RADIESSE® Volumizing Filler has been FDA-approved since 2006 for the correction of moderate to severe facial wrinkles and folds, such as nasolabial folds. It is also intended for restoration and/or correction of the signs of facial fat loss (lipoatrophy) in people with human immunodeficiency virus. It should not be used for superficial areas including the eyelids or lips, as nodules have been reported in these areas.
In 2009, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved a method for mixing RADIESSE® with lidocaine, which improves the ease of injection, moldability, as well as patient comfort.
If you're considering a facial rejuvenation treatment and you'd like to learn more about RADIESSE® from an experienced Las Vegas injector, please call Desert Hills Plastic Surgery Center at (702) 260-7707 today
What Is RADIESSE®?
RADIESSE® is a sterile, creamy white, cohesive injectable implant, made of tiny microspheres of calcium hydroxylapatite (30%) suspended in a hydrogel (70%) carrier. Calcium hydroxylapatite is a synthetic substance identical in composition to the mineral portion of teeth and bones. It is compatible with living systems and naturally dissolves in the body over time.
CaHA is biodegradable, following the same metabolic pathway as bone debris resulting from common bone fractures. After 2–3 months, the hydrogel is resorbed and replaced by collagen. Calcium hydroxylapatite has a long history of safe use in ears, vocal chords, dental procedures, plastic and reconstructive procedures, and orthopedics. It can be used to enhance nipple projection for nipple areolar reconstruction, urinary incontinence, vesicoureteral reflux, and use as a radiographic tissue marker. The average lasting result is from 12 to 18 months in these situations.
How Does RADIESSE® Work?
RADIESSE® works in two ways. It provides immediate correction of depressions and natural looking fullness in areas of volume deficiency the moment the product is injected. Secondly, and unlike the hyaluronic acid fillers, the calcium microspheres stimulate the body to generate new collagen, providing longer lasting effects than hyaluronic acid fillers.
Basically, the injected solution sets up a structure that encourages tissue growth in and around the injection site. After 2-3 months the body absorbs the hydrogel but the scaffold set up by the calcium microspheres has stimulated the ingrowth of collagen, leaving the areas previously filled by gel filled with new, naturally produced tissue. This unique action restores the fullness and contours of a youthful, healthy appearance with sustained results that last an average of one year with some variability in longevity from person to person.
Of note, the calcium hydroxylapatite (CaHA) particles of RADIESSE® are radiopaque and are clearly visible on CT Scans and may be visible on X-rays. Patients need to be informed of the radiopaque nature of RADIESSE®, so that they can inform their primary care health professionals as well as radiologists. In a radiographic study of 58 patients, there was no indication that RADIESSE® interferes with the detection of abnormalities visualized on radiography. The visibility of RADIESSE® on X-rays lasts for about 1 year after injection.
Over time, the calcium-based microspheres gradually break down and are safely and naturally absorbed by your body. RADIESSE® does more than just temporarily “fill in” facial folds and wrinkles; it rebuilds your skin’s foundation and restores a youthful look, without the risks associated with a permanent implant.
How Does RADIESSE® Work?
The procedure is performed in the office setting. Topical anesthesia or ice is used for discomfort during the procedure. Patients with allergies to lidocaine may not be candidates for the procedure. Avoid agents that can cause bleeding 7 days before the procedure such as aspirin, ibuprofen, and other anti-inflammatory drugs or herbal supplements.
RADIESSE® is gently injected into the skin in small amounts with a fine needle. The treatment works with your body, below the skin’s surface. Tiny calcium-based microspheres form a “scaffold” to support and stimulate the growth of your own collagen. Normal, injection-related reactions, such as mild irritation, redness, swelling, itching, bruising, or tenderness at the injection site may occur. These conditions typically resolve within days.
Facial Rejuvenation and Hand Rejuvenation With RADIESSE®
RADIESSE® is an ideal filler to restore youthful contours of the face by enhancing bony structure and areas of volume loss. It works beautifully to enhance the cheeks and jaw line. It successfully fills hollows of the cheeks and hollows and depressions around the mouth and base of the nose. It can successfully enhance chin prominence, avoiding the risks of permanent implants. It is ideal for generalized areas of volume deficiency including the temporal areas and midface. It can provide subdermal support of the brows, so that the brows look lifted. It can lift and support downturned corners of the mouth, commissures, and marionette lines.
