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Banishing Wrinkles With Fillers

As "Soft-Tissue" Fillers Rise in Popularity, Doctors Fine-Tune the Taming of Nose-To-Mouth Lines

Long-Term Filler Results

The filler calcium hydroxylapatite (Radiesse), already on the market, performed well in a postmarketing study that included an average of 30 months of follow up, according to  Lawrence Bass, MD, a New York plastic surgeon and clinical assistant professor of plastic surgery at NYU School of Medicine.

Radiesse, approved in December 2006 by the Food and Drug Association, is one of the synthetic dermal fillers. Bass oversaw the long-term follow-up study. He has worked as a consultant for filler companies, including the maker of Radiesse.

In the follow-up study, an independent panel of doctors evaluated how the nasolabial folds treated with Radiesse looked long-term compared to a picture taken before the injections. All participants got at least two injections, one at the study start and one six months later. Some also had a touch-up injection two weeks after the first one. At the three-year follow-up, one one-third of the 89 women still enrolled at this point had improvement, Bass says.

The FDA originally approved labeling that Radiesse would typically last six months, Bass says. "It's very clear it's longer than that."

During the longer-term study, Bass tells WebMD, no adverse events such as infection or nodules forming were reported.

On the Horizon?

Yet another dermal filler, Glymatrix collagen, is under study. It's derived from pig collagen, says Z. Paul Lorenc, MD, an aesthetic plastic surgeon in Manhattan and assistant professor of surgery at the New York University School of Medicine.

He was the principal investigator for a study comparing the new filler with a hyaluronic acid filler. Participants got one side injected with the new filler and the other with the hyaluronic acid filler.

Of the 145 participants evaluated 12 months after injections, 76% still had improvement in the side injected with the Glymatrix collagen, Lorenc reported at the meeting. They had less bleeding, bruising, and swelling on the Glymatrix side than the other side. The participants said they could feel the Glymatrix more than the other filler.

The brand name of the new filler, not yet FDA approved, is expected to be Evolence, says Lorenc, who has worked as a consultant for the manufacturer of the new filler and for other filler companies.

Although fillers can improve appearance, Bass says they're not effective forever.

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