Autologen injections are autologous human collagen injections, which means that the collagen comes from the same individual as which they will be injected. In other words, you donate your own collagen if you ever have surgery on your body, such as abdominoplasty (tummy tuck), breast reduction or lift, or any other surgery involving tissue excision. Your own supply of collagen can be processed and stored for up to five years, and you never have to worry about the risk of an allergic reaction to the injection, because the collagen comes from your own body.
Autologen: Self-Derived Collagen Growth
Following skin removal during a surgery, your excised skin is packaged in sterile solution, put on ice, and sent immediately to a laboratory which processes the tissue, extracts the collagen, and preserves it in a cryogenic freezer until it is needed by you. Autologen, which is not being manufactured anymore, was sent to Collagenesis, Inc., before it went out of business, but there are other laboratories which cultivate and process tissues for surgeries, using autologous human tissue.
What Areas Can be Treated?
- Deep folds such as nasolabial lines (smile lines)
- Glabellar region (frown lines between eyebrows)
- Acne scars
- Tissue deficiencies (thinning collagen, or thin skin)
- Lip defining, filling, plumping
Using Autologen is the same as any other collagen dermal fillers, with the exception that it is your own collagen, and will not require a pre-screening for allergic reactions. This is a major benefit, meaning that injections may be administered as needed without any waiting period. The injections are administered in a doctor’s office, or clinical setting, and take approximately 15-30 minutes.
If you are considering Autologen for lip injections, it is very important that your doctor is experienced, and that you have seen his completed work. It is very common for the lip area to go wrong quickly, due to unequal injections. You should discuss your expectations to see if the desired results may be achieved. The points of injection will be swabbed with an antiseptic/anesthetic before the injection, and you may feel mild discomfort during the process.
There is little downtime and you may experience swelling, bruising, or redness of the injection sites, just as with other collagen injections. Because the collagen is derived from your own body however, you will not experience botulism side effects, or risk the complicated side effects from being allergic to the material, or your body rejecting the product.
Major side effects would be due to misplacement of the fine gauge injection needle. If the needle punctures a blood vessel, or the collagen is injected directly into the vessel, blockage of blood flow may occur, causing discoloration of skin, or tissue necrosis (tissue death). This is due to the doctor’s or administrator’s inexperience, not your collagen formula.
Pros And Cons of Autologen Injection
- The collagen injections are from your own skin
- No risk of body rejection, viruses, or allergic reactions
- No waiting period for allergy tests to be monitored
- You have your own supply of collagen for touch-ups
- Your collagen may be stored for up to 5 years
- No down time due to allergic reactions
- Your own collagen may be less likely to reabsorb into the body, making effects possibly last longer
- This is a very expensive procedure due to storage of your own collagen in its frozen state.
- It takes 4-6 weeks for your collagen to be processed in the laboratory.
- The skin comes from you, so surgery is necessary which involves tissue excision.
- It is not a permanent filler, so follow-up injections will need to be made every 3-9 months (the average follow-up injection is necessary every 6 months).
- Injections may cost anywhere from $1200-$1500 per dose (due to processing, and storage). The cost will vary by doctor, location, number of injections, and doctor’s expertise.