What is the Difference Between Cannula and needles?

With the growing number of men and women in need of enhancing appearance from aging, many non-invasive cosmetic treatments and procedures have sprouted up. These all involve the use of cosmetic injectables such as a blunt tipped cannula or a sharp tipped needle. But you have to be perfect in selecting the right injectable for the proper process and to ensure an excellent outcome without risk of complications.

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Well, you may be wondering what makes needles different from cannulas. Here’s the main difference. Cannulas’ tips are blunt. They’re also long and flexible. Needles are sharp and short. And given the differences, the outcomes aren’t different, but the procedure and healing may differ.

There’s much more to the differences between cannula and needles you may want to learn and identify. So, don’t tire. Let’s unbutton this together.

Does Selecting Between a Cannula and Needle Matter?

Yes, it matters. Wondering why? Because there are numerous types of injectables made for various purposes which aren’t the same. For instance, there are needles to draw blood called the butterfly needles, while there are needles and cannula for facial rejuvenation and cosmetic processes.

Preference between the needle and the cannula depends on the practitioner, the type of procedure, and the patient’s choice. However, the treatment effectiveness of each tool depends on the tips.

The sharp needle technique can achieve delivery of boluses of filler in the desired planes when done via injections perpendicular to the bone. For deep-level treatment, the sharp needle works best. They distribute piles of fillers to the chosen places when the injections are made vertical to the bone. Also, these fillers should be denser. However, the dermatologist should have excellent control of the needle for ideal results.

While needles are deep suited, a cannula is best for the top skin layer. Cannulae are not only for liposuction procedures but also dermal fillers etc. They’re as well for persons that are bothered with swelling, bruising and other after procedure hitches.

Well, you’ve got a good glimpse into the two designs. So, let’s dig deeper into the differences.

What are the Major Differences in Cannula and Needles?

There are several significant variations between cannula and needles that you must know. They are vital for a successful procedure. So, here are five differences between cannula and needle to note:

1. Shapes and Sharpness of the Tips

Before the invention of the cannula, the hypodermic needles were the first and only option in medical aesthetics that involved injectables. These sharp needles enable them to pierce deep underneath the skin layers to administer the fillers precisely.  And because of their sharpness, they can deliver the fills around the periosteum of bones. Nonetheless they require multiple entry points.

But for the cannulae, their tips are blunt.yastrid blunt tip cannula 2

So a needle first makes a point of entry for the cannula for them to deposit the filler.

Then the cannula glides into the top layer of the skin slowly into the area of deposit. And that’s why cannulae are perfect for soft tissue filler treatment like in the tear troughs. Interestingly since they’re blunt, the risk of bruising and swelling post-procedure is lessened. Also, for further filling, one entry point is enough. Therefore, patients won’t have to endure pain from another pierce.

Besides, since needles are sharp, they have been associated with pain. In fact, patients are always nervous when they know it’ll be a needle procedure. But you might notice patients are more relieved and relaxed if a blunt tip cannula is present.

2. Length, Flexibility, and Versatileness

Needles and cannula distinctively vary in length, flexibility, and versatileness. Cannulae may be longer and flexible than needles which are short and rigid making cannula the perfect option for injection of dermal fillers. Moreover, cannulae will leave patients pain-free as the cannula reaches a wider area with just one injection and fewer entry points.

Moreover, the cannula’s flexibility allows for smoother constant distribution of fillers in the face. However, an expert doctor can control the length and flexibility better to administer the fillers correctly. Unfortunately, needles, nevertheless, are short, they are still good. They allow for accurate fluid regulation and distribution for treatments such as Botox. Botox is an essential treatment for wrinkles and fine lines at the nasolabial folds.

Cannulae are as well pretty versatile, apart from being flexible than the hypodermic needles. Combined with other medical tools, cannulae can still perform well without any issues. For that reason, the blunt tipped cannula can be used with devices such as syringes, needles, etc., for specific medical treatments.

3. Complications and Injuries

Though cosmetic treatments are safe under some conditions, they still have the risk of complications. Complications could range from mild to severe. And that’s why cosmetic injection treatments require carefulness to avoid problems and injuries.

Some of the major issues could be unintentionally penetrating vessels of the arteries and, as a result, causing a severe condition called vascular occlusion, a blockage that tempers with blood circulation. It is prevalent with needles because of their sharp tips.

And here’s why cannula method comes in handy. Cannula, as mentioned, are blunt. The tips cannot puncture the skin, so there are no cases of blood vessel punctures with cannulas. Therefore, they are the perfect option for intravascular injection near an artery.

Sharp tipped needles also cause needlestick injury. Needlestick injuries occur when the sharp tip accidentally pierces the skin, causing wounds after treatment. However, there are safety procedures dermatologists can apply to avoid such incidents.

But with cannulae, as described, will be of aid in such concerns. The blunt tip cannot pierce anything, not even the skin nor the disposable container. In fact, there are fewer likelihoods of needlestick injury with a blunt tipped cannula.yastrid blunt tip cannula 3

4. What’s the Product to be Injected or Administered?

What’s the filler product to be administered? Is it viscous or not? These are the questions dermatologists should keep in mind before using needles and cannula. Remember, the hypodermic needle is the best tool while using viscous fluids. Viscous fluids are, for instance, thick dermal fillers that reinstate lost volume on the face.

Furthermore, cannulae are used in intravenous cannulation. And what is Intravenous cannulation? It is a method in which cannulas are put in a vein to create access. It could be for blood sampling, medication, or administration of fluids, to name a few.

For instance, an IV cannula is used in hospitals to offer help in the body like the cannula. But the IV cannula is not an intravenous catheter as it’s commonly thought to be. The IV catheter is long and appropriate for other medical applications.

5. Which is Difficult to Use Cannula or Needles?

As some physicians continue sticking to needles for filler injection, cannulas are slowly becoming known and embraced by others. However, cannulae are a bit tricky and need some experience to use.

Unlike needles which easily pierce through tissues, cannula requires a higher level of feel. Sharp needles have a fine tip hence a force multiplier. And that’s why you don’t need much force to push a needle through the skin.

Therefore, despite the benefits cannulae require doctors and patients, their learning curve and their extra expenses are why most doctors aren’t taking their full advantage. But this doesn’t mean they aren’t a good choice, no. In fact, cannulae push blood vessels aside while penetrating underneath the skin, decreasing risk of intravascular injections and any further harm.

More so, the practitioner can establish where the cannula is as it moves through the skin. It helps them know and decide where pressure is necessary to manipulate its direction.

Which is the Ideal Method?

In the understanding of the needles and cannulae as mentioned above, they truly differ. But which one is the perfect option? Which one delivers the dermal fillers excellently? I bet both are very effective tools; it only depends on the practitioner’s level of expertise and the type and place of treatment.

Cannulae are non-traumatic, safe, and pain-free. They make a layer of product confined in the deep anatomical layers to attain a lifting effect. On the other hand, Sharp needles can deliver lots of fillers in the desired planes deep near the bones. Besides, it can distribute the product in multiple layers.


Any aesthetic medicine procedures like facial lifting, removal of wrinkles and acne scars, etc., all require a needle or dermal filler for the process. Cannulas and needles are very different. As cannulas are less painful and have a brief downtime, traditional needles are not the same. Needles cause swelling, bruising, and even severe cases of vascular occlusion, but they’re better in deep skin treatments. So, the choice lies in the procedure and the preference of the doctor and the patient. Thus, they’re all beneficial and worth a try! Do you now want to purchase them? Visit Yastrid Medical Aesthetics and give yourself the facial restoration you’ve been yearning for

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