Radiesse® falls into a category of dermal fillers that promote autologous collagen formation to achieve facial rejuvenation and contouring. Its collagen-stimulating qualities appeal to patients who are looking for longer lasting solutions for treating wrinkles, adding structure and replacing age-related volume loss. Radiesse® contains a base of Calcium Hydroxylapatite (CaHA) microspheres suspended in a gel carrier which proponents claim is biocompatible with human tissue. This means no allergy testing is required prior to treatment.
Much like hyaluronic acid (HA) filler, Radiesse® is injected under the skin through a small needle. There is some immediate volume improvement in the treatment area; however, the ultimate goal of this filler is to build volume over time. The CaHA microspheres help the body stimulate natural collagen synthesis in areas such as nasolabial folds (smile lines), marionette lines and chin. It can also be used to plump up the skin on the hands. Results from Radiesse® treatments can last up to 18 months.
Minor side-effects are possible with Radiesse®. These include: swelling, itching, pain, bruising and redness. When injected in the hands, side-effects can range from lumps and sensation loss to difficulty with normal movement. Although rare, these complications are more common than with HA-based dermal fillers. Radiesse® is not recommended for patients with thinner skin due to risk of developing granulomas (nodules under the skin). Granulomas are caused by an inflammatory response when the body’s immune system tries to isolate the CaHA material which it has identified as a foreign substance. Once they form, granulomas can only be removed with steroid injections or surgery.
Radiesse® used to be considered one of the longest-lasting fillers on the market but now HA products rival and even surpass its longevity. Furthermore, this filler is recommended for patients between the ages of 35-60 so younger patients are not good candidates. Once treated with Radiesse®, patients are limited to only having the same materials used from then on. Mixing CaHA with HA’s or other substances is a major contraindication. Most doctors won’t attempt this as it increases the chances of developing granulomas and other complications.
Dr. Mosser and his trusted associates at Azala Medical Aesthetics prefer to work with Juvederm® and Restylane® products. Based on years of experience, they feel that HA-based injectables offer the best and safest options for treating wrinkles and improving facial contours. Today’s HA fillers offer comparable, even superior longevity in some cases, compared to their collagen-stimulating counterparts. Juvederm Voluma®, for example, can last up to 24 months in areas such as cheeks, chin and jawline.*
A big advantage of HA fillers is that they come with a built-in safety feature. Should it be necessary to have HA fillers reversed for medical reasons or due to unsatisfactory results, a small amount of the enzyme Hyaluronidase instantly reverses the injection. Patients who are new to filler or are nervous about having the procedure done may find this feature very reassuring.
* Individual results may vary, and not guaranteed.