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).
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.”