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What to do when Facial Fillers go Wrong‚Ä®

Facial injectables including Botox¬¨√Ü or fillers like Juvederm¬¨√Ü and Restylane¬¨√Ü have been gaining popularity in the past few years. And for good reason as the injectables help make people look refreshed and younger without going under the knife. However, if the procedures are completed by overzealous or novice doctors the results can be off-putting and in some cases lead to “pillow face.”


Board-certified plastic and reconstructive surgeon Dr. Gregory Wiener explains, “Many of the fillers like Juvederm and Restylane are Hyaluronic Acid based compounds. Because of this, if there is a lump or a bump or an area that looks to full, it can be treated with a common enzyme called Hyaluronidase that will dissolve all of the filler in the area that it is injected to combat the negative effects.”


The problems associated with fillers that are not Hyaluronic Acid based are often harder to deal with. “In most cases, gentle massages and time are the easiest ways to fix these issues, most fillers will eventually be absorbed as well,” continues Dr. Wiener. “Occasionally, an obvious lump in a non-Hyaluronic Acid based filler may need to be excised surgically.”


Non-Hyaluronic Acid include Radiesse® (a calcium based filler used for deeper treatments under thicker areas like the naso-labial folds, or augmenting the cheeks), Artefill (a semi-permanent filler which uses poly-methyl-methacrylate beads to stimulate scar tissue, again in deeper areas), Evolence® (a collagen-based filler), and Sculptra® (a polylactic acid based filler).


Even though the Hyaluronic Acid fillers are by far the most used, these others are still used on a regular basis and won’t dissolve with Hyaluronidase treatments. Lumps and bumps with these (non-hyaluronic acid fillers) are treated with warm compresses and massage and most will resolve with time. For those that don’t, injectable steroid treatments or even surgical excision may be necessary.


Dr. Greg Wiener M.D. FACSis a board certified plastic and reconstructive surgeon who has been practicing at Resurrection Hospital for more than 9 years.
He was named a Consumers’ Research Council of America “Top Surgeon” and completed his residency at the University of Illinois at Chicago.
Dr. Wiener has been featured in several media outlets such as E! News Live, WFLD-TV, WMAQ-TV, Univision Online, Oxygen Magazine, Healthy and Fit Magazine, Forbes, US Weekly, Life & Style Weekly, Globe, Daily Herald, Chicago Sun Times and the Today Show Website. He is also a regular contributor to Aesthetic Trends.

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