, and you might want to consider isolagen instead.

By lighth0se33 — On Mar 14, 2012

@shell4life – I would definitely prefer one of the methods using my own body. I hate to think of having fillers injected into me that came from either a cow or a dead person.

I am really in need of a collagen implant. Does anyone know how much I could expect to pay for one? I have some money saved up, but I have a feeling I will need to save even more for this type of procedure.

My forehead and the area around my mouth is wrinkled, and it is making me look really old. I would feel so much better if I had some work done.

By shell4life — On Mar 14, 2012

Isolagen fillers sound like the least damaging kind. Autologen sounds like it might leave a scar, since some of your skin has to be removed.

I am in my thirties now, and I am already seeing plenty of wrinkles around my eyes. I'm even getting a few fine lines above my upper lip, and this worries me.

If I ever do decide to get a collagen implant, I will go with the isolagen. It will be as much a part of me as possible, and I doubt my body would react negatively to it.

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