Patients often seek a long-lasting solution that causes minimal complications, but cosmetic fillers are temporary anti-aging measures. However, Radiesse—a product of Merz Aesthetics and a safe, cohesive, and nonpyrogenic cosmetic filler—has been proven to last for up to a year or more, so it may be suitable for patients that are seeking out long-term dermal solutions.
What makes Radiesse different from other cosmetic fillers?
Radiesse's uniqueness lies in its composition. Its main ingredient, calcium hydroxylapatite (CaHA), is a biosynthetic product that is similar in its composition to the natural human bone and teeth. It boasts the ability to provide volume and can also stimulate the natural development of collagen in the dermal layer. Additionally, the high G' content of the gel means it has high elasticity, excellent viscosity, and balanced cohesiveness.
Radiesse works deep in subdermal facial folds and wrinkles. It immediately smooths out and volumizes areas such as nasolabial folds, marionette lines, corners of the mouth, and/or oral commissures. The filler also volumizes and lifts pre-jowl folds for an improved appearance. The FDA has approved Radiesse for restoring volume in HIV-induced lipoatrophy in the midface area.
Once injected into the deep dermis layer, the tiny particles of CaHA can restore and enhance the condition of skin damaged by aging or UV rays. The initial suspension of the gel can help to instantly plump up the skin. Within the extracellular matrix, the CaHA microspheres begin to mimic its surrounding environment and stimulate the neighboring fibroblast to increase collagenic production. The microspheres also help to form a strong support network for the new collagen layers.
Radiesse's endurance in the body
As mentioned before, Merz Aesthetics touts that Radiesse can last for one year or more. The question is, what happens to the CaHA particles after the development of the new collagen?
A histological study studying a decade’s worth of clinical experience with CaHa noted that, after 2–3 months, the substance is gradually broken down into phosphate and calcium ions via the natural bone metabolic pathways. It was also determined that there is a low chance of osteogenesis occurring with the use of CaHa since no progenitor cells are present in soft tissues. Thus, CaHA was found to be safe and compatible to stay in the human body.
Various studies have been conducted to pinpoint the time one can expect for new collagen growth. In animal studies, it was shown that the growth can begin as early as four weeks after the initial dose and can continue for up to 12 months. Another recent study has claimed that the collagen stimulation possesses a long duration of 12 to 18 months, with some reported cases lasting up to 24 months.
The growth of collagen replaces the CaHA and gel carrier volume and mold in the subdermal layer. Eventually, the natural collagen response can sustain the volume for an extended length of time. Because of this, patients do not have to worry over having a synthetic substance lasting in their face, as the synthetic filler is replaced by the results of its biological stimulation.
In some cases, a maintenance session on the 12th month may be necessary so as to resist any progressive tapering of the growth. For the session, you may use only a fraction of the initial dose.
Do Radiesse injections hurt?
Some patients may not be too keen on undergoing procedures involving needles. This filler is also available as Radiesse (+), which is prepared with lidocaine. By using this formulation or an anesthetic with conventional Radiesse, the injection session is generally more comfortable. However, minor tingling may be felt. Patients often report a mild burning sensation with Radiesse injections, although this can be affected by the patient’s pain tolerance.
As with most cosmetic fillers, the procedure is quick and promises minimal downtime. With the injection, it may take less than an hour and can even be done in 15 to 30 minutes.
The correct tools and techniques for Radiesse
Radiesse is meant only for the subdermal layer, as its result is more prominent compared to other fillers. It is recommended to use a 25-gauge Outer Diameter (O.D.) needle to a 27-gauge Inner Diameter (I.D.) needle for both the face and the hands.
Several techniques can be used for Radiesse, with each technique appropriate for the treatment of specific anatomy. Some techniques include linear threading, serial puncture, fanning, cross-hatching, or a combination of any of these. For example, cheek augmentation is best achieved with a combination of fanning and cross-hatching techniques, as the two of them will allow for an equal distribution of the product. For patients with HIV, the restoration of volume in areas affected by lipoatrophy is best done via cross-hatching.
Ultimately, patient management is an important factor to consider when determining the correct technique required. Not only should patients be aware of the realistic expectations, but they also need to provide their informed consent after being made to understand the limitations of a Radiesse treatment and the possible events that can occur from such a procedure. This mutual understanding between the practitioner and their patients can increase the latter’s confidence in the procedure and make them more satisfaction with the eventual results.
For those who are seeking a long-lasting, temporary yet effective dermal filler, Radiesse may be the right choice. Through an organic revival of the collagen layer, the product volumize the skin and leave it looking radiant and supply for up to a year. There is also a low risk of complications with a Radiesse procedure due to the biotolerability of CaHA within the body.