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Radiesse A Longer-Lasting Dermal Filler

Radiesse, formerly named Radiance, is a facial volumizer made of calcium-based particles, which are suspended in gel.  It was approved by the Food and Drug Administration in 2006 for use on nasolabial folds and creases.  It is a dermal filler which is injected deeper into the skin, and can last a year or more, while stimulating the body to produce new, natural collagen. 


Radiesse is a product of Merz Aesthetics, and is said to last the longest of all non-permanent soft tissue fillers.

Composition Of Radiesse Dermal Filler

Radiesse is made of a compound of synthetic calcium hydroxylapatite microspheres, which are suspended in a carboxymethylcellulose gel.  Calcium phosphate ions which are natural in the body, make up the most part of the microspheres, and the gel surrounding the microspheres contains an organic compound, made of  hydrogen, carbon, oxygen, glycerin, and sterile water.  After injection, thin connective tissue will form around the microspheres, and they act as a filler, remaining implanted at the site of injection, to fill in for the collagen which has been degraded by aging, lifestyle, genetics, or disease.

The calcium hydroxylapatite particles are similar to minerals that are found naturally in the body, so allergic reactions are rare, and there is no pre-test for allergies required for Radiesse injections.  After injection, and with time, the injectable will stimulate growth of new collagen, and the body will absorb the calcium and gel, leaving your own natural collagen.  Radiesse is not a permanent filler, but lasts longer than other dermal fillers.  Once injected however, Radiesse is not reversible with hyaluronidase, as other fillers may be.  Radiesse also must be injected deeper into the dermal layer in order to prevent nodules from forming in the skin.

Radiesse And Other Dermal Fillers:  Comparative Facts

Radiesse lasts longer than Restylane.

Radiesse needs to be injected deeper into the dermal area, where there is enough soft tissue to stimulate new collagen growth.

Injections of Radiesse may be more painful than Restylane, Juvederm, or those fillers containing lidocaine, and a local anesthetic is usually used before injecting Radiesse.

Restylane may provide a more natural look initially, but it used more for finer lines, and is not injected as deeply as Radiesse.

Radiesse is a better filler for nasolabial folds and creases, but is not usually injected for lip enhancement, as Restylane can be used.

Radiesse cannot be dissolved with hyaluronidase enzyme as can Restylane and Juvederm products.  Therefore, the patient is left with the effect of the injection(s) until the product is absorbed into the body.

Radiesse is thicker than the other non-permanent soft tissue fillers, and may leave more initial swelling, with a slight increased risk of bleeding and bruising.  Restylane is a thinner injectable, injected more superficially for finer lines and wrinkles.

Radiesse, on average ($1,000 per syringe), costs more than Restylane and Juvederm ($600 per syringe), yet fewer injections will be necessary over time, because Radiesse can last a year and possibly longer in some patients.  Juvederm and Restylane both last approximately 3-4 months, before additional injections are required to maintain the desired effect.

The Injection Procedure, Recovery, Risks Or Complications

Radiesse injections require an experienced doctor or plastic surgeon, adept in deeper dermal injecting, for patient safety, and for achieving optimal, desired results.  Defining precise injection locations, and exercising proper dosage of Radiesse lessens pain, undesirable side effects and complications.  As with any dermal filler, the patient’s medical history and desired effects should be discussed.  Precautions are taken as to not inject those who are:  taking blood-thinning drugs, pregnant or nursing, on immunosuppressive therapy, experiencing facial rashes or sores, allergic to lidocaine or local anesthetics, or recovering from another facial procedure such as microdermabrasion or chemical peel.

The doctor or plastic surgeon will select and mark injection points on the facial area after cleansing.  Antiseptic and local anesthetic is applied to injection sites.  The correct amount of Radiesse should be injected under the dermal layer of the skin, and may cause mild discomfort.  This procedure can usually be done in less than an hour, and there is usually little to no down time for the patient.  Results can be visible within the first week, and can continue up to two years for some patients, however, touch-ups may be necessary.

There is most often minimal swelling, which may last from 24-36 hours.  Some discomfort and bruising of the injection site may be experienced.  In rare cases, nodules have appeared, or could be felt, requiring a steroid treatment, or surgical intervention.  Nodules most often occur if the injection was not administered deep enough, or in an area where there was not enough soft tissue for the injection.  As with any dermal injection, redness, tenderness, itching, bruising and mild irritation with swelling may be experienced, and will normally resolve itself in a few days. 

Any injection into the skin involves a risk of infection, so care should be given to allow the injection sites to properly heal.  It is recommended that the patient refrain from using make up and creams, and to avoid over exposure to the sun.

Radiesse Reviews

Patients who received Radiesse injections for nasolabial creases and folds, were very pleased with the results.  Laugh and smile lines were softened, and the injections seemed to last much longer than other dermal fillers in the non-permanent, soft tissue category.  Radiesse did not get complimentary reviews for under-eye use however.  Injections where there was not enough soft tissue, or where the injections were not administered deep enough into the dermal layer of skin, caused conspicuous bumps, and more serious side effects which lasted longer than normal.  Radiesse is not recommended for lip enhancement.  An experienced doctor, correct amounts of Radiesse, deeper dermal injections, and realistic expectations of results defined, will make Radiesse injections favorable, and long lasting.

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