The Sterility of Partially Used Hyaluronic Acid Fillers After Long Storage

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Abstract

BACKGROUND

Hyaluronic acid (HA) gel fillers represent most soft tissue augmentation procedures currently used, because they have lower rates of complications compared with other materials. Many patients do not consume an entire syringe of filler but may require a retouch or intermittent augmentation after some time. The remaining material is commonly stored in a specific environment for reuse by the same patient.

OBJECTIVE

There are an insufficient number of recommendations concerning the safety of storing and reusing dermal fillers in the literature because of the paucity of studies. The aim of this study was to investigate the potential infectious contamination associated with the storage of HA fillers after patient treatment.

METHODS

Hyaluronic acid from previously used syringes was stored at room temperature under sterile conditions for varying durations beginning from 2009. Later, the material was submitted for panculture, including gram-positive and gram-negative bacteria, mycobacteria, and fungi.

RESULTS

No fungal or mycobacterial agents were cultured from any of the samples. There were a few positive bacterial cultures, but they were predominantly contaminated with normal skin surface flora.

CONCLUSION

Although it is commonly practiced, the storage of HA fillers after initial patient injection carries a real but small risk of contamination.

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