April 21, 2013
Dr. Anu Bajaj, M.D.
Botox and Fillers, side effects of facial fillers

Liquid Facelifts Are a Safe Bet, According to New Study

Three wrinkle fillers designed to reduce facial wrinkles and lines and provide a more youthful, fresher appearance have been deemed to be safe, according to a recent study in Facial Plastic Surgery.

Over a five-year period, researchers reviewed data on 2,089 office-based injections, including:

  • 1,047 injections of hyaluronic acid (Juvederm, Restylane, Prevelle)
  • 811 with poly-L-lactic acid (Sculptra)
  • 231 with calcium hydroxylapatite (Radiesse)

Complications were found in only 14 cases, with the lowest number (0.2 percent) occurring in patients treated with hyaluronic acid. The complication rate was intermediate with poly-L-lactic acid (0.7 percent), and highest with calcium hydroxylapatite (2.6 percent).

Before and After Juvederm®. Photo Courtesy of Allergan Inc.

Silicone was excluded because of its potentially devastating consequences in these types of treatments, according to the authors.

They also cautioned that, when complications such as infection, fibrotic nodules, granular formations and others do occur, physicians must be thorough in recognizing and managing them.

Additionally the authors expressed some concern that patients might not have understood the symptoms of complications, failed to follow up with their physicians or even perhaps sought care with another doctor.

Nevertheless, “injectable fillers are a versatile solution for patients seeking facial rejuvenation without the downtime of surgery,” observed co-author Steven M. Daines MD of Daines Plastic Surgery in Newport Beach, California. “When administered by a trained practitioner, filler treatments are extremely safe and most complications are minor and can be managed without long-term side effects.”