RADIESSE® is a thicker product that can be placed deeper in the skin to “lift up” the mid-face and enhance the cheeks. It is not intended for use in the lips or around the eyelids.
RADIESSE® is also a great product for hand rejuvenation, and is Dr. Brown’s filler of choice for rejuvenating the dorsum of the hands, with little discomfort, immediate natural results, and no downtime. Usually one syringe is required per hand. When injected, the cream-like texture of RADIESSE® feels soft and natural, and it can be molded and smoothed to optimally hide skeletonized tendons and vessels, which give away your age. It thickens the skin too. Show off your jewelry and manicure with confidence!
Following injection, the body forms a tissue matrix around the RADIESSE® microspheres. Unlike temporary treatments that must be repeated frequently, RADIESSE® is stimulatory so potentially provides years of rejuvenation. Throughout its life, RADIESSE® remains soft and flexible and also exceptionally compatible with the body. It is gradually replaced by the body’s own tissue, and slowly dissolves away in about one year, with variability between individuals.
Touch up sessions may be recommended for the desired outcome, and more than one syringe may be required for complete correction. Overcorrection is to be avoided.
RADIESSE® is often combined with other fillers such as hyaluronic acid and with BOTOX® Cosmetic to maximize results and treat various areas of the face uniformly.
In general, longevity of product depends on many factors and cannot exactly be predicted. These include patient age, metabolism, and the relative motion of the area in which the implant is placed. Many reports on RADIESSE® state that after a treatment and one touch-up, results remain unchanged until 12 months. After this time achieved volumes begin to diminish.
Risks and Side Effects
- After injection, it is normal for patients to experience redness, bruising, swelling or other local side effects. Most side effects of treatment resolve within a few days. More rare side effects may include swelling that lasts longer, or unevenness or firmness in the area injected that can take weeks to resolve.
- Itching and mild discomfort can occur but is generally short lived.
- Nodules are rare. Care must be used to avoid superficial injections of RADIESSE®. RADIESSE® cannot be used in the lips or nodules can occur in this location. Nodules resolve over time without intervention.
- Infection is rare. Migration of the product has not been reported.
- Radiesse may be less forgiving than the hyaluronic acid products, as there is no way to remove the product once it is injected. (Remember, hyaluronic acid products like Juvederm and Restylane can be dissolved by hyaluronidase in the event of overcorrection.) But the flip side is that Radiesse provides a lot more lifting capability and stimulates collagen; so natural increases in tissue volume do occur over time, despite the gradual absorption of the product.
- Granulomas, or local inflammation around a foreign body, are rare.
RADIESSE® has been safely injected in over 30,000 patients worldwide without a report of reaction to the product.
Treatments should be performed by a qualified and experience injector who is an MD, DO, RN, NP, or PA to decrease risks for complications. Superficial injections should be avoided. It should be injected deeply and lightly molded by your physician. A thorough knowledge of facial anatomy is essential to avoid injection into vessels. Intravascular injection of RADIESSE®, or any other product for that matter, can lead catastrophic events including skin loss, tissue necrosis, stroke, and blindness.
Patients Who Are NOT Good Candidates for RADIESSE®
- Those with a history of bad allergies.
- Staph carriers or those with a history of recurrent skin infections or MRSA infections.
- Patients who have moderate to severe skin laxity and deep wrinkles, where a skin tightening procedure such as a facelift or brow lift would be a better investment with long-term improvements.
- Anyone with a history of a bleeding disorder or those who take blood thinners.
- History of allergies to local anesthetics such as lidocaine.
- Use at the site cold sores, pimples, rashes, hives, cysts, or infection should be postponed until healing is complete.
- Patients with a history of cold sores should take a course of antiviral medication, as injections around the mouth could activate latent herpes viral infections or cold sores.
- Patients under 18 years old.
- Pregnancy or breast-feeding.
- Immunosuppressive disorders, patients on steroids.
- Patients with a history of keloid scars.
- Patients with systemic collagen diseases.
- Those with the presence of foreign body including a history of previous silicone injections.
For more information about RADIESSE®, please contact Desert Hills Plastic Surgery Center by calling (702) 260-7707 today. We offer a range of facial rejuvenation treatments to patients in and around the Las Vegas area.