New High Dose Pulsed Hyaluronidase Protocol for Hyaluronic Acid Filler Vascular Adverse Events

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Abstract

The purpose of this article is to update the changes to the author's protocols used to manage acute filler related vascular events from those previously published in this journal. For lack of a better term, this new protocol has been called the High Dose Pulsed Hyaluronidase (HDPH) protocol for vascular embolic events with hyaluronic acid (HA) fillers. The initial protocol used involved many different modalities of treatment. The current protocol is exceedingly simple and involves solely the use of hyaluronidase in repeated high doses. Despite the simplicity of the treatment, it has proven itself to be very successful over the past two years of clinical use. There has been no partial or complete skin loss associated with this protocol since its implementation if the protocol was implemented within 2 days of the ischemic event onset. The protocol involves diagnosis and repeated administration of relatively high doses hyaluronidase (HYAL) into the ischemic tissue repeated hourly until resolution (as detected clinically through capillary refill, skin color, and absence of pain). The dosage of HYAL varies as the amount of ischemic tissue, consistent with the new underlying hypothesis that we must flood the occluded vessels with a sufficient concentration of HYAL for a sufficient period of time in order to dissolve the HA obstruction to the point where the products of hydrolysis can pass through the capillary beds. Although vascular embolic events are rare, it is important to note that the face has higher risk and lower risk areas for filler treatment, but there are no “zero risk” areas with respect to filler treatments. Even with good anatomic knowledge and correct technique, there is still some nonzero risk of vascular embolic events (including highly skilled, experienced injectors). However, with careful low pressure, low volume injection technique, and adequate preparation for treatment of acute vascular events, the risk is quite manageable and the vast majority of adverse events are very treatable with an excellent prognosis, with a few exceptions. This new protocol offers excellent results, but requires further research to determine optimal parameters for various HA fillers.

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