Benefits of Radiesse include 12 to 15 months' duration of corrections, excellent performance for deep lines and simple storage, says an expert. Its disadvantages include the need for local anesthesia and potential for lumpiness in the lips, she adds.
"With any filler," says Rhoda S. Narins, M.D., "one must consider how to store it - does it require refrigeration or not?"
Other considerations include how one injects the material, she says.
"One must also consider how long the filler lasts," she says. In this regard, she says Radiesse's benefits include the fact that corrections achieved by this product last 12 to 15 months.
"It makes the skin over it very smooth, and it's a great substance for getting rid of deep, etched-in lines around the cheeks and nasolabial folds," Dr. Narins says. For similar lines in the marionette area, she says, nothing works better.
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved Radiesse for cosmetic use in 2006, and it is excellent for volumizing, Dr Narins tells Dermatology Times.
"It generally gives a very good result," particularly in combination with other fillers such as Restylane (hyaluronic acid/HA, Q-Med) and Juvéderm (HA, Allergan), says Dr. Narins, who estimates she has treated a few hundred patients with Radiesse in approximately two years.
Furthermore, she says there is no need to worry about refrigeration, because the product can be stored at room temperature.
"Another advantage is that it causes very little bruising," she says. "The only fillers that contain lidocaine are old-time collagen, which most people aren't using, because it doesn't last very long, and the new ArteFill (bovine collagen, polymethylmethacrylate, Artes Medical), which is a permanent product," Dr. Narins says.
A disadvantage of Radiesse, however, is discomfort from the injection.
"One must use some kind of anesthetic with it. We generally use a topical and then even a local anesthetic," Dr. Narins says.
Additionally, she advises against using Radiesse in the lips because of distribution.
"That's the only area where one sometimes can see lumps. The lip area contains very powerful muscles, and they can take a lot of the deeper fillers and form lumps from the pressure they exert," Dr. Narins says.
Therefore, she says, "The only substances I like to use in the lips are HAs or silicone. I would advise against using Radiesse in the lips."
As with any filler, Dr. Narins says, results are somewhat technique-dependent. However, she says when Radiesse is injected by a skilled, experienced expert, results are favorable.
"One never sees lumps. One sees a very smooth, beautiful result,"she says.
To inject Radiesse, Dr. Narins first chooses the right needle. "Most physicians use a 27-gauge needle. I sometimes even use a 25-gauge needle," she says, because it is easier to inject through.
Initially, Dr. Narins says she was cautious of the product. "I waited awhile to use it, because I wanted to make sure that enough people used it and had no problems before I used it on my patients," she says.
But now, although she likes many currently available fillers and has performed clinical research on most of them, she says, "Radiesse (is) one of the main filler substances I use. It gives great results with very few side effects," apart from the temporary redness and swelling common with injectables.
Additionally, Dr. Narins says, "Patient satisfaction is tremendous. Patients love the way it looks and the way it lasts."
Disclosure: Dr. Narins is a BioForm consultant and stockholder.
For more information: http://www.aad.org